Freelance Translation Work
Becoming a Freelance Translator
It probably goes without saying that you do need to have
a good grounding in English and at least one other language
to become a translator. Unlike interpreter work, almost all
translation work can be done from home. In many cases
companies transmit the work electronically so the work can be carried out
anywhere in the world.
Although you do not need any specialist knowledge, you will
have a greater chance of obtaining translation work or getting a translator job,
and commanding a higher rate of pay, if you have expertise in a particular
field, say medical or legal training.
STARTING OUT AS A FREELANCE TRANSLATOR
There are hundreds of translation service
bureaux and agencies across the world, who will
gladly add an extra translator to their books.
Expect to be given a test piece of work to assess
your ability. Register with as many companies as
you can to increase your chances of being offered
In the UK, you can contact the Translators'
Association at 84 Drayton Gardens, London SW10 9SB.
Telephone 0171 373 6642
In the US, you can visit American Translators
In Australia try Australian Institute of Interpreters and
In Japan use Japanese Association of Translators
For more international organizations, visit http://www.literarytranslation.com/resources/organisations/
provider of translation services to companies of all sizes,
including Nokia, HP, Pfizer and Volvo have produced an
excellent guide designed to help you get started in a career in translation.
Nor only do you get the excellent guide, "Bilingual? Make Money!"
you also get a translator/interpreter starter pack which includes
contact information for the leading translation agencies across the world,
links to dozens of translation reference resources in over 20 languages, form templates
and entry into the weekly drawing for a one year free subscription to
If that's not enough, they even guarantee to provide you with
your first paying translation job.
And all of this is available for under $20! Full details available here
PROMOTING YOUR SERVICES
Unless you're fortunate enough to be signed up with an agency
that keeps you fully employed with work, it's highly likely you'll need to
find ways of building a client base yourself. As most translation work now
involves translating documents already in electronic format, geographical
location becomes less of a consideration and the Internet is an ideal place to
both find work and promote yourself. See
for a list of online freelance project databases where you can register
your services and bid on projects.
An increasing number of freelance translators are now finding that creating their
own website is bringing in business they would never have found otherwise.
An excellent free 10 part e-mail course, The Service Sellers Masters Course,
explains how to do this. Also available as an immediately downloadable free eBook.
See http://www.homeworking-directory.com/service.htm for information.
For a good example of translators who've done just this,
take a look at the following sites:
Written by an Irishman living in Berlin, it not only promotes his services but is also
an educational website for students, translators and people looking for translations.
Created by a very successful translator, this site provides
free reports (including a Free marketing ebooklet for Freelance
Translators), message board, and the chance to subscribe to a
free monthly newsletter of tips for translators.
You can also purchase a copy of Tranmail, a list of 1700+
translation agencies around the world, or the highly recommended eBook
"How to Earn $80,000/£50,000+ per year as a Freelance
Translator". (Chapter 1 can be downloaded free)
for a list of US companies believed to be looking
for translators worldwide
Or try the following websites (in no particular
Live Translation provides professional translation in minutes from only $1.99. If you are
a native speaker of the language you want to translate into, hold a degree or other
linguistic qualification and have at least one year's commercial experience then they
would like to hear from you to become a translator for their unique online
translation service. Live Translation pays it's translators a fixed price of $0.08 / £0.05 / Ä0.06 per word
depending on your location, and paid through Paypal. The agency does not accept projects over 300 words so
is ideally suited to fitting around existing work. Simply login when you have some spare time
and you'll be allocated the next available job. No software to download or
formatting required - just simple text. Full details available from LiveTranslation.com.
- subscribe to a free monthly newsletter of tips
for translators plus free reports, message
board, and more. Get your copy of Tranmail, a list
of 1000+ translation agencies around the world, or
" How to Earn $80,000/£50,000+ per year as a
Roevin Translation Services
- Roevin is a leading language translations and
interpreting company, providing a international translation services in over 60
languages including English to
Russian Translation in a range of technical fields, including manufacturing, pharmaceutical,
legal, financial and medical. They have exclusive access to a global network of
linguists with specialist qualifications and skills in their native language.
