As most of you know, one of the reasons I created this blog was to help my readers find legit flexible income opportunities. I’ve talked repeatedly about proofreading, freelance writing, bloggging and bookkeeping as some of the best online side jobs. Today, I want to talk about a lesser-known opportunity but is also in demand and pays well—translation.
If you are a bilingual or multilingual and want to make money from it, you could make a nice income as a translator, and work online or from anywhere. There’s a good and consistent demand for online translating jobs from different industries, so it’s very possible to make some cash and still have the freedom and flexibility to live your life on your own terms.
Who needs translators?
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Working as a translator puts you at a nice advantage career-wise. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job outlook for language-based jobs, such as interpretation and translation is poised to grow by 20% from 2019-2029, and it’s growing more rapidly than the average for other fields or occupation.
Thanks to globalization and the employment growth of non-English speaking workers in the US, there’s reason to believe that online translators will be kept busy for the next following years.
But where is this demand coming from? Well, there’s always a need for translating jobs across different industries. Here are the top fields where you can find online side jobs as an online translator.
The medical and pharmaceuticals industry need translators to translate medical records, medical instructions, doctor manuals, prescription information, and more. Translation services become even more important when medical practitioners and entrepreneurs bring their businesses to the international marketplace.
Marketing materials and collaterals, such as brochures, leaflets, ads, and flyers also need to be translated to other languages especially if the business wants to attract a global audience. Other documents may also need to be translated to comply with the laws of different countries.
Translation is also an important consideration when it comes to global financial transactions. Documents, contracts, reports, and other types of paperwork often have to be translated to avoid misinterpretations.
Various e-commerce contents such as product descriptions and reviews also require translation especially if a business offers its products and services overseas.
The tourism industry also uses translation services to translate brochures, itineraries, and travel documents. Translating these contents into multiple languages help visitors become more informed of their options and set reasonable expectations regarding their trip or vacation.
The entertainment industry also extensively uses translation to accommodate its global audiences. Translations jobs are often required in films, movies, games, and books help hook in their audience, often in the form of subtitles and dubbing.
On the legal aspect, translations are also crucial in various documents, such as certificates, patents/copyright, general laws, statements, sales deeds, and more. A legal translator must ensure that each word or phrase is translated accurately to avoid potential lawsuits and legal repercussions.
Translator vs. Interpreter: What’s the difference?
Some people use translation and interpretation interchangeably, but the truth is, they’re two different activities. While both the interpreter and translator must be masters in their languages, the medium in which translation and interpretation are delivered is different.
Interpretation is the process of converting one language to another live or real-time. It usually happens simultaneously, right after the original speech. Interpreters need to transpose the original language into another language within context, but they are often allowed to rephrase idioms and other references to help the audience understand the message better.
On the other hand, translation is the process of converting a written text from language to another. Translators go through a more meticulous process of converting the language, and the translated text would often have to go through proofreading and formatting. Unlike interpretation, translation does not happen instantaneously, and it often involves a detailed, sophisticated, and meticulous process.
Must-have Skills of An Online Translator
Do you want to work as an online translator, but aren’t sure if you have what it takes to excel in translating jobs? Here are the top-three skills every online translator must have.
Having the right language skills is the first criterion to assess yourself is if you’re considering online translation jobs. Ideally, you must be a native speaker or have near-native fluency of the target language so you can translate the text as precisely as possible, including all the subtle nuances, slang, and euphemisms used in the text.
The next skillset you need to have are computer skills. Translation is usually performed on the computer, so being adept with processing tools like the MS Office programs, will surely be to your advantage. You may also use CAT or computer-assisted translations tools to become more efficient at your job. Finally, fast typing speed is a great asset in your online translation job.
If you’re going to work as an online translator, especially as a freelancer or independent contractor, having business acumen can tremendously aid in your success. You need to be able to market your translating job services effectively, win clients, and offer them top-notch translation experience.
How Much Do Online Translation Jobs Pay?
The amount that online translators make depends on a lot of things, such as languages translated and experience. Specific languages pay more than others. Leading this list from The Spanish Group, is Spanish, Mandarin, German, Italian and Arabic.
As for the income, according to ZipRecruiter, online translators make an average of $38 per hour. Meanwhile, JobMonkey presents the income for online translators on a wider range, falling between $35 to $60 an hour.
Online Translation Jobs: Companies and Websites That Hire Online Translators
Here are some of the top websites that offer online translating jobs for beginners!
Formerly known as Pacific Interpreters, Language Line is one of the most reputable companies offering interpretation and translation services. The company offers translation of the written text into 240 languages, promising to deliver 99.9% accuracy. Language Line offers document translation across various industries, including but not limited to business, healthcare, insurance, government, and finance industry.
