Skip to main content

How To Make Money Translating Online (4 Paying Companies)


No Degree & No Monthly Fee!

As a translatoion student, I always felt as altough I had not a degree, my knowledge and experience could already be useful in the market. Let us embrace the truth, we have been living on the era of communication for a few years now. We, the youth from before, have grown in constant contact with media and arts, thus developing our foreign language skills. English to Spanish, French to German, Portuguese to English. No matter the language, someone will be bilingual on them. Some learned from movies and books, some learned at school, perhaps both,

Our society requires those people, to translate, documents, e-mails, books, subtitles, websites, blogs, you name it. Where there is content, there is need to translate it. More and more companies and individuals have come to understand the importance of translating this content. Consequently other companies have emerged on the merket who offer to establish a connection between client and translator. Sign up and look for what tasks best suite your set of language skills.

What is so GOOD about these companies?

  1. All the 5 companies mentioned in this article accept translators from all around the world, there are no country restrictions.
  2. They provide a cheap translation for clients while giving a fair pay rate to its translators.
  3. Easy way for you to find some work and earn an extra income.
  4. You do not need to be a translater professional already. As long as you are good and you can pass their skills requirements you are ready to start earning.
  5. Be paid regularly, you do not need to wait until the end of the month to cash out.


Unbabel founders have come up with a new way to translate and monetize. Their inovation has brought the attention of many companies such as Google, whom became investors. Thus developing one of the best translation tools out there, and in my opinion the future of online translation.

A Machine + Crowd Translation- What is this? How can I monetize from it?

Unbabel has combined automated translation together with human translation. On the platform as a translator you must translate the so-called micro-tasks, around 20 to 50 words. This are machine translated words, their software automatically translates the task into what it thinks it might be the best translation output. It's your job to correct the mistakes and/or re-written parts of the task. After you compleate each micro-task the amount of time you took on it + the amound of words + your hourly pay = the amount you earn on each micro-task. And you earn the money instantly into your account.

What Unbabel does is they divide the content into micro-tasks, for example a 100 page document might be 10.000 tasks, and you as a translator must translate them together with other translators at the same time. Thus ending with a translation by 7 or more people.

The good thing is when you don't know how to translate one micro-task, you can just click "skip" and you will get a new one. The other one you were not able to translate will be given to other translator.


How much do I earn from each paid-task?

As I mentioned, the amount you are paid depends on the previsouly stated factors. As an Unbabel translator myself I can assure you an average of 0.05$ to 0.60$ per task. They do pay well, I have even been paid a 1$ for some micro-tasks that required me to re-written all the machine translation. As you get better and better, producing good quality translations, your hourly pay increases, consequently your earnings do to. The standard hourly pay is 8$, in my case as an example I'm already earning 12.77$ per hour, but if my rating drops (currently 4.7/5) my hourly rate will too.

How do we cash out the money? What is the minimum amount and do they pay?

After a minimum of 5$ is met you can cash out your earnings. Yes, Unbabel is not of those companies who require you to have a 100$ balance in order to chash out the money. The payment is done to your Paypal account in 4 days. They do not do monthly payments, we decide when to cash out and the payment is done as quickly as possible.

They pay. I have been a Unbabel Editor (Translator) for the last 3 months and I have earned 350$. It's a good extra income and it can become an extra salary at the end of the month if you have a wide set of languages and you are willing to put in some work.

Are there always mini-tasks (translations) to do?

No. But this depends on the languages you are able to translate. For example I know Portuguese (Native), English(First) and Spanish. And I can not translate from English to Spanish. So I can only do tasks when there is work fitted to my capabilities. Do not expect it to become your full-time job, more as a regular hobby which earns you a few good dollars.

Translate on your phone/tablet wherever you are.

Scroll to Continue

Perhaps this is one of the biggest winning factors for Unbabel, they have an app. And yes you can be doing your micro-tasks wherever you go. I used to be sitting on my translation classes learning and doing tasks on Unbabel. Is there something better than learning and earning at the same time?

How do I become a Unbabel Paid Editor?

Editors is what Unbabel names their translators. So you wanna join the company and put your skills to work, great! Sign up and complete the learnings tasks. It only takes about 5 to 10 micro-tasks on each language you want to translate in. After, other Paid Editors will review your learning tasks and give you a rating. If you are good, you become a Paid Editor. Don't worry. it will not take forever for you to be accepted, for me it only took 1 week until I was doing Paid Tasks and cashing in.



