Can You Get A Job As A Translator/Interpreter?

translatorFor many of our students, once they master a new language to a professional level, they begin to think about using their skills in a productive and corporate setting.

That might mean working for a company based in a foreign country (or moving to that country yourself), and having day to day responsibilities and tasks assigned in that language.

For others, it might mean seeking a job as a foreign language interpreter or translator.

If that’s the route you want to take, there are a few things to consider before you start applying.

You Need Near-Native Fluency

We’re not going to mislead you: the competition for work as a translator in many languages is extremely high.

If you learned a language as a second language, chances are you will have a difficult time getting a high paying translator job right off the bat.

The reality is that you need not just a working professional grasp of the language (which is achievable for most people in 1-2 years of working on a language), but near native fluency.

You’ll need to be able to understand not just the words on the page, but the meaning and significance of those words, along with any unwritten implications they may carry.

Naive translators often think that they can simply translate documents word for word, but the reality is that you have to understand the culture as well as the language.

Even then, there is little to no room for error as a professional translator. Those little mistakes you make as a second language speaker, like using the wrong preposition, for example, that might easily slide by in an office, don’t go well when you work as a translator.

Since you’ll be competing against individuals who have native fluency and learned English as a second language while very young, it’s going to be tough.

Start Online

Tough doesn’t mean impossible.

To get your foot in the door, we recommend you start out with an online company, like, or another similar program.

These “on-demand” services don’t have the highest wages in the industry, but they are a great way to build experience and practice your technique to prepare for a more prestigous position with a professional firm.

It’s also a great way to work because you can often work as little or as much as you’d like, making it a good part time job while you’re still studying and getting ready to enter the professional world.If you go this route, find a single company to work for, rather than freelancing through sites like Those freelance marketplaces rarely pay well, and you’ll waste countless hours continuously applying for small jobs, rather than have a company take care of the administrative and job search side of things for you.

Making Money Online with Foreign Language Translation

translationDo you need a financial motivation to start learning a foreign language?

While it’s not usually a person’s primary factor when deciding whether or not they want to start speaking another language, there is actually a large and growing job market for individuals who can speak multiple languages well.

What are those jobs you might ask? Translation.

Benefits of Translation Jobs Online

There are, of course, many different types of translation jobs available, ranging from in-house government and business translators (think Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter) but my personal favorite is actually to get online translation gigs.

Online translation jobs are not only fairly well paid if you are truly fluent in both languages, but they’re also extremely flexible.

There aren’t many positions that allow you to set your own schedule and work from the comfort of your own home! In most industries, making money online is extremely difficult, but not so here!

For example, if you are fluent in Spanish, suggests that English-Spanish translations are one of the best ways to earn extra money from home

Read the article here:, or see their list of trabajos por internet for more information.

What To Know

Before you go off and decide to start your career change, you need to know a little bit more about what you’re getting into.

Perhaps the most important point to realize is that in order to be successful, you’re going to need to have absolute fluency in the language. That doesn’t mean simple conversational or business fluency, but near native, professional fluency.

You’ll be given a variety of tests before you’re awarded any job, and to pass them, you’re usually allowed only 1-2 mistakes, if any!

That means that getting into the business can have its challenges, but once you do and start to have a little bit of experience, then you’ll be well on your way to having an in demand job that you can take with you to any part of the world, for the rest of your life!

How’s that for motivation to invest in some language classes?