Do you know a few different languages? Then you can travel and work anywhere.
You want to travel the world but don’t know which career to choose? You want to have the digital nomad lifestyle but don’t know how to sustain yourself? What’s a better way to have the digital nomad lifestyle than to work with languages?
An estimated 70% of companies were planning to adopt the hybrid model, while 97% of workers want some form of remote work, according to FlexJobs, a remote work staffing platform. 97% is a huge number, and you reading this are probably desiring the same–well you’re in luck. We’ll focus on one career that is often remote and for which you may be a good fit. The one criteria is knowing a language. This is the career of a translator.
Today, we’ll break down what is a translator, what a translator does, and then three remote translation companies you should be looking at for your freelance translation opportunities: Tomedes, Lionbridge, and RWS–with a low-down of exactly what each company represents and is looking for in their translators.
What is a translator and what does a translator do?
A translator is someone who converts the written word from one language to another. A translator makes sure that a certain document is understandable from the source language to the target language. A translator mostly deals with the written word, but can also translate strings, code, laws, songs, and other different types of texts.
A translator mostly converts due to their specialized skill in translating. A translator must possess a certain level of education, skill training, or qualification for them to be able to work as a translator. These include ATA-certification, NAATI-certification, qualifying tests, and more.
Traveling, especially during the pandemic, requires a lot of adherence to strict rules but it can also be fun. Translation can be done remotely, in the comfort of a cabana in Cuba or a hammock in the Caribbean. As long as there is an internet connection, you can work while immersing yourself in the environment of your travels. And, immersion in the language may be a plus factor in the translation industry–so sharpen your language toolkit and here we go.
Three Remote Translation Companies To Look Out For
So, for the purposes of this article, I’ve looked over the three remote translation companies to look out for. These companies are ideal for remote work.
Tomedes is not a stranger to remote work, as a leading translation company that has gone remote-first in 2012 when they expanded from the Middle East to four other countries. As one of the quality companies out there, they hire primarily remote translators, with options for freelance or in-house.
Ofer Tirosh, the CEO of Tomedes, a translation company that has a global pool of talented translators, says that they follow a follow-the-sun approach to hiring, so that they’re hiring accommodates 24/7 customer service for global clientele.
They’re number one on our list because they exhibit the growth that only occurs from exceptional talent–having had one office in 2007, they’ve since grown to four offices around the globe, with thousands of translators working for them globally.
They’re looking for freelance translators that fulfills the following requirements:
- Fluency in two or more languages
- At least three years of translation experience
- Excellent writing skills and command of grammar
- Passion for writing
- At least three years of translation experience
- Academic degree (an advantage)
- Professional expertise in one of the following fields: legal, technical, IT, medical, financial or marketing
- Attention to detail combined with the ability and availability to meet tight deadlines
Ofer Tirosh of Tomedes is one of the 10 remote work influencers and thought leaders to follow in 2021 by TimeDoctor.
Lionbridge is a dedicated employer. As one of the more popular language services out there, Lionbridge also offers work-from-home services, and hires remote global talent. Along with their mascot of a lion, they also take pride in their clients.
They’re high up on our list because they’re a company not to miss, and they’re one of the oldest in the translation industry. They have diverse talents, and as one of the leaders of the translation companies, they have 25 years of experience and 6000 employees.
They’re looking for translators from all over the world, and have different job posts dedicated to each country and/or each language pair. This one, for example, is a call for a translator in China. The requirements are:
- Responsible for the translation/edit/proof/verification of text to project specifications.
- Provides assistance to vendors as language or translation lead on projects, and quality assurance of software/documentation/help components.
- Creates, maintains, updates and reviews linguistic software databases and algorithms of moderate/high complexity.
- Develops quality linguistic software components that are reliable, efficient and thoroughly documented according to current specification templates.
- Analyzes and reviews linguistic and lexicographic content and design of competitive products.
- Develops system level test cases according to a test plan.
- Enhances existing linguistic modules to agreed-upon specifications.
Lionbridge is voted number one of the 100 top companies with remote jobs in 2021, by FlexJobs.
RWS brings meaningful change to the world. As one of the largest global language service providers out there, RWS engages throughout the world through partnerships with clients and of course, freelance translators. They pride themselves on high quality services.
They’re here on our list because they’re one of the prime providers of these kinds of services, and a large part of the translation industry–they recently acquired SDL in November 2020, making their empire larger than ever.
They primarily hire freelance translators–for one of their calls, they are looking for a US Language Lead:
Under the general supervision of the Senior Project Manager, the Lead Linguist is a key member of a project team serving as the subject matter expert for their language combination working proactively with the Project Management team to address linguistic quality processes. The position evaluates client feedback to support investigations and responses as well as makes recommendations to improve processes. The Lead Linguist will have direct communication with clients and other linguists, and updates and maintains key client reference materials including glossaries, terminology and style guides. The role will provide feedback related to linguistic performance and participate in client meetings as needed.
- Act as the subject matter expert for his/her language combination. All linguistic queries will be sent to the Lead Linguist for review and recommendation during the translation phases. The Lead Linguist will be responsible for either making terminology recommendations, or approving linguistic queries to be sent to the client for approval.
- Work proactively with the Project Management team to address inherent issues with linguistic quality processes, to define better task instructions and to improve resource selection on various subject matter requests. The Lead Linguist will provide feedback and recommendations to the Project Management team based on quality evaluations and feedback on projects.
- Evaluate all client feedback to support investigations and responses. This will involve reviewing client updates and assessing the issues, their severity and importance in order to provide feedback to the client. The Lead Linguist will also make recommendations on how to improve for the future and suggest actions that can be taken. The results of the investigation of the client feedback will result in the next required task.
- As requested, the Lead Linguist will be asked to perform evaluations of vendors working on our projects to evaluate their suitability for account work.
- As needed or request, the Lead Linguist will be tasked to provide training and support to linguistic teams working on the account, as required by the client and/or Project Management team
- As needed, the Lead Linguist will be asked to participate on conference calls with Project Managers to ensure gains better insight on client requirements and can properly provide the instructions to other members of our Preferred Vendors list.
- The Lead Linguist will also have direct communication with clients, to help better understand their needs and requirements to ensure translations are aligning with expectations.
As the list comes to an end, we want to reiterate that being a translator is a rewarding task because it calls for language expertise–something we all have as we all speak a language. It’s not too difficult to learn a new language, but it is hard to truly master a culture. So if you’re thinking of becoming a translator, make sure you immerse yourself in the culture–like through traveling and working remotely!