Today, one of the most lucrative areas where freelancers earn a great deal of income is the field of translation. More and more freelance translators offer their services. Although the profession sounds good and the translation industry is steadily booming, it can be hard to find well-paying work if you weren’t able to earn a degree in translation, translation experience, excellent language skills, and training and experience in a technical field of translation.

To those who are interested in freelance translation as an online job, the easiest way to do it is to get samples and references. You can do this by being a volunteer or intern in agencies that need translation services such as the American Red Cross, Translators Without Borders, refugee assistance programs, and public health clinics who are in need of volunteer translators and interpreters or by working for low-paying translation agencies that are willing to train beginners.

It would also be best if you have background in writing. The profession of translation also needs excellent writing skills because the translation should be correct not only verbatim or “word for word” but should also be grammatically correct.

Also, you will need subject-specific knowledge in your own native tongue in order to translate subject-specific documents requested by your potential client. Aside from having these three considerations, here are some tips that can help you in order to be a successful freelance translator:

1. Always be realistic. Just like in any field, you need to consider if you plan to work fulltime or freelance. If you are considering working as a freelance translator, you need to be realistic in the possible outcome. Since you are new in the field, you can’t expect that you will have a sizeable list of clients on a regular basis.

2. Make sure that you continue building yourself up. If you are already in the industry, never stop marketing. Having a regular list of clients doesn’t guarantee that you can keep all of them for a long time. Make sure that you continue contacting prospective clients in order to keep the works flowing.

3. Pay attention to the local market especially if you are able to present yourself better in person than on paper. In order to build reputation, you need to show a portfolio of your work personally. By doing this, you can ensure that you will have an idea what your potential clients want.

4. Look for good associations and join them. By doing this, you can add credential to your portfolio. Freelance translators can join associations such as the American Translators Association or its local chapters to help you establish professionalism as a translator. This can also open up a new door to meet other translators and learn from them.

5. Get certification and update your resume. If you are planning to get an online job as a freelance translator, make sure that you get certification so it can back up your credentials. Also, make sure that adjust your resume toward translation. The key in order to get clients is by marketing yourself as “bilingual” if you are. If you also have specialized professional skills, you can also include this in your resume or portfolio.

Until Next Time,

Joshua Shoemaker

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