Following Unbabel sucess, changed its working method. A former front-end service of translations tools powered by Microsoft. Has recently launched its interprise platform. Like Unbabel, it is now a service combining both machine and human translations. The website as well as providing an automated translation much like Google Translator, it also unables businesses to have acess to Professional Human Translators.


How to be a Professional Translater for

Do not worry, what I mentioned in the beginning of this post is still valid. We need no degree or curriculum to be eligeble to have acess to paid translations. Apply to professinal translations by passing a fluency test given by the company itself. You pick your set of languages and you do a quick online test, proof of your capabilities. As long as you are good, it will be fine.

Are There Alot of Tasks?

The service is fairly new, do not expect as many tasks as Unbabel has, neither expect as many language options. In fact only has 4 set of languages available at the moment: English, Spanish, Chinese and German. You can only translate from English do the other 3 languages, you do not yet have tasks to translate from other native language to English. As I stated, the service is new, they are still improving it, gathering clients and "hiring" translaters. The good thing is, you can join already, earn a little bit of money, and grow as the company grows too. Who knows, maybe in a couple yars you will be a Translate old school professional translater, earning top money.

How is the Payment Done?

You require a minimum of 20$ on your balance in order to cash out to your Paypal account. You do not have any other payment options besides Paypal.



Proz is one of the most active translater community. Not only they provide all type of translation doubts and awnsers through their extensive network of experienced translators. They also have a job board where companies log on pitching the job they need done. If we meet the criteria we are abled to contact the company or individual and maybe get the job.

While Unbabel and work with crowded translations, Proz does not. We need to apply to the job and if the client agrees to our pay rate we get the job. There is no test or learning tasks, you sign up and you seek a job.


How much is the Pay Rate?

It depends on the type of document or set of documents. We are responsible for the full translation of it, unlike Unbabel and Translater micro-tasks. So be smart and only apply to those you know you have the expertise to complete. The payment will very according to the amount of words on the documents, the amount of time you take to translate it and of course your own personal hourly rate.

Is it Certain I Get the Job?

Write a good profile description, complete the fields of expertise and be sure to include your best qualities. Make use of your native language as many clients ask for native speakers. Contact the clients with a well-writen email, stand out from all others who are applying to the same job. If the client agrees, you get the job!

How to Withdraw Earnings?

The clients pay you directly to your Proz account. Then we can withdraw the money through Paypal, Moneybookers or a Check. The minimum amount to cash out through Paypal and Moneybookers is 1$ (you can basically check out as soon as you earn your first payment). Via check the amount is 25$ but it is available to US residents only.

Main Advantages of Proz

1- The supporting community, you will translate and learn at the same time.

2- You can keep contact with your client, so if you are good enough and the client is satisfied, he might come for you directly next time he needs a translator.



eLance is a freelancing website. Not 100% dedicated to translation jobs. When signing up do not expect a website only for translators. Which is a good opportunity if you have other skills besides translation. Perhaps, voice-over, creative-writing, blogging, eLance has a wide set of options. One of the company biggest advantagens besides the diversity is the constant jobs they have on their board. You will be sure to find some type of work on there.


How Does eLance Work?

Much like Proz, clients post the jobs alongside their requirements. We as a freelancer are only able to submit a proposal of work for those jobs we meet the requirements. While submitting a proposal we are asked to write about our relevant experience and qualification as well as our approach to the job.

How Much is the Pay Rate?

That is up to you and the client to the decide. While posting the job the client may already have given his budget or left it open to discussion. In latter case, you can suggest how much you charge. Bare in mind that on your profile you can set the usual amount you charge per hour.

What is the Best Thing About eLance?

Clients can find us easily. We are not the only ones browsing for work, clients are also browsing for the best qualified for the job. So if you meet the criteria and you already have a good history of happy costumers on eLance, you will be invited to submite a proposal for the job.

What Is The Future of Translation

Sure there are many more companies I did not mention. I have my reasons. Either they were not free, they were country restricted or they have their job boards empty.

The four I write about on this article are the ones prevailing in the market. They provide a nice extra income to any students or part-time job seekers while still being a great solution for clients looking for cheaper and quicker results.

A Machine + Crowd Translation is in my opinion the future of translation. It will end the need for job proposals and it will start the era where translators are all a big powerfull working tool for clients. Giving each one a bit to work and monetize on.

Embrace the future! Hope you enjoyed my article, share and leave a comment!


Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on April 10, 2018:

Thank you for your article. I am now going to try Unbabel. I tried Elance before but it seems difficult to find the language that I want to translate so I will give Unbabel a try and I will let you know how I get on.

