The global economy is changing rapidly all around us. So is the technological landscape. As a result, many freelancers are increasingly turning to what has traditionally been seen as business technology to help them make money. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to do this using your language skills and show that you don’t have to be a giant, global translation company to make money as a linguist.
From technology in business to technology in translation
In the not-too-far-distant past, VoIP services, Kanban boards, and video conferencing software were largely seen as corporate tools. However, the pandemic has accelerated the rise of remote working significantly, with everyone from home workers to freelancers jumping on the Zoom bandwagon. Ofer Tirosh, CEO of translation company Tomedes, which employs linguists around the globe, observes that this adoption of business technology in the home has had a number of benefits. He comments:
“We’ve all adapted to much more flexible working arrangements over the course of 2020, with technology in business morphing into technology in the home. One of the advantages of this is that it has equipped not just freelancers with the tools that they need to thrive when working from home but also their clients – so those making money by providing language services now have much easier and more consistent access to those who pay their bills.”
With the International Monetary Fund projecting global growth of -4.4% for 2020, using technology to build strong relationships with clients has rarely been so important. So, how do you go about doing so?
How to make money through language without starting your own translation company
You don’t need to set up a translation company with a global presence in order to make money from your language skills. If you can speak two languages fluently, have an eye for detail, and a superb grasp of grammar, all you need is to market your services to the right audience, and you can be well on your way to making money from home through your linguistic abilities.
This is where business technology and software come in. From email marketing software to desktop publishing apps, there’s a wealth of solutions out there to help freelancers create professional materials in very little time. Communication technology such as video conferencing platforms, meanwhile, means that freelancers can arrange meetings quickly and easily too. Productivity tools, meanwhile, can help with both efficiency and focus.
Then there is translation-specific technology. Business technology in this area spans a wide range of uses. For a translation company, the budget might not be an issue, but even for freelancers looking to make money without a major investment in their tech, there are still plenty of options.
A computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool that incorporates a translation memory is perhaps the most important piece of software that a translator can have. Used correctly, it can significantly enhance the efficiency of the translation process and thus reduce the time the work takes, without compromising accuracy in any way. This means that the translator can either earn more, by taking on additional work or simply enjoy more leisure time as a result of having completed their work faster.
As with any tech solution, there is no single way to implement business technology in order to make money with your language skills. Each individual will find their own balance – some will connect with clients over Slack, others over Skype, for example. It’s about what works best for each individual translator.
Technology is also enabling those with sufficiently advanced language skills to find new ways to make money online. Zoom, for example, offers live interpretation services for meetings and webinars on its paid plans. If your linguistic talents mean you can interpret as well as (or instead of) translate, then there are plenty of options for online interpretation work with communications technology platforms these days. Working for a translation company is far from a linguists’ only option.
It’s worth noting the potential to make even more money through your linguistic talents if you provide specialist services, as well as embracing business technology.
Let’s say you want to provide certified translation services. What is a certified translation? It’s a translation that comes with a signed confirmation of the accuracy of the document. The translator or translation company vouches for the content with a signed declaration. With a quick set up website, you can start delivering certified translation and charging clients accordingly. Use SEO to ensure that you pop up for local searches – translation company NYC, for example – as well as for language pairings such as English to Spanish translation, and your blend of language and tech skills should stand you in good stead.
When is the right time to use business technology to turn translation into a career?
There’s never been a better time than now. What is the role of technology in business? When it comes to communication tools, 90% of IT leaders will have stopped using on-premise solutions by 2021. Remote by default is no longer an unusual working arrangement. With the right business technology, you can make money with your language skills from anywhere, whether you’re providing certified translation or Zoom interpretation. And you can start doing so now.