Additional/part-time work possibilities for freelance translators

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Freelance translators may often find themselves in a position where they would like to take on additional or part-time work, either to fill in the days when there are no translation assignments or to earn some additional income. You might also just need a change from translation work at times or, in the case of experienced translators, you might feel the need to share your knowledge or pass it on to less experienced colleagues.

Some possibilities for additional/part-time work are listed below:

Teaching languages

This may be a very obvious one to people with language skills and knowledge of two or more languages, and it is probably the most common additional/part-time work translators engage in, so does not require much explanation.

Working as an editor/proofreader'

Again, this is work many translators offer in addition to translation and you will be aware of what it involves.

Virtual assistant

Translators may also like to offer their services as a virtual assistant. This would involve secretarial and administrative work that is outsourced by companies to virtual assistants and can be done from a home office. Translators have the advantage that they can offer bi-lingual and tri-lingual virtual assistant services, just as companies previously used to have bi-lingual secretaries.

Virtual assistants carry out a variety of tasks from writing reports to preparing power point presentations and web writing. Translation could also be offered as part of a virtual assistant’s services.

For more information on this type of work see:

Web writing and design

This may also be an attractive avenue for freelance translators looking for work in addition to translating, and could also be offered in two or more languages.

Training other translators

Many experienced translators offer further training courses, both in-person and online to share their knowledge with both other experienced translators and less experienced colleagues. offers this opportunity on its training platform.

Project manager at a translation agency

Working part-time as a project manager at a translation agency is also a good way of earning additional income, keeping in touch with the profession and making new contacts.

Tourist guide

Working as a tourist guide for visitors from your source language country/countries can also be an interesting way of using your languages skills and can usually be done on a part-time basis so that you still have time for your translation work. It can often be almost like interpreting, i.e. you act as a communicator between people speaking your source language(s) and those speaking your target language.

Language assistance at conferences and trade fairs

Providing language assistance to people from your source language country/countries who are participating in conferences and trade fairs in your country could be another possibility for additional work. This may involve some translating and interpreting, but also general help in communication with people in your country.

Part-time work at embassies, consulates and cultural centres

If you live in the capital city or one of the main cities of your country, you could consider working part-time at embassies, consulates and cultural centres of your source language country/countries. It would be a good way of using your language skills, may involve some translation and interpretation and will help you keep in touch with people from your source language country/countries.

Writing books and publications on translation and language related issues

Several translators have now brought out self-help books and guides for translators - a good way of sharing your knowledge and experience and earning some additional income.

Writing articles for journals, newspapers and magazines

Since translators have good writing skills, writing articles for journals, newspapers and magazines is another option. They could be related to translation and interpretation, language related or about your areas of expertise and/or interest.

Event and webinar organiser

Organising both online and in-person events is another option for translators that can easily be done part-time in addition to their translation work. Organising and conducting webinars for translators can also be a good form of additional work.

Work arising out of the emergence of new technologies including machine translation

In his article “The future for translators looks bright, but they will have to reinvent the profession first,” Jaap Van Der Meer suggests the following options for translators in the future:

“Today, you can choose to be a ‘boutique’ translator, specializing in a domain and providing hyper-localization or transcreation services. In this case, you will drift away from the original concept of a translator once you start specializing in your domain. You may be asked to create local content instead of translating text written for a different culture. You may be asked to do brand checking for new product names. Your job title may change to ‘language consultant’ or ‘communications adviser’. If what you like is linguistics and computers, you may choose to become a specialist in training domain- and customer-specific MT engines, or in translation optimization, or in new functions such as language data cleaning, data selection on the basis of semantic search, search engine optimization, or sentiment and cultural analysis using customer feedback data.”


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