When you set your mind to working from home, it’s time to get creative about how you earn your money. If you speak more than one language fluently, you have plenty of options available to you. Below, we’ve taken a look at how to deliver language translation services from home in order to boost your income.

Should you work freelance or for a translation agency?

We should make clear, first off, that you need to be fluent in your second language, not just speak it passably well. At least, you do if you want to make decent money. Whether you choose to work freelance or through a translation agency (we’ll look at the merits of each of these below), delivering online translation can be a great career choice. Ofer Tirosh, CEO of translation agency Tomedes, points out that doing so can provide you with flexible working hours, a rich variety of clients, and plenty of scopes to level up your income.

Let’s start with some basics. What is a language translator called? If the individual translates written copy, then they are classed as a translator. Someone who translates spoken language, meanwhile, is an interpreter.

So, if you want to provide English to Spanish translation services, for example, you need to decide whether you’re working with written or spoken language.

Qualifications are available for both translators and interpreters. While they aren’t necessary for you to start providing language translation services, they may certainly help to build your credibility and win work from new clients. 

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The pros and cons of working for a translation agency

Working for a translation agency has both pros and cons, as does provide language translation services as a freelancer. Both can facilitate long-term working from home, which more and more people are seeking to do these days.

Incidentally, while the COVID-19 pandemic gave working from home a boost like nothing before, it was not the start of this trend. Between 2005 and 2017, the number of people working from home in the US rose by 159%, meaning that they accounted for 3.4% of the population (4.7 million people).

If you’re one of those who has only just started out a home working career, you’ll no doubt have plenty to learn. As a translator, for example, should you work for a translation agency or go freelance?

Working for a translation agency can be an easy way to get used to working from home. You can apply to multiple agencies for full-time roles and enjoy job security while the translation agency does all the legwork in terms of finding clients, chasing payments, and so forth.

It’s also possible to pick up agency work in a freelance capacity, so it’s perfectly possible to take a more independent approach to providing language translation services. Doing so might not provide you with the same kind of regular paycheck that fulltime employment does, but it instead offers a huge amount of flexibility over the hours you work and the kind of work you undertake.

If you do choose the freelance path, then one of your first ports of call is likely to be freelancing sites such as Upwork. These have a vast range of jobs available and you can quickly build up long-term relationships with clients, once you’ve completed a few initial jobs to build up your credibility and feedback score.

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Having your own website, with a blog to show off your knowledge, can also be a useful marketing tool – but it’s definitely not a necessity. As such, you’ll need to make a judgement call on whether setting one up is worth the time and expense.

What can you charge for language translation while working from home?

One of the major benefits of working from home is that you can set your own rates. How much does it cost to translate 1,000 words? That’s up to you, but you will need to set your rates in line with the competition in order to win a decent amount of work.

In order to boost your income, it certainly pays to specialize. You could provide sector-specific language translation services (such as medical translation or legal translation) if you had the relevant knowledge and experience.

If your skills lie in design, on the other hand, perhaps transcreation is a service that you could offer, along with multilingual desktop publishing. And if you’re experience at providing transcript and subtitling, them offering specialist language translation services for video and audio files could be your best way to make money from home.

Research has revealed that skilled freelancers in the US earn more per hour than 70% of workers. By putting your language skills to good use and combining them with other specialist knowledge or expertise, you have the potential to quickly transform working from home from a nice idea into a profitable long-term career. Focus on providing accurate language translation services, along with memorable customer care, and you’re likely to go far.

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