Working as a Freelancer in the Translation Industry

by | Aug 21, 2020 | Translation Services

Is Being a Freelancer Worth It?

If being your own boss, having freedom and not having a cap on your salary is what you are looking for, then YES, it is absolutely worth it.

You’ll have the freedom to work where you want, take on as much work as you want and so much more.

Right now, during a global pandemic this is a great job to have. You don’t need to worry about going into an office, can work where you are comfortable and can get it all done from your computer.

Another bonus right now is that many businesses are working on increasing their online presence. This pandemic has brought light to the fact that we cannot always rely on brick and mortars. With that comes LOTS of translation that needs to be done for companies who want to have a multilanguage site.

You also have the opportunities to challenge yourself with the type of work you take on, become a specialist in a particular translation field, or just do the work you love.

Of course, this comes with a few cons, but the pros totally outweigh it. Your paycheques might be infrequent depending on how you set yourself up with projects, but you do have the opportunity to create passive income streams which will need to be covered another time.

How to Become A Freelance Translator

Of course, like any job having credibility and experience is key. Before even applying to an in-house translator with a company to gain experience, you should spend some time doing the same type of work in an internship or as a volunteer. This will help set you apart from others in the industry by providing you with great hands on experience. On top of spending some time as an in-house translator for experience, you will gain confidence that is needed to help you secure your own projects.

You can start looking for internships or in-house translation jobs at any time as long as you have the skills required to do the job.

Skills Required to be a Freelance Translator

To work as a professional translator, you have to a post-secondary degree, and if it is not in Translation or Linguistics, you would have to have experience in translating in the field of your studies.  This is a requirement for all professional translation services providers.  Of course, you also need to have great writing skills and know at least 2 languages.

Depending on the languages you can speak, you may have government certifications showing that you are bilingual – for example in Canada there is a test for being bilingual in English and French.

You may also have specializations in translation, such as the medical field or science which will help set you apart from others.

Outside of your language skills, you’ll want to make sure that you are able to use technology with ease. You don’t need to know everything about technology, but the more proficient you are with a computer the better. Translators should also know the various software available to aid with their translators’ projects, such as CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools.

These skills will help get you into an in-house translation business, but when you are ready to go out on your own make sure to brush up on your business skills. You’ll want to know how to run a business where you live, understand marketing and sales, as well as have strong relationship building skills.

Benefits of Being a Freelance Translator

As a freelancer you get you set your own rules. That’s right, you get to be your own boss. You can decide what hours you work, what days you work and how much work you want to take on.

By being your own boss, you even get to decide on your income. You can charge what you see is fit based on industry standards and can end your day early or start later if needed.

Another great positive, is you can do this job anywhere. You can be at the local coffee shop, halfway across the world, or in bed. No one needs to know where you are as long as you get your job done.

The best part is you don’t need to stick to projects that are local. You can open up your services to anyone in the world, giving you more options for work and different types of projects.

Your Future as a Freelance Translator

You are in luck. The translation industry is currently growing. With an increased demand for companies to communicate with more people across the world, language is the key. Websites need to be translated into as many languages as possible in order to be inclusive of all languages.

It’s also been predicted that voice search usage is going to be increased. This means that we need more people to translate languages so that everyone is able to use voice search no matter what language they speak.

On top of websites needing translation, videos and other audio forms are rising in the need for translation to keep up with globalization. With that being said, there is no shortage of work in the industry, so get started today!