Bilingual in the Freelancing World? Land Your First Translation Job to Start Earning Some Flexible Income
When considering the idea of switching from your day job to a completely at-home and online career, it can be daunting.
Having a boss isn’t for everyone, but it does take a lot of stress off of you as a worker.
Keeping track of a schedule, finding work, marketing, keeping everyone organized and on task, paying bills, lessening expenditures, doing taxes, and then finding more work-from-home jobs, because that’s obviously what is going to keep you going once the first project is finished, the list goes on.
Having others available to take a load off is definitely much better for helping you to focus on your one particular task, in your case, your online interpreting or translation job.
This is why a typical full-time role at some company is most people’s go-to.
Opportunities very rarely fall in your lap, and if you are not keeping up with all of those positions, you are going to find yourself without work pretty quickly.
At that point, you see yet another task to add to the list, and that is learning how to manage and save money until you figure out how to make some more.
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Table of Contents
Don’t be Deterred, finding a Translation Job Online is a Move You Won’t Regret.
Who can be an online translator?
Being bi-lingual is not the only criteria to become a good translator. You would need a lot of preparation and the right skills in order to be a successful online translator.
Make sure to specialize in a fields such as legal, medical, business and arts in order to provide a specific niche for your potential clients.
Remember, the more specialized you are, the more likely you will find the right customers.
It would also be beneficial for you to become a certified translator in order to provide proof of your proficiency and level of expertise.
Once you have acquired the specific skills you need to become a translator, it is time to learn how to market yourself.
Many do not realize that just because you have the skills to be a translator, does not mean you will automatically find a job.
Reach out to different businesses and network with the right people who will benefit from your services.
Knowing your specific niche can help narrow down the places you should approach to find opportunities,
When you think about it, the benefits are endless. It isn’t easy, and it might take a little while to get the hang of, but you aren’t alone.
Anyone, new or experienced can become a freelance translator or interpreter. Don’t underplay that bilingual skill-set you already have by thinking you need to become certified or go to a translation school.
While extra awards and certifications help to make your resume stand out, you don’t always need them to land a translation job.
In fact, a lot of the platforms listed below cater to freelancers just starting out and trying to get any sort of job under their belt.
Experience will make you stand out, but it isn’t necessary.
As long as you have a go getter and persevering attitude, you will succeed, and keep in mind that it will only get easier as you go.
Here are a few sites that will help you out on your journey to become an online interpreter or nail your first translation job.
Unbabel is a tremendously useful platform for a beginner to advanced translator wanting to earn some quick extra cash.
What they have you do first is register for one of their open languages pairs and go through a short series of tests to make sure you have a good command of the chosen language pairs.
Be prepared for a delay as acceptance isn’t immediate when waiting for the stamp of approval.
Once you pass their tests though, you are ready to go. A wide range of jobs are then available that may have you translating anything from emails to blog posts.
The unique part of the platform is that they have you correct already generated AI works.
This means that most of the work is already done for you; all you have to do is edit the wording to sound more native.
Once you submit a piece and it is accepted, the money is automatically added to your account.
The amount depends on the languages and job but is great for filling up some downtime.
You can download their app right to your phone, and you will get notifications anytime a position is available.
A newer platform for the online interpreter, these guys allow companies to browse profiles and reserve freelancers based on their needs and timeframe.
After passing tests and joining the site, you can create a profile including your skills, title, and profile pictures that outline a little bit about yourself.
You set your rates, and companies are charged first to reserve you and then to use your time once you accept their request.
Being a relatively competitive platform there are a lot of unique job requests, especially location specific types.
Regular browsing and alert setting might be worth it for niche specific workers
Freelensia says that they wish to be thought of as an Airbnb of interpreters and have anything you need available to pick and choose.
So far, it appears to be a hit for both companies and freelancers.
This is one of those that most people searching for work-from-home jobs knows about, but might pass on because they’ve heard about the low-quality jobs being offered.
There are pros and cons to this platform and, if done right can be great for finding some work if you are a translator or online interpreter looking to use your bilingual skills.
The key here is to create a decent profile that outlines precisely what you do, includes examples, and sets your rates to let others know you aren’t working for pennies.
Companies can reach out to you on here, but it is more likely that you will find something by searching for jobs as well.
Unfortunately, you can only apply to so many at a time before the platform wants payment, so be picky.
