Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Know what I’m sayin’? If so, then maybe translation is the perfect money-making opportunity for you!
If you know me at all, you know I’m a big language nerd! In 2007, I took two semesters off from my degree program to live abroad in Germany where I took German–English translation classes and traveled to thirteen different countries. This is where I started as a proofreader working remotely—proofreading college papers for German students and getting paid online.
This experience showed me that it’s possible to work remotely doing work you enjoy. And why stop at offering one service when you could offer two and earn more money!
On the blog today, Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes, an agency providing translation services for clients across the globe, is going to explain why translation is the perfect complementary service for multilingual proofreaders to offer.
Take it away, Ofer!
Proofreading and Translation — A Career Match Made in Heaven?
Want to boost your income? One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll find is to offer additional work or services to people. And if you know a second language, adding translation services into the mix, along with your proofreading abilities, could be key to boosting your workload and income.
It may sound daunting at first. After all, translating someone else’s work seems more intimidating than proofreading it in your native language. However, translators and proofreaders share many common skills and work styles, which can make translation and proofreading the perfect career match.
Read on to learn how translation could be the perfect additional source of income if you already have a proofreading career and speak a second language.
Proofreading and Translation — Shared Skills
Proofreaders and translators share many skills and traits. First among these is a love of language. If you already enjoy staring at words all day and working to craft them into something better, translation isn’t too far removed from what you already do. Both involve nurturing the very best of the language into the end product — one just happens to do it with a second language!
Beyond that, much of the attention to detail that proofreaders already possess is part of the inherent process of translation. Whether offering proofreading services or translation services, you’re looking at implementing correct punctuation and strong diction, while ensuring that the general feel of the piece works and that it evokes or explains precisely what it needs to.
Whether you’re adding a comma or inverted exclamation points in Spanish, it’s all part of the same language-loving family.
Translation Work: An Overview
Finding translation work need not be daunting. It’s actually very similar to finding proofreading work. You can find translation services gigs through bidder, profile and job sites. Some translators work directly through a translation company as well. You might also want to set up a website to advertise yourself as a translator (and proofreader).
You can also network with people you know to see if they might need a translator. This is often the easiest way to gain experience as a new translator. You could even volunteer to provide translation services for nonprofits or do unpaid self-directed projects to get started and build up your reputation (be sure to ask for a glowing testimonial for each voluntary job that you complete).
It’s common in the translation industry to maximize your profits by offering a specialism, such as legal or medical translation services. These are good options if you have work experience in a specific industry, as they pay higher rates than more general translation work.
Indeed.com estimates that average pay in the United States for a freelance translator comes out to about $3,577 per month. However, as with any profession, rates can vary for translators based on experience levels, the types of translations you provide, how fast you finish the work, and how much work you take on. Specialisms like legal and medical translation mean further earning potential.
The Translation Mindset
One thing that makes translation and proofreading work so well together is that those undertaking the work tend to work under very similar circumstances. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of editors were self-employed in 2016. Meanwhile, 22 percent of interpreters and translators were self-employed during the same year. This means that proofreading and translation can be very easy to combine as a self-directed freelance career since working freelance is quite common in both cases.
As such, both translation services and proofreading services combine essentially the same soft skills. Proofreaders and translators need to have the same levels of self-motivation to hit deadlines and make sure the quality of their work stays high. They both need the determination to market themselves to find the work and to maintain their client base by completing it on time and to high standards. An all-around good work ethic is also important, as freelance work requires long hours of keeping yourself motivated on your own.
If you feel you could use help with these soft skills, take a look here to find some motivational books. Whether you’re just starting out freelancing or have been at it for a while, we could all use some motivation and self-improvement tips now and again!
Time to Translate?
Curious yet? Feeling motivated to go out and get those extra clients?
The good news with proofreading and translation work is that they’re both project-based. So even if you’re just a little curious about how proofreading and translation could combine for you, maybe consider complementing your current proofreading services workload with a translation project or two initially.
By adding translation services work to your career, you essentially open yourself up to a whole new market and industry. With more work available to you, that could mean a more even stream of income, too.
Is it time to include professional translation in your career goals?
My mantra has always been mo’ skills = mo’ money, so I’m all about finding new ways to use your word nerd skills to help people. Translation is the perfect complement to proofreading for language lovers!
Ready to start making money from your love of words? Check out our free intro to proofreading workshop to learn how you can become a freelance proofreader!
Ofer Tirosh is CEO of Tomedes, an agency providing translation services for clients across the globe. Ofer has headed up Tomedes for over a decade, building up a network of translators, proofreaders and other linguists from every continent.