6 tips on how to become a successful freelance translator


Translation, in my words can be termed as an art of being able to understand and write multiple languages. Languages are always not too easy to learn and most importantly, it takes time.


Especially when you are not a native of the place where the language is spoken, it is quite hard to learn it. Some people have a learning curve and anxiety to learn languages.

People who want to pursue a career in translation attend training programs and agencies from which they are certified and thus, dive into starting a career of their own.

Basically a job in translation includes converting of text from one language to another, the meaning in both the languages remaining same. I have come across many freelancers who fail to grab clients as a translator and are not able to earn enough.

Thus, I thought to pen down this post for their help. As I understand, the primary problem of most translators is being unable to engage them with any translation agency being new entrants.

The best solution to this is to provide the translation services at competitive rates to individual clients. Once you work with 2-3 individual clients and gain some experience, you can again switch to work with the agencies if you think its more profitable and safe.

To give you an additional tip, if you are trying to target business clients or companies which need translation services, they would not be convinced enough if you are new. They mostly prefer partners who could handle all their incoming needs without any disruption.

They do a background check and ensure that the agency has worked earlier on similar projects. Thus, as a person with experience in freelancing, I suggest you to target individual people and accomplish some short term projects.

Here are some of the tips for you which can come in aid to become a successful freelancer translator:


1. Plunging to handle clients on the first day:

There are many people who are very excited about working with clients as we all are. I would suggest to curb down this excitement at first. If you present yourself as a translator without experience to companies, they wont acknowledge you.

So, it is advisable to work for a translation firm, know the ins and outs of working as a translator and gain some experience.

Once you have gained some experience, you can go on looking for clients and show your successful conduct in work.


READ  Ten tips for your freelancing success

2. Unable to find individual clients:

It is quite difficult to get your first client having no prior experience to showcase.

You can refer these tutorials as an additional help:

How to get your first client as a freelancer

How to build an excellent portfolio


As a translator, you can showcase as a trainee or offer services at cheaper rates way below the market rates. Enrolling yourself as a trainee in some good organization would be highly helpful in this regard.

Sometimes, the organizations provide you a job if you are good enough and suiting their requirements.


3. Offer a free test translation piece:

You should know that clients who order for the first time are very skeptic about the performance. This is the most tedious job in getting a client but can be very fruitful. You can tag this “tried and tested” by me. 😀

I still have a habit of offering sample pieces of service whenever the clients approach me for some work. You can also request some payment for that and I am sure that the client would be willing to pay for a test sample.


4. Take decisions depending on your career:


Lot of the decisions which I helped you to take are in general terms. Everyone has their own set of issues, career perspectives and other attributes. The decisions regarding those should be taken accordingly.

If the decisions are taken right, there are fruitful results. My advice would be know what you are doing, have faith and you will succeed.


5. Improve your skills gradually:


Being a translator, improving the skills everyday would be highly beneficial to you. When you enroll as a trainee in some organization, there are senior translators for that particular language and they can point out your errors which can be minimized.

Its a process of learning and earning. 🙂


6. Charge what you are worth:


No matter if you are new born to the translation world or you are living since lot many years, you should charge what the translation service is really worth according to the efforts you put.

Quality of the translation is what matters in the long run and the client must get meaningful translated text to be happy with the service.


These are some things I thought which can help you. Share your thoughts and ask more questions if you have. 🙂


Amit Acharya

Amit Acharya

Hello, I am the author of Top Earning Strategies. I am an avid blogger and a digital marketer. I love to learn and write about making money online, SEO, Blogging and any new tips and tricks.
Amit Acharya

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