Set your rates, know your limits, and reach out if employers are paying them, have a decent rating, and the position has fewer rather than more applicants.
From that point, be sure you send a good proposal and that your profile matches the skill-sets required.
If everything aligns perfectly and you get in there first, you have a high chance of landing the bid.
The cool part about UpWork too is there are sometimes obscure types of work that might be more interesting than the usual article translation piece.
Bilingual skills come in handy, and you might even find yourself as an online interpreter for an adopted child meeting their birth mother for the first time.
Translation Directory is an online job board for translators and agencies looking to hire out and bid on work.
It is free up to a certain amount, there are no tests involved, and anyone can use it.
The pricing isn’t bad and only costs around five to ten dollars a month (paid annually) if you choose to upgrade.
The reason you may want to consider this platform is that the lists of jobs are endless, and there are some good ones, especially if you have a rare language pair.
The only downfall is that it is set up as a bidding type site where every freelancer gets to submit a quote for each translation job.
This isn’t necessarily bad. You can edit your profile to look good and if you are at the top of the list, have the right language set and skills, you could easily find yourself getting hired.
Unlike Linkedin, almost everyone has a Facebook profile, but they often find it hard to get followers on their pages without paying for and learning ads.
Most vastly underestimate the power of Facebook pages and groups though.
Your profile may or may not highlight who you are, what you do, or what types of skills are on your resume, but it does show the kinds of circles you are involved in, and the more you participate, the more likely you are to get noticed.
Search and ask for recommendations about job sourcing in translation and interpreting groups and join as many as you can.
Weed out the ones that seem less helpful, and then start participating.
Asking questions, answering questions, and providing overall general information are all great tips to get others to realize your skill level, from there you may be able to connect and find people that might require a bilingual person.
Not spamming is essential to a group as most don’t even allow you to post self-promotion links, but if you diligently keep up with the posts and look for potential openings, you are sure to come across some valuable opportunities and connections.
Linkedin is a highly underappreciated platform by newbie freelancers that has a lot of opportunities if used correctly.
Here it is all about the connections and skills you have, and anyone can find you to offer you a translation job if your qualifications fit their needs.
A simple profile with just your picture and a brief description won’t do it though, you have to work on putting this profile together, and it may even be worth it to pay a professional if you aren’t sure where to start.
Look up other professional translators that have a decent amount of connections and see precisely what it is they did to make themselves look good.
Add as many samples as you can and link to any work or portfolios.
Also, be sure to add skill-sets in any area possible that you are available to work.
A lot of jobs and searches are based on skills.
If you were in finance or know a lot about the medical industry because of your post nursing job, then add medical interpreter or other related professions.
The more specific you get, the more likely it is that random hiring agents will find you, be sure you have the background to back it up though.
Once you have a nice profile, you can always ask your colleagues and past employers for endorsements, and then start reaching out to agencies.
A lot of large companies get inquiries from freelancers, so don’t be discouraged if you have to send out a lot before one answers.
This is a site good site for finding a translation job if you are relatively experienced in the field and have a good handle on your language pair.
Once accepted to the platform via their online test and review board you will be able to start working.
The thing is you are on a timer, and you are expected to translate roughly 200 words per hour.
If you are a native or near-native speaker in both languages, then this is an excellent job for you. They pay quickly and have a large amount of work available.
As you go, you can earn badges based on how many hours you work, your ratings, and other criteria.
The higher a badge you have, the better your opportunities are.
Gengo is another job board type website that you have to pass a test to be a part of, but the right language pair might be worth it!
Thousands of jobs are posted each day, and you can pick and choose, you also get paid immediately once you finish a job.
The better-known languages don’t pay as well as the more complicated ones either.
For example, a Tagalog translator earns about $300 less per month than someone who knows traditional Chinese, for example.
They have a nifty calculator on their site that you can calculate with to see if it’s right for you.
They do also have an online community forum that can be a very worthwhile resource for those looking to learn and get support.
This last one on our list is a little more strict and suited to the advanced translators in the group because they specifically hire out editing work to qualified professionals and target higher-end clients.
Joining the platform is simple as long as you have five years or more of experience, Trados software, a degree, membership to a translating association, and another couple years of specialty training is required to get their higher paying translating jobs.
Once you’ve established yourself a little base, this might definitely be worth looking into to further your career.
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