It is a Roevin requirement for all their translators to be educated
to degree level, holding a recognised post-graduate Translation
Qualification and / or membership of an official Translation Body
such as the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. A certain level
of experience in the field of translation is preferred. If you wish to be considered
email your CV to
LatPro.com connects job seekers with better
Spanish and Portuguese jobs, mainly within the US.
They provide access to the most progressive,
high-growth companies, using personalized tools to
make the process effective and convenient.
Candidates can post resumes anonymously free of
charge, receive emails instantly announcing new job
opportunities that match their profile, join their
'industry standard' discussion lists/forum, and
read expert advice on job-seeking. In some fields,
LatPro.comís free newsletters are the leading
online communication! LatPro.com offers employers
and recruiters free and effective recruiting
solutions, including free job postings and instant
resume searching for thousands of high-quality
Free directory and job posting service for
translators, translation users, and translation
agencies, free for both potential translation
buyers and translation providers.
a free list of translators, as well as resources
and products for people needing translations.
- Institute of Translation and Interpretation,
Searchable database of translators, based in the
Netherlands. Add your own details.
Lots of useful links, Database of NCTA translators
and translation companies, dictionary reviews,
Translatorsí On-Line Resources - dozens of links to
useful sites, including several mailing lists to
For the most comprehensive directory of
translators links, take a look at
Translation agency, Lingo24
provide articles on translation, including the language translation industry
from people in the know and a light-hearted look at
languages and the translation industry. You'll also find the latest news from the translation industry
and a career guide for linguists
interested in finding out more about the translation industry.
The following books are all suited to the
beginner. Click on the titles to go to
to order, or if you are in the UK, check out
for the UK selection, available through Amazon
Translator's Handbook, Sixth Edition
by Morry Sofer
The writing in this handbook for novice
technical (as opposed to literary)
translators may be workmanlike, but the
information is invaluable.
The author, Morry Sofer, has been
translating for 30 years and has run a
translation service contracting with
hundreds of translators for the last 15
years. Among the many fields requiring
technical translation are automotive,
computers, engineering, law, medicine, and
telecommunications. The Translator's
Handbook includes chapters on the history
of translation, sources of translation
work, and the quirks of translating in
various languages (for instance, in four
different U.S. Hispanic communities, there
are four different words for
More than half the book is composed of
appendices, one more useful than the next.
The first features 64 pages' worth of
dictionaries and reference volumes for a
whopping 64 languages. Others list
agencies, organizations, and companies
likely to require translation work;
information about translation courses and
accreditation; and periodicals for
Becoming a Translator: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation
by Douglas Robinson
Paperback - 320 pages. Routledge; 2nd edition (October 1, 2003)
Becoming a Translator has been specifically designed
for introductory undergraduate courses in the theory
and practice of translation. It will also be of interest
to professional translators and students of translation
and language. This innovative book integrates
translation theory and the practical skills required
by the working translator. Highly recommended by several translation agencies.
Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications by Jeremy Munday
Paperback - 224 pages. Routledge; (June, 2001)
Jeremy Munday is lecturer in Spanish Studies at the
University of Surrey and is a freelance translator,
lexicographer, and materials writer. His publications
include Spanish vocabulary books and translations
of Latin American fiction.
Introducing Translation Studies is an introductory textbook providing an accessible overview of the key contributions to translation theory. A very wide variety of text types is analyzed, including a tourist brochure, a children's cookery book, a Harry Potter novel,
the Bible, literary reviews, a technical text, and a football report.
and Translating : Theory and Practice (Applied
Linguistics and Language Study) by Roger T.
Paperback (October 1991) Addison-Wesley Pub Co;
to Spanish Translation by Jack Child
Paperback - 236 pages (April 1, 1992) University
Press of America; ISBN: 0819185892
Art of Translating Prose by Burton Raffel
Hardcover - 169 pages (May 1994) Pennsylvania
State Univ Pr (Txt); ISBN: 0271010800