Language Translator Guide: How to Become a Pro in 2023
There are plenty of average language translators offering their services on the internet. However, highly qualified, experienced and reliable translators are much more difficult to come by.
To become a language translator, you will need a wide range of skills and qualities. From top education and quality training to best translation tools, good accounting software and a decent website.
If your goal is to become sought after and well paid as a language translator (that’s why you’re here, right?), then carry on reading.
Finding Work as a Language Translator:
What has Changed?
There was a time when translators were a truly rare species and finding one verged on the miraculous. Today most translation agencies receive dozens if not hundreds of applications from translators like you every day.
So how can you make sure that you stand out from the vast crowd of equally eager translators?
Definitely not by spamming agencies with emails claiming to be the best English to French language translator there is out there.
Because they hear it all the time from other applicants.
In fact, they have probably already heard it a couple of times today as you read this guide.
So what do you do?
Make sure your message and your offer stand out.
And that’s exactly what this guide will prepare you for. It will get you ready for this important battle with thousands of other competitors in your niche and language pair. This guide is a collection of best online resources on how to become a professional language translator.
The Ultimate Guide to
the Best Resources
for Language Translators
FROM WORLD’S TOP TRANSLATION SCHOOLS
TO BEST TRANSLATION SOFTWARE
Top Translation Schools:
Start your journey by gaining top-notch expertise
Ever wondered what makes a brilliant language translator? Unfortunately, not everyone has a natural talent for becoming one. Not to worry, you can learn to be a brilliant language translator. But you need to start somewhere, right? Well, start with a solid foundation and get qualified as a translator. Below is a list of top translation schools around the world. No matter where you live, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, you’ll find a great translation course for yourself.
Short Courses & Training:
Stand out from the Crowd with Courses & Training
So now you’ve got your degree and that’s a great start. But to make a brilliant language translator, you need to constantly update your knowledge and skills. Say you want to be an English to Polish or English to German translator. Below you will find all sorts of training courses for any language pair. So go ahead and make that CV of yours stand out even more.
- Learning the Translation Craft
- ProZ.com Training for Professional Translators and Interpreters
- Professional Organisations Offering Training
- Online Courses for Translators
- SDL Training Services
- Short Courses in Translation & Interpreting
- SDL Trados Training and Certification
- Learn All About Creating Subtitles and Closed-Captions
- Online Subtitling Course
- Fundamentals of Subtitling
- Masterclass Subtitling Courses
- An Introduction to Subtitling
- Free Subtitling Webinars
Best Translation Tools:
Earn More Money More Quickly
with Translation Software
Everyone knows what a huge difference computers and technology in general can make to work efficiency. Now, imagine you also have a piece of software that boosts your work performance by additional 50%, 80% or even 100%. Explore the best software for language translators out there so you can start making more money more quickly, too.
- 25 Top Translation Software in 2022
- Reviews of Top Translation Software of 2022
- Translation Software Comparison Tool
- Comparison of machine translation applications
- ProZ.com: Translation Software & Tools
- SDL Translation and Terminology Software
- memoQ Translation Software
- WordFast Translation Software
- Subtitling Tool Comparison
Choose 5-10 Specialisations
to Land More Jobs and Generate More Income
How come? It’s very simple. Focusing on a maximum of 5 to 10 specialisations will allow you to be really good at what you’re doing. Your clients will surely appreciate your level of expertise. And since you’re an expert in your field, it will let you work faster and increase your revenue as a result. Why? Because you won’t be spending hours researching from scratch every new topic you touch.
Applying to Translation Agencies:
Get More Work from Translation Agencies
From making sure your CV stands out through dos and don’ts of applying for work to finding your first direct clients – this list has you covered. You will also learn about the language translation process and quality assurance. Plus you will find out how to make sure you get paid after you’ve finished the job. So why wait? Dive straight in and you’ll be translating in no time at all!
