Working from home seems to be the dream employment scenario of the 21st century, especially for moms. It feels like everyone is fantasizing about setting their own hours, working from the comfort of their own home and eliminating hassles like morning traffic.
In fact, according to FlexJobs, 42 per cent of people would leave a job for a flexible work environment. If you know a second language, you have the potential to start a lucrative career working from home as a translator.
Companies like Tomedes hire translators to work from home, translating documents for clients around the world. There’s also the option of finding your own translation clients. So let’s look at how to get started as a work-from-home translator.
Online Opportunities for Working in Translation
When most people think of translation, they picture someone toiling away, converting something the size of “War and Peace” into (or out of) an obscure language.
Of course, book translation is certainly an option, especially if you’re passionate about literature, but it’s far from the only type of translation out there. The internet has opened up a new array of freelance translation opportunities.
One translation need that has sprung up along with the internet is the need to translate different articles into multiple languages, from news stories and blog posts to more detailed, technical pieces.
New technologies have made it easier for people to reach specific audiences in their native tongue, so the internet is becoming more and more multilingual.
That means there’s a need for professional translation for those looking to share their digital articles across multiple languages. This has opened up a wealth of opportunities for people looking to work as a freelance translator.
And digital technology doesn’t just stop with articles. People need games, apps, videos, social media content and digital ads translated every single day.
It’s a wide world for anyone who wants to provide translation services, and because these messages are native to the internet, it’s easier than ever to do the work online from home.
Freelance Translator Job Description
What makes a great translator? You may well be wondering how to achieve such a flexible career in translation, in order to grasp this plethora of online opportunities.
Clearly, knowing a second language is a prerequisite, but it’s not the only ability you need. There are many different soft skills that go into being a great freelance translator:
- Strong listening, reading comprehension and writing skills:
In addition to simply knowing a second language, you have to be highly skilled in communicating in different styles in both the source language and the language you are translating into.
Your job is to make the translation as smooth as possible but to also keep it as true to the original style as possible. And you’ll need a strong command of the different stylistic choices in each language to make that happen.
Strong listening skills and reading comprehension can also help you translate audio and text files faster, increasing your earning potential as a freelance translator.
- Cultural knowledge:
You will also need to know the nuances of both cultures you are working with. A major part of delivering localization services, which include translation, is making sure the content makes sense within the culture.
Certain terms may mean different things across cultures and cultural references may need to be explained or edited.
- Organizational ability:
Freelancing from home takes a whole other level of organizational ability. Without a boss checking up on your progress, you become your sole taskmaster.
And translation work often comes as large projects, meaning you have to arrange your work so you’re handling it in manageable chunks, all to strict deadlines.
This is where calendar apps, project management tools or handwritten schedules will become a large part of your life.
- Computer skills:
You’ll also need some strong computer skills. Some clients may want you to work in Word, Excel or even a company portal. The translation industry may also require a freelance translator to work with software known as memories or glossaries.
As you can see, you need a range of skills to start taking on freelance translation work from home. But if you are up to the challenge, it can be a rewarding career that goes perfectly with parenthood.
Why Working Online as a Translator is Perfect for Moms
Finding a legit online working opportunity that can help you stay home with your kids can seem daunting. After all, the internet is full of scams. But by choosing to work in translation, you can find your own freelance clients and source many legit companies that are in dire need of translators.
As far as the salary for freelance translator jobs is concerned, you should know that on sites like GoTranscript, a transcriptionist’s average earnings are $150/month while top earners make around $1215/month.
Working as a translator from home has many perks for stay-at-home moms. You can set your own hours, meaning you can schedule work around play dates, picking kids up from school and other family schedule demands.
You also have a degree of control over how much you make in an hour, unlike many outside-the-home jobs. Certain professional translation services specialisms, like legal, medical, website, financial, or marketing translation, may pay more than general translation projects.
Working freelance also allows you to pick up as much or as little translation work as your schedule will allow. Working from home as a translator may just be the perfect option for you and your family.
Louise Taylor is head of content for Tomedes, a translation company that works with clients all over the world. She has been writing about translating for over five years.
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