Janisa from Earth on March 30, 2018:

I already gave up on 3 of these, going to give unbabbel a try. Another idea is to look for translation work on freelance sites; there isn't much but it's there. My current favourite is Workana. There isn't too much competition and native English speakers have an advantage since this is a latin american site.

Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on December 29, 2016:

Amazon Mturk has translation tasks you can take on as soon as you pass the tests different requestors set up. No degree required, just prove your proficiency.

bikash sah on November 02, 2016:

Hi, I am Bikash I can do translation job from English to Hindi and vice versa. I want some work.

StephanPoe (author) on July 28, 2016:

Thank you so much Paul. :)

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on July 28, 2016:

Hi Stephan, Thank you very much for the online sites which use translators. I have translated Chinese and Thai before, and will definitely check out your sites, especially Unbabel.

Michelle from Jamaica on September 15, 2015:

This was very informative. Great post!

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on September 08, 2015:

Hi Stephan, I have written a review of Unbabel on my profile, if you'd like to check it out. It seems there are very big differences in work availability depending on the languages you offer

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on August 27, 2015:

Hi Stephan, Unbabel approved my profile after 24 hours, that was quick! Thank you once again for the recommendation

StephanPoe (author) on August 25, 2015:

Sem problema Everton, tenho todo o prazer em ajudar. Desejo-lhe umas boas traduções e ganhos!

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on August 25, 2015:

Thanks! Fingers crossed.

StephanPoe (author) on August 25, 2015:

It will take between 1 to 2 weeks. Depends on how long other Translators take to review your work and give it feedback.

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on August 25, 2015:

Hi Stephan

Yes, always a good idea to run the spellchecker before submitting your hub! And thank you once again for the great information you shared, I'm waiting to hear back from Unbabel.

StephanPoe (author) on August 25, 2015:

Olá Everton, não conheço o Software Informar nunca ouvi falar vou ter de dar uma olhada e ver se é bom. Eu indicaria o Unbabel e o eLance sem dúvida, eu consigo fazer uma grana extra com eles sempre que há traduções. Se está no início deve inscrever-se também no Proz e juntar-se à comunidade para aprender umas coisas novas e fazer alguns contactos.

StephanPoe (author) on August 25, 2015:

Hello Paola, glad you found it useful.

Maybe I should run it through a spelling check, damn typos

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on August 25, 2015:

Hi Stephan

Great article indeed, I have just created a profile on Unbabel thanks to your recommendation and I'll see how it goes. If you don't mind me saying it, there are a few minor typos throughout your article so you may want to revise it. Other than that, the quality of the content is very good

StephanPoe (author) on August 18, 2015:

I just added the ones I work with, but I will definitely give Translators Cafe a try, if it's good I will add it. Thanks Emese.

Emese Fromm from The Desert on August 18, 2015:

I would add TranslatorsCafe to your list. It is very similar to ProZ and Elance. It connects translators to clients. You do have the option to put credentials, but you don't have to. Good article.

StephanPoe (author) on August 14, 2015:

Wow that is a diverse background. You will do well, you have a wide set of languages. Honestly, I envy you right now as a translator. I only have Portuguese as native, English and Spanish.

Definitely had German.

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia, southern Spain on August 14, 2015:

I put English as my native language even though it isn't, but it's my best language. I was born in Hungary, we moved to Paris when I was three. The nasty French kids hated foreigners so we quickly became French and I forgot my mother tongue. From age 11 I lived in Holland for 8 years, then worked in Berlin for 6 years, moved to London for 3 decades and I now live in Spain. My Spanish is not up to scratch.

So I offered to translate English, Dutch and French. If they don't reply soon I'll add German to my list as I believe there is more demand for German translators but I don't really like that language very much.

StephanPoe (author) on August 14, 2015:

Hello Sue, it depends for me it took 1 week, some people I know it took 2. Never more than that. May I ask which languages you applying to?

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia, southern Spain on August 14, 2015:

Well, I signed up, did the tests and have been accepted as an editor. I then went and did some "training" translations, got up to 695 points which exceed the 500 points required to start getting paid, but I am still waiting for the work to get reviewed. How long will it take?

StephanPoe (author) on August 14, 2015:

No problem, happy to be useful :)

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on August 14, 2015:

Thank you for sharing this information about translation websites. I must give them a try as I am also interested in translation works.

StephanPoe (author) on August 12, 2015:

You are going to love it Sue, it is where my biggest online income comes from :)

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia, southern Spain on August 12, 2015:

Thanks yo for this. I am going to try Unbabel and let you know how I get on.

Related Articles