Best Tips to Build Your Career as A Professional Freelance Translator

If you’re fluent in speaking more than one language, you can build a successful freelancing translator career. With the high demand for brand localization and translation in the market, the need for experienced and professional linguists is also increasing. However, becoming a professional translator won’t be that easy, and you have to do some work on it. You must have linguistic skills and good knowledge about the localization business to be a successful freelance translator.

The translation itself is not that different, thanks to the internet that gives us access to readily available knowledge about almost everything. You can easily find very helpful information online that you can use to improve your linguistic skill and acquire some knowledge about the translation business. In this post, we’ll share with you some tips that you can use to make a lucrative career as a freelance translator.

How to be a Successful Freelance Translator?

Acquire Right Skills 

Not just speaking two languages makes you a perfect candidate for doing the translation. Speaking the language is not enough, you must have good linguistic expertise to translate text from one language to another. First of all, speaking a language is very different from writing it down.

When it comes to translating content into a language, you should have good writing skills and must be familiar with all grammatical concepts of that language. For translating content for localization purposes, you should have a good understanding of the cultural nuances of the region for which you are localizing the content.

For instance, if you have to translate content to the English language, the way you write English in the USA is very different from how you write it in the UK. You might have noticed a difference in spellings for both US and UK English.  

You can pursue a degree in linguistics, or get a certification. It would not only improve your translation skills but also make you appear more professional.

Get some Experience 

Even if you want to grow as a freelancing professional in the translation industry, you should have some organizational experience. Before going solo, you better have some work experience with a translation agency. This will allow you to understand translation businesses and how things work.

The freelancers who have previously worked with an agency are more likely to handle multiple translation projects more efficiently.

No matter if you’re not offered good salary packaging, as long as you’re getting good experience, it’s worth your time. One thing you should keep in mind is, freelancing as a translator is not just about translating content from one language to another, you have to have a good understanding of project management, marketing, financing, and outsourcing.

Getting this experience would help you have a hassle-free freelancing experience. You don’t have to go through that trial-and-error phase. Moreover, working with a professional business would also allow you to build some connections with people who have been working in this industry. So, for you, a professional experience will help you get away with freelancing challenges.

Learn About Translation Tools

The time is gone when translators have to spend hours translating the content to another language. There are tools available that can make your translation tasks effortless and less time-consuming. Have you ever heard about machine translation? These are the tools that produce an automated translation, and help you manage the massive amount of content.

Well, it doesn’t mean you would completely rely on these systems. You can use these tools to generate initial transitions and spend time proofreading, reviewing, and editing the documents to assure the quality and context of translations.

You can easily find professional TMS tools used by professional linguists and LSPs to handle multiple translation projects simultaneously. These tools would automate your translation operations and optimize the workflow. So, over time, if you want to approach more clients, you can easily handle your diverse translation projects using CAT and TMS tools.

Build Your Network

Build your connection with the people who are into the industry and have already gained a good experience. For this, you can join freelance translator groups on social media. In these groups, you can share your freelancer experience, post queries, and get some firsthand knowledge about freelancing.

Moreover, you can also get freelancing projects through these groups because some clients prefer these groups, so they don’t have to share the project budget with third-party freelancing platforms. So, being active in these groups can also get you good clients.

If you want to grow as a freelance translator, you should participate in seminars and events. It will allow you to meet more people and learn new things.


Freelancing might look easy and fun, but it can be challenging. It does get you out of that 9 to 5 routine, but you have to treat it like a real business. You’re your own boss, that’s why you have to be more responsible now. It requires you to be more disciplined and proactive because you never know from where your next paycheck is coming.

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