Advertise on WAHM

Getting Started in Work-At-Home Translation


If you know another language, you may be able to work at home doing translation either outsourced by a company or freelancing in your own company. Whether it is written or oral translation, companies and clients alike are always looking for a way to reach out to people with a different dialect, opening doors to several different work-at-home jobs.

Translation Agencies

Many translation agencies receive a high volume of documents, emails and letters that need to be translated for the reader. These agencies will send the documents to an agent who is fluent in the particular language that needs to be translated with a deadline. The agent will translate the material into the language the client requested and send the material back to the client, where it is either delivered back to the client or sent to whichever destination the client wishes.

Many of these agencies also specialize in cultural consultation. If a company wants to reach a particular customer of another culture, they may consult the agency about the culture to learn what may be relevant to the potential customer. Through this process, the agencies provide a great service to the company, as the potential customer may be more inclined to do business when they feel comfortable with the soliciting business. 

Some agencies are specialized, only working for specific purposes and only in specific languages, but there are also several companies who complete projects in over 150 languages.

As several agencies operate online, it is likely that they will have telecommuting agents who work in their own homes as information is easily passed through the internet. Agents are sometimes even allowed to set their own schedules as long as translation deadlines are met.

Over-the-phone Translation

When a client needs to communicate over the phone with someone whom does not share a common language with a client, they may use over-the-phone translation. The two individuals will be able to speak to each other through a translator by speaking a few words at a time and waiting for the words to be translated before continuing the conversation. Several non-profit companies, for-profit companies and government agencies are built around this service, whereas some companies have separate branches for this service.

Over-the-phone translators must be orally fluent in both languages spoken and must possess good listening skills to be successful. Some companies provide additional language training to their agents to help assist them in translation, but the agent must already be strong listeners and speakers of the languages in use.

Freelance Translation Jobs

It is possible to start a freelanced company based around translation. There are many websites offing help and tips to people starting up a freelance business from anything to marketing to protecting yourself from legal liabilities. In this case you may work for several agencies or individual clients in any languages in which you are fluent.

Work From Home Jobs