Best Websites To Get a Translation Job
Are you interested in a translator job? If you’re fluent in at least two languages and enjoy working with words, a translation job is a good option to consider. There are opportunities available for both office and online translators, depending on whether you want to work remotely as a freelancer or onsite as an employee.
If you’re new to translating professionally, you may need to begin as a freelancer. Once you’ve got some experience as a translator, you can build a more lucrative freelance translating career or look for work as a payroll employee.
Review the different types of jobs working as a translator, what you need to get hired, the types of organizations that seek translators, and the best websites for lining up translation jobs or freelance gigs.
Types of Translation Jobs
Depending on your interests and qualifications, there are a variety of job options to consider.
- The translation work done from home as a freelancer is primarily written translation, such as transcripts or glossaries.
- Translation work done in an office or in person is most often verbal or conversational interpreting. Verbal translation is commonly referred to as interpreting.
- Legal and health materials frequently require translators. When an employer needs a full article or book translated (typically in the science and educational fields), it is referred to as “literary translation.”
- When an employer needs business or advertising translation for a product/service they are trying to sell, “localization” converts the text into the language of the target market. In localization, translators must make the text sound as though the entire idea and content was written in the original language. This also means that “localizers” must be fluent in the market language’s euphemisms and slang.
Skills You Need to Get Hired
To get hired for a translation job, you’ll need to be fluent in at least two languages. If you’re seeking an online position, you’ll need a home office space or co-working space, a primary computer (and having a backup is useful too), and good access to the Internet.
- A college degree (even if a minor) in a foreign language is usually preferred, but not required. If you don’t have a college degree in the language you wish to translate, you will need to demonstrate your linguistic skills in other ways (such as a previous job that required functional bilingualism). For example, the military trains personnel to be interpreters within the field of intelligence.
- You have to know two languages fluently. If you are also fluent in more than two languages, that’s a plus. Sign language counts as a second language.
- It is not enough to be able to perform word-for-word translations. Employers look for translators who can understand the concept and convert the ideas into the language naturally.
- You’ll need at least basic computer skills. If yours need brushing up, here are some quick and easy ways to improve your computer skills to help you get hired.
- Translators also need excellent communication skills in the languages in which they are fluent.
Best Sites for Translation Jobs
Here are some of the best websites you can use to line up a translation job or gig. Also see below for a list of companies that hire directly to fill translator positions.
Guru and UpWork are freelance websites for a wide variety of freelancers. Therefore, you need to focus your search on translation and the languages that you work with.
Setting up freelance accounts is free and simple. For the better-paying jobs, you will need a portfolio. The profile setup is remarkably similar on both sites, which is why I’ve grouped them together. You can literally build a portfolio on one site and copy/paste your profile content on the other to save time.
While Rev is a freelance site for video/audio transcription and captioning in general, pay is higher for those that know English and a foreign language. The Rev virtual workspace has all the excitement of a startup, and bends over backwards to enable increased remote work and flexible scheduling. Employers post new open positions daily.
Lionbridge is one of the more famous, established business process outsourcing (BPO) websites. BPOs exist to make businesses more lean and agile by helping them outsource “non-primary” tasks. For example, BPOs frequently help a company outsource billing, customer service, and other essential tasks, but not strictly the core competency of the business.
Many of these companies using BPOs are expanding globally, hence the growing demand for translators. The website allows you to browse by country and position. When you find a job you like, you apply for the job through the website for free.
Also known as Language Line Solutions, Pacific Interpreters is a leading employer of interpreters and translators. Open positions include office location jobs as well as remote, work-from-home opportunities. The firm supplies interpreting and translation for almost 250 languages.
World Lingo is primarily a freelance job board for translators. However, many of the open positions are hiring temporary or long-term payroll positions.
To succeed with World Lingo, you need a college degree and a few years’ experience in translation work. All the work is website-based, so having a basic understanding of website technology is also a good idea.
Translators for Gengo build their portfolio and increase their pay as they go. Signing up is free, but you will be tested before being approved to begin translating work for employers.
Before you feel intimidated by their testing process, Gengo is actually designed as a learning tool for aspiring translators. Their resources page includes tips for passing the exam as well as how to improve your translating skills to get the better-paying jobs.
ProZ and TM-Town are essentially the same company, though each has a separate job board for professional translators.
It is recommended that you register first with ProZ, and then take advantage of the opportunity to set up your TM-Town profile using your ProZ account. ProZ has both free and paid subscription options. Depending upon the seriousness of your earning potential in translating work, it might be worth the investment to upgrade your free account to one of the paid versions for greater exposure.
Verbalize It uses a cutting-edge, user-friendly site for fast delivery to businesses needing translation work. It looks and feels a lot like Uber for translating. Verbalize It hires you based on your performance in language skills testing and then connects you with translating work.
Just like driving for Uber or Lyft, you open your profile and make yourself available for work. Verbalize It offers you jobs in real time which you then accept, decline, or ignore. Before you can begin getting jobs, you must pass a language test and complete training.
Just as with Gengo and Verbalize It, signing up is free, but you will be tested for the languages you wish to translate. Tethras is unique in that it only translates for mobile apps.
It is not necessary for you to understand coding or app development in order to work on Tethras, but you should have a basic understanding between the user differences of iPhone and Android devices.
Text Master has a look and feel similar like UpWork and Guru, except that Text Master is strictly translation freelance work. Text Master is especially good for beginners. You can select whether you are a semi-professional or full professional translator. Even college students in the middle of their language studies can choose to make a little money on the side with the semi-professional track.
Companies That Hire Translators
FlexJobs has a list of the 100 best companies for remote, part-time, and flexible translation jobs. In addition to using the websites that focus on them, check the list for companies that hire directly.