Are you fluent in more than one language? You might be thinking of looking for work as a freelance translator rather than employment with an agency. You have come to the right place for advice. Just as with any other type of freelance work, you will need dedication and motivation to make it profitable for you. Here are a few tips and things to consider when going into the field of freelance translation.

Research the qualifications required to work for different translation agencies, and then look at your own qualifications. Would a translation agency hire you? If the answer is no, it is likely that you would have trouble finding work as a freelance translator, as well. One of the biggest things to work on is education. Having a college degree or a certification is a great asset. It can mean the difference between getting work and being unemployed. A degree or certification demonstrates that you have a high enough skill in your native language to be able to obtain an education, and a degree or certificate in your second language can be an even better boon.

Knowing a language on the level of a native speaker is necessary. It is simply not enough to be fluent in a language. Regional dialects, slang terms, the cultural references are often necessities, and if you are unfamiliar with these, your translations will be lacking. As well, having an understanding of a specific area or a set of products will help you when attempting to be hired by companies with a narrow field of operations (for instance, a hospital or a cosmetics business).

Since translation will involve a lot of typing and computer work, make sure your typing skills and computer knowledge are up to date. You might also have to purchase some specialized software, and an internet connection is necessary.


Making it as a Freelance Translator

It sounds cliché, but work-related experience is the best way to find work. We know you want to be independent, but it may be in your best interest to do some work for a translation agency to build the kind of experience that will make clients confident in your abilities. You will also gain valuable knowledge of the industry and training that will make your skills even better. Some translation agencies will allow you to work as a part-time contracted employee, especially if they do not receive regular requests for your line of language services. This is okay – this is one of the best ways to get started in freelance work after getting some experience.

When looking for an agency with which to gain experience, look for agencies such as International Live Translation Services with a reputation for honesty and treating employees fairly, which includes keeping to the terms of their employment contracts and providing regular and accurate compensation.

It is difficult to lay a foundation in any freelance line of work, but if you are persistent, you can eventually establish yourself in the field of freelance translation. Building your skill set and making sure you get plenty of experience will ensure that you will have success.

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