- How to Find Work as a Freelance Translator
- How to Find Work in Audiovisual Translation
- How to Apply to Agencies and Outsourcers
- 15 Tips to Get a Translation Job
- How to Get More Work from Translation Agencies
- Finding your first translation clients
- Working for Translation Agencies as a Freelancer
- Receive Translation Jobs from Translation Agencies
Best Translator Portals:
Find Even More Work on Major Translator Portals
The opportunities for translators to find work are many. There are numerous translation portals and associations you can try. You may also want to visit international institutions such as UNESCO or the European Commission. The list also includes this very interesting article with Top 10 tips on becoming a European Commission translator. Happy browsing!
- Translator Associations Around the World: from Albania to Vietnam
- ProZ.com: The translation workplace for Freelance Translators & Translation Companies
- Translators Café — Directory of Translators, Interpreters and Translation Agencies
- Translation Directory: A Portal for Language Professionals and their Clients
- Become a UN Translator
- Become a Translator for UNESCO
- EU Careers in Languages
- Top 10 Tips for Becoming an EU Translator
Building & Promoting your Website:
Building, Optimising and Promoting your Website
will Get you More Translation Work
You may be thinking: “What’s a chapter on building a website doing here? What’s it got to do with language translation?” Think again. Where do you think your clients are going to look for a translator? On the internet, of course. How? On your website. And what will they do if your website is not on the first (maybe second) page of Google Search Results? They’ll go somewhere else. Simple, right?
- 10 Effective Ways to Promote Your Website for Free
- The Best Web Hosting Services for 2022
- Top 10 Best Website Hosting Sites
- Compare the Best 10 Website Builders 2022
- On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page
- SEO Tools: The Complete List (153 Tools Reviewed and Rated)
- Social Media Examiner: Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Translator’s Best Reads:
Reading Can Turn you into a Pro
Everyone knows how important reading is. Not just for learning and acquiring new skills but also for the sheer pleasure of it. For you as a linguist, reading is also essential for keeping both your source and target languages in top shape.
Below is a list of suggested reads in English. It includes some of the best translation books and journals as well as a collection of best novels published in English in the last few years. And don’t forget to read regularly in your first language, too, if you want to translate like a Pro.
- How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator
- Popular Translation Studies Books
- The 20 Best Books in Translation You’ve Never Read
- Lost in Translation? Here’s My List of Top 10 Foreign Novels
- A List of Online Translation Studies Journals
- The Best Books of 2022
- The 21st Century’s 12 Greatest Novels
- 100 Best Books of the 21st Century
Useful Translation Resources:
Get More Work Done Faster & Better
From best online English-to-English dictionaries to glossaries and specialist dictionaries. From useful websites and resources for translators to the best free online one-stop source of information. It’s also one of the best translation tools that’s out there – Wikipedia. “What? You must be kidding me.”
Then try translating a product description for an item that no one has ever seen or even heard of yet. To make matters worse, maybe the company operates in an obscure or very high tech niche. So what do you do? Head over to our beloved Wiki and learn about the new subject before you even start working on the translation. You will have already saved hours of internet browsing in search of an explanation that you’ll be able to digest. And if you’re lucky, you may just as well find the very term you’re looking for among the languages on the left. Wikipedia is a life-saving resource for every language translator!
- How to Become a Pro Translator
- How to Work Fewer Hours & Make More Money
- Amazing Lessons for Beginner Translators
- Wikipedia – Every Translator’s Best Friend
- ProZ.com Wiki
- Cambridge Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus
- Oxford Dictionaries
- The Free Dictionary
- Longman English Dictionary Online
- The English Collocations Dictionary Online
Invoicing & Accounting:
Get Paid on Time
Now that you have become a translator and completed your first few projects, it’s time to think about recording your work, invoicing your clients and getting paid for your time and effort. There are plenty of different accounting programs out there ranging from several dollars a month to several thousand dollars a year. Below you will find paid as well as some free options. Feel free to choose yours.