You can become a translator with or without a degree as long as you are fluent in two or more different languages. Many companies now need a local translator, meaning the target language is your mother tongue language.
What is the other requirement to be an online translator?
Even if you are fluent in a different language, it doesn’t mean that you have the skills to translate.
If you have extra time and the extra money, you can take a degree to study different languages. To further grow your career, learn more languages. You can enroll in different specialized training to provide a precise, efficient translation and to gain more knowledge about being a translator. These will give you a head start when applying for a job and an excellent impression on the clients.
You may check the list of approved schools by The American Translators Association and ALTA Language Services.
You may also check the brief courses for translator offered by Future Learn taught by experts from Cardiff University and the University of Namibia.
After taking courses and training, make sure to get a certification; this is the best proof that you have the necessary skill to be an online translator.
A lot of translation online job requires knowledge in basic computer knowledge. You may hone your understanding of Microsoft Word and other computer programs used by a professional translator.
How much will I earn for being a translator?
You will earn depending on the completed task, level of translation, and experience.
1. The target language. These will be a combination of how rare your target language is and the general price level in the country where they speak that language.
2. Your specialization. Generally speaking, subtitling pays the least, fiction a little bit more; the “normal” price level is for IT and finance, but specializations such as medical or “sworn” legal can command a bit more.
3. If you manage an unusual combination of source and target language.
4. A very select few source languages also command a much higher price. Finnish, Turkish, and Mongolian, for instance, are what is known as “agglutinative” languages, where one word can contain concepts that an Indo-European language like English or French take several words to express. Generally speaking, a language that has words than can span an entire line but lacks words for “a,” “for” and “the” will mean you put much more effort into every source word. Some languages have so few speakers that they can charge whatever they feel like; Southern Sami and Latin are two I have experience of (as a buyer at a translation agency, not as a translator).
But the most significant factor of all is
5. How fast you type. And, of course, how quickly you think.
If you can’t do 1,500 words in a day, translation is not how you make a living. To be a freelance translator, you should be able to do at least 2,000 to 2,500 words per day. The fastest translators (and I’m among those) can manage up to 8,000 in a day (my personal best is 10,500 in one day), but I can’t keep that up for more than a day or two.
10 Websites to Apply for a Freelance Translator Job
1. Gengo – enables anyone to connect to people-powered tasks, with a focus on translation and AI training data. Via the Gengo website or API, individuals and businesses work with Gengo’s community of over 20,000 pre-tested contributors, who have skills in over 34 languages.
2. Upwork – made up of freelancers and businesses from 180 countries, and believe the ability to provide a marketplace that empowers them and serves their diverse needs starts with employees. Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are critical to the success of there business and the ability to further their mission of creating economic opportunities, so people have better lives. It offers a comprehensive set of benefits to ensure employees can bring their whole selves to work. To allow for that, we aim to deliver world-class offerings and perks that cover your medical, dental, vision, emotional, and family well-being.
3. Fiverr – the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. Fiverr enables you to browse the selection of freelancers offering services and to place orders in just one click. A service offered on Fiverr is called a Gig. You can find the services you need by browsing the Fiverr catalog in different categories, or by using Fiverr’s search engine and filters to find a specific service or seller.
4. Smartling – has always been leading the way with the latest technology. With powerful artificial intelligence, automation, and Machine Learning embedded into the foundation of the translation management system, Smartling enables both rapid and quality translation with unparalleled accuracy and consistency. It has been named the number one Translation Management System twice in just the past year. Considered the #1 Market Leader by CSA Research in their 2019 TMS Market Flex, as well as the #1 Market Leader, according to customers on G2.
5. Textmaster – is the world’s first global translation solution that is available entirely online. Thanks to a network of expert translators, cutting-edge technologies, and a range of value-added services, TextMaster enables companies to streamline the translation of their content in over 50 languages and areas of expertise. Clients can access TextMaster through an online SaaS platform, API, or a wide range of integrations and partners. More than 10,000 companies of all sizes and domains trust TextMaster to scale their international expansion. TextMaster is a member of the Acolad group since 2018.
6. Unbabel – removes language as a job requirement, allowing you to assemble your strongest team, based on support skills and product knowledge. Major brands like Microsoft and Skyscanner have seen CSAT scores increase by as much as 22% with Unbabel. They combine artificial and human intelligence to deliver native-quality translation at scale, consistently outperforming standard machine translation engines. Multilingual support and optimize products for brand and sector.
7. Proz – empower language industry professionals to achieve their business objectives and realize their full potential. ProZ.com does this by being committed to member success, providing access to state-of-the-art tools, educating and inspiring, and fostering collaboration among positive, like-minded professionals. Focusing on the people and the work they do makes ProZ.com a uniquely effective place for outsourcers to meet capable freelancers and translation companies. Many other sites consist of little more than static profiles in a directory.
8. OneHour Translation – on-demand translation and localization services built to scale. Supporting 120 languages in a wide range of industries. Make it easy for anyone in your organization to enjoy efficient, low-cost, high-quality translation and localization services. Whatever the volume of content or industry expertise, you’ll enjoy fast turnaround and reliable service. To ensure the highest standards of quality are met, all language services are reviewed by our in-house language managers.
9. The Open Mic – is a new blogging platform for translators! Craft beautiful stories about the translation industry. Teach, learn, and inspire. Learn how to get your translation business off the ground. The Open Mic offers a unique mobile experience. Read stories, share your thoughts and ideas on the go.
10. Freelancer – give the details about the work you need to be completed, and their freelancers will get it done faster, better, and cheaper than you could imagine. These include – Small jobs, large jobs, anything in between; Jobs that are on a fixed price or hourly terms; Work that requires specific skill sets, costs, or scheduling requirements.
Does being a translator paid well? It depends on your language expertise if it is in demand or not.
According to Neuvoo.com, the average Translator salary in USA is $54,085 per year or $27.74 per hour. Entry level positions start at $22,928 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $91,945 per year.