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Get Paid To Translate Online

Arto Laakso is a well-known advertising agency entrepreneur, best known for his multi-channel marketing communications skills.

Freelance translating is a lucrative job, but it comes with its own perks. The biggest fear for many freelance translators who work online from home is losing money for translation jobs they have completed. In the world of freelancing, translating gigs and getting paid to translate are two different things. Many people have been duped after a hard day's job, and the client refused to respond to their payment queries. It's a dreaded experience for every translator out there. Good news is you can avoid it. So, how do you ensure that you get paid to translate?

How To Find Translation Work?

There are a few different ways you can find translation jobs online:

  • Through general freelancing job sites.
  • Through freelancing job sites specific to translation jobs.
  • Through translation agencies.
  • Through classified sites and online forums.
  • Through direct connection with clients needing translators.

How To Get Paid To Translate?

There are several ways to ensure it does not happen again if you have already lost money working as a translator online. It would help if you first recognized that these are some of the significant problems you will face in the course of your work.

However, you don't have to sit and let it happen! Although you cannot create a shield that is proof against such occurrences, these measures we have discussed will ensure that you are protected from such unexpected losses. Let's take a look!

1. Learn About The Client

The first step is to learn about the person you will be working for. Before you commit to any project, you should gather enough information. The name is not enough! You should know their company details, including address, website, email address, phone number, and even their home address, if possible. In case anything happens and they are not responding to payment queries, you should have other means of reaching them other than email only.

Learning about a client also includes finding out your client's reputation. Do they have a clean record of paying for projects? You can also search for reviews on what other writers have to say. Ensure that you are working for a client with an excellent reputation to avoid getting swindled. It does not matter what they are offering if they have a terrible reputation. You don't want to be on the list of those who did not receive payment for their hard work.

Gathering knowledge on the client also creates pressure on the client. They are less likely to refuse to pay up since they know that you have several avenues to follow up.

2. Use a Reliable Website

There are a bunch of websites that ensure you get paid to translate. These websites provide clients with information for free or for a small fee. Others also require that you have a membership with them to gain access to the client's information. Some websites, such as Gengo, provide this info for free.

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We also have websites that connect the clients and translators for translation services. These websites withhold the payment until after the project is completed and the client is satisfied with the job. Once it's all good to go, the payment will be released to you, and the client will have their job done. Win-win for everyone. Such platforms only require a certain percentage of your earnings, but they ensure that the client does not refuse to pay for your services. They also provide clients with information and their reputation.

Few examples of translation job sites
Open Worldwide
Open Worldwide
Open Worldwide

3. Sign a Contract

A contract is a binding agreement that ties you and the client together. You are bound to provide translation services according to what the client wants. The client, on the other hand, is bound by the contract to pay. If any of the parties (you or the client) fail to fulfill your parts, the contract is breached, and the afflicted party can sue. A contract can ensure that you get paid to translate since the client is bound to fulfill the agreement. The client knows that failing to do so can result in a lawsuit or complaint which can ruin their reputation. Any brilliant client will want to avoid that.

You should ensure that the contract can also work for a foreign client. Although suing may take a long time and lots of legal fees, signing a contract can still protect yours from being deceived. You should still ensure that you have enough knowledge of the client, even if you sign a contract. Ensure that you are well aware of what you agree to on your part for the contract to work. Do not consent to what you don't understand. Know whether you are supposed to get paid daily, weekly, or monthly to know when to claim your earnings.

4. Be Patient

If you don't get paid immediately after submitting your work, be patient. You can call the client and send a few polite emails without spamming. Let them know that you need the money urgently since you are just a freelancer. At times, they might not be refusing to pay. They might just be held up taking care of some things, or they have forgotten about it. A polite reminder will get them to pay.

If politeness does not get them to pay and you are sure that they are now reluctant to pay, you can report them. There are online forums that provide a platform for aggrieved writers and translators to air their problems. You might still not get paid for your work, but you will at least protect other freelancers from falling into a similar trap. You might as well get paid to translate after reporting them, and the client wants to redeem their reputation.

5. Have a Reliable Payment Means

Another barrier to getting paid to translate is a payment means. You should provide a reliable payment means that is convenient for both the client and yourself. We have several ways such as PayPal, Payoneer, and digital payment means such as Skrill that you can explore to find out what works best for you.


Freelance translating is a risky job, but keenly following the guidelines we have given will ensure you get paid to translate. Ensure that you are picky with who you offer your services. A contract can be a lifesaver. Finally, know when to be patient!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Arto Laakso


George Xu from Philippines on October 16, 2020:

In my opinion, this is a dying industry. Computers are smarter and there are choices to use programs like Google Translate and Pleco. I am speaking from experience. I offer translating service in Chinese and it's not profitable.

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