Whether for additional income or simply to achieve a varied workload, many translators have one or more side jobs in addition to their translation work. In this guest article, Ofer of Tomedes provides a list of side jobs that are suited to translators’ skills, based on his experience.
Translators have a natural affinity for language, so writing is a skill which comes naturally to many. The web is packed with companies looking for high quality copy writers for everything from blog posts to press releases. This can be an excellent additional source of income for those who are prepared to put a little time into building up an online writing profile – particularly for those who are able to write in more than one language.
For those who want to write for themselves rather than others, creating an ebook and complementary blog is an excellent way to produce income. The work is front-loaded for little return at first, but once the ebook has been written the ongoing work is fairly minimal and the income can be for life.
Writing engaging marketing copy for brochures and websites is a specialist skill and one at which many translators excel thanks to their extensive grasp of language. Creating marketing copy is something which can easily be fitted into and around a translation work schedule, making this an ideal means of income for many freelancers.
Joining a colleague or a translation office and managing larger projects or clients is a logical extension of a translator's own project management skills. Overseeing the translation process and assisting with quality assurance can help get such projects executed more effectively and can build lasting business relationships - and possibly even open the door for future jobs.
Delivering language lessons can pay extremely well, and many translators offer this service either in their local area or via online classes or one-to-one tuition. Pupils tend to range from young people needing coaching to help them with their school work to older adults looking to learn a new skill and keep their minds active.
Editing and proofreading
Translators’ instinctive flair for linguistics makes editing and proofreading the perfect side job. The fact that this type of work can be undertaken in more than one language also means that the potential revenue from it is instantly doubled.
Typing and transcription
Many translators are fast computer users, meaning that typing and transcription work can be well suited to their skills. Job sizes for this kind of work can vary hugely, meaning it is a perfect side-line for scaling up or down in line with the individual’s translation work commitments.
Another computer-based skill that many translators have is desktop publishing. This can be combined with a number of the writing-based jobs mentioned above – such as marketing copywriting – in order to create a profitable and enjoyable venture that is the ideal complement to translation work.
A natural extension of desktop publishing skills, web design work can pay extremely well, particularly when combined with website copy writing. Some technical knowledge is required, but many translators find that this is well suited to the way their analytical minds work.