How to Become a Translator

How to Become a Translator

Are you thinking of becoming a Freelance Translator? Read our Guide to Freelance Translation for information and tips to help you start and improve your freelance career.


Why Freelance Translation?

If you have a passion for languages and can speak at least two of them fluently (one of them being your native language), a career in translation might just be for you.

Freelancing is a great gig for people who know how to do it right: being your own boss, not having to go to the office every day, and deciding which jobs you take on are some of the perks of being a freelance translator.


 Living the dream: freelance translation can be one of the truly location-independent careers you could have


Financially, when approached as a business and done properly, it can be lucrative and requires little upfront investment.

Also, it gives you the chance to be somewhat creative – to what degree will be dictated by your specialisation, field and industry.

Uncertain paycheques, fierce competition, difficult clients and crazy deadlines are some disadvantages, but for many people it’s a worthy trade-off.

Still want to be a translator? Read on!

Why this guide?

Although there are a lot of articles online about translation, we wanted to combine a great deal of information into one easy-to-follow guide with practical tips on how to become a freelance translator.


The guide is divided in three parts:

In the Beginner section you will find information about the translation industry, the answer to commonly asked questions, and information about educational requirements and credentials – including answering questions like: where do I start, which language should I learn, what’s the career path?


The Intermediate section is where we show you how to go freelance, including tips on how to set up your business, acquire clients, set your rates and stand out from the crowd.


The Advanced section is for translators who are already freelancing and would like to earn more, be more organised, “hack the system” as cool kids nowadays say, and basically take their career to the next level.


This guide has been ambitiously called “the definitive guide to freelance translation” because that’s what it aims to be. We will be adding new information, resources and tips as and when we come across them.

If you would like us to cover anything else, let us know at .


Ready to go?

Note: this is a comprehensive guide, with 9 chapters and over 11000 words! If you would like to download it as a free ebook, just Tweet it to download a PDF version