Acclaro offers high-quality, professional translations, serving an impressive roster of clients that includes Visa, Coach, Tiffany & Co, and Ralph Lauren. The company hires freelance linguistic translators and editors who have 3 years of experience and university degree.
LSI can translate content into 120 languages, thanks to its robust team of 7000+ expert translators. LSI primarily serves these industries: legal, medical and life science, business, and technology. The company hires translators with at least two years of experience, fluency in English and native language, as well as expertise in one or more of the industries it serves.
The American High-Tech Transcription and Reporting is a Florida-based company offering fast, secure, and reliable transcription and translation services. The company translates various types of documents, including audio, videos, manuals, reports, website content, and interviews, into various languages. To apply, you must be a US resident or citizen, certified as a translator through a federal or state court interpreter’s program, and pass the background check. All inquiries and applications must be coursed to the company’s email address.
One Hour Translation is a translation service provider that translates content to 120 languages. It has a roster of over 25,000 linguists working from all over the world. OHT also works with some of the most famous brands across different industries, including Uber, Pfizer, and Amazon. To join OHT, you must have work experience and relevant academic history. OHT follows a dynamic formula in computing the translator’s income, taking into account language pairing, word count, and expertise on the material, among others. Most projects pay an average rate of $12/hour and go up depending on speed, quality, and rating. Payments are made through PayPal, Payoneer, or bank transfer.
Lionbridge is a crowdsourcing company that outsources a number of services, including translation and localization. It claims to have over two decades of translation experience for various brands, translating over 30 types of documents and materials. Translators get to work with a flexible schedule, take on interesting projects, and enjoy competitive compensation. To apply, you must be a native speaker or have strong language fluency of the language pairs, strong linguistic background, at least 3 years of work experience as a translator and knowledge of CAT tools.
TextMaster is a renowned translation agency providing translation services to over 50 languages. The agency has thousands of clients in 110 countries all over the world, so it usually has job openings for efficient translators. TextMaster has a vibrant community of translators and competitive rates (up to $0.50 per word). However, TextMaster does have a rigorous application process. Applicants need to sign up on their website and take their test. If you qualify, you can start picking jobs that you’d like to work on. You can withdraw your earnings to your Payoneer or PayPal account once the project is approved by the client and funds are transferred to your TextMaster account.
ProZ is not a business or company, but rather a massive marketplace for translators. The site has millions of freelance translators and agencies, all looking at the jobs board to find a translation gig. You can use the site for free and bid for jobs you’re interested in. There’s also the option to upgrade to a paid membership which gives you access to their Blue Board and find some of the best agencies to work with.
9. World Lingo
World Lingo is a website that hires freelance translators. They have quite a solid reputation in the translation industry and works with some of the well-known companies, such as AT&T, Sony, Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, and more. To join the site, you must have a university degree and at least two years of experience as a translator.
Gengo is another well-known translation service provider. Based in Japan and the US, Gengo aims to provide high-quality translation within hours. Gengo has acquired quite an impressive roster of clients, including YouTube, Amazon, Bloomberg, and the New York Times. To work for Gengo, you must be of legal age, a US citizen (whether or not residing in the US), and you are a native speaker of the target language. To apply, you need to create an account and take their test. Once you pass the test, you can start taking jobs right from your dashboard.
11. VerbalizeIt / Smartling
Now acquired by Smartling, VerbalizeIt is a translation company that offers competitive compensation and on-time payments to its freelance translators. VerbalizeIt offers robust translation services to over 50 industries and translations to 150 languages. To apply, you only need to fill up their online application form and take a test. You can start getting jobs after passing the test.
Translator’s Café is a directory for translators to find online translation jobs. You can look at the different translation jobs on the platform and bid on gigs that catch your interest. There are hundreds of language combinations available within the platform, so it’s highly possible to find a gig that matches your skills.
Online Translating Jobs: Make Money as an Online Translator
Not a lot of people can speak and understand more than one language, so if you’re fluent in two or more, it’s great to consider online translating jobs. There will always be demand for translation, especially now that businesses are becoming available internationally.
Since you will be working home-based or remote, you can have set your own hours, even your own rates. Some of these are well-paying online jobs, enough to create a good source of income. Others are on a freelance basis and are suitable for online student jobs or people looking for legitimate online jobs from home.
You can accept and decline projects as you like. But first, you need to build yourself up in this field, and looking for the best clients or projects will require some time and effort. Hopefully, the list of companies and websites mentioned above will help jumpstart your career as an online translator.
Are you interested in online translating jobs? Or are you already working as an online translator? How do you feel about this opportunity?
If you are not interested in online translating jobs, check out some of the job ideas below!