How To Become A Freelance Translator
A translator starts by translating for friends or family members. When you translate for free, you learn a lot about your culture, language, and others.
Translating is a great job for anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures and languages.
If you have the opportunity to translate, take it! You will gain valuable experience that can help you in your career as a translator.
1. Be Specialized
Next up is taking your niche specialization courses. These could be content writing or business writing courses depending on what type of industry or niche you want to specialize in.
It’s best to pick something that interests you because this is what will make translation fun for you instead of monotonous work.
Take more topic-specific courses such as finance translation if money matters are what drives your passion projects.
Then maybe go ahead and grab some courses on how people use languages differently when discussing banking vs stock markets while translating between two different cultures’ needs.
Sometimes, it may seem unnecessary, but these little details can do a lot, so ensure they’re covered.
2. GET CERTIFIED
There are a few ways on how to get certified.
You may want to consider getting a certificate from a translation institution.
You can also get a bachelor’s degree in translation.
If you are interested in working for a company, it may be necessary to pursue an internship.
3. BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO AND GET SOME CLIENTS
Of course, undergoing training and getting certified as a translator won’t get anywhere unless you apply.
So, you’ve already started building your portfolio, since you did some samples. Let’s now talk about getting you some clients! There are several ways to start finding some:
- Ask for referrals. If somehow you’ve managed to get clients with your samples before, you might want to consider asking them to connect you with others who need your services.
- Search job sites like Translators Cafe and ProZ. There are a lot of job opportunities here connected to translation, so they’re a great place to start.
- Advertise your service on social media or freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, or Toogit.
4. PROOFREAD YOUR TRANSLATION
Now that you probably have a client or are making samples for your portfolio, it’s best to check what you wrote.
Read your translation aloud. It’s amazing what you can catch this way that your eyes might have missed.
Use spellchecker. This is a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget when you’re finishing up the final pages of a long document.
Your computer probably comes out with a spelling and grammar checker, so take advantage of them — but don’t rely on them exclusively; they won’t be able to fix every error for you!
Ask a friend to read it. Even better if they know the source language too, but if not, just having someone tell you if something doesn’t make sense will help you catch mistakes in your work.
5. Pass a language course
You’ll need to take and pass a language course to get started. This will give you the basic skills of communicating in your target language.
Next, you’ll need to take and pass a translation course. This will teach you how to translate from your mother tongue into another language.
Perhaps you want to be a Philippine translator using Lexcode, or you can also go for other languages.
Then you’ll need to take and pass a writing course. This will ensure that you write well in both your mother tongue and foreign language(s) that you have mastered.