Remote Translator Jobs

Before seeking a job as a remote translator, you must explore the various employment opportunities that are available in this field. Moreover, you must learn the difference between a translator and an interpreter.

Generally, remote translators are contracted on a per-project basis, rather than fully employed by a business. Therefore, these professionals have a generally more flexible schedule, as they work for themselves. To learn more about remote translator jobs, their general requirements and the differences that exist among professionals in this field, review the sections below.

The Difference Between a Translator and an Interpreter

As a general rule, both translators and interpreters assist in communication exchanges by converting messages from one language to another. These services are necessary for a wide variety of professionals, companies and industries. Moreover, translators and interpreters are hired for various different reasons and perform services that range in degrees of importance. As a general rule, a translator is an individual who works with written words. Conversely, an interpreter works with spoken words or sign language.

What is a remote translator?

Translators convert written material from one language to another. Therefore, the goal of a translator is to allow people to read translations as if it were the original material. Not only must a translator be fluent in more than one language, they must also be able to duplicate the tone and the structure of the original text in a translation. This is important in order to ensure that the facts and styles presented in the original material remain intact. For that reason, a translator must be able to transmit cultural references, slangs and other expressions that do not translate in a literal sense.

Remote translators typically complete translations on a computer, making it imperative for them to obtain the proper equipment before seeking these employment opportunities. Besides a computer, a translator must have access to high-speed internet, as this is the method through which documents will be exchanged between clients and professionals. In some cases, remote translators will also need to acquire a printer and/or fax machine. Thus, in many cases, setting up a home office is beneficial to these professionals.

Contrary to popular belief, much of the work that is done by remote translators is completed with the aid of computer-assisted translation tools. These are invaluable tools that allow translators to work more consistently and efficiently. However, it is incumbent on these professionals to ensure that no terms and/or specific ideas have been lost in translation.

Overall, translation services are needed in a variety of industries. However, certain translators choose to specialize within one or two specific fields. These industries include the medical, literacy and legal sectors. Moreover, a translator’s general duties include:

  • Converting concepts from a source language to a target language.
  • Compiling information, as well as technical terms, that can be used for glossaries and terminology databases.
  • Relaying the tone and styles used in the original language.

As an example, medical translators typically translate informational brochures, signs and website content for patients to read. Additionally, patient records and forms may have to be translated from one language to another. Conversely, legal and judicial translators are generally tasked with translating legal and court documents. Furthermore, literacy translators convert books, poetry, short stories and journal articles from one language to another while keeping the tone, style and meaning of the original work.

Education Requirements for Remote Translators

Different companies have varying requirements for hiring remote translators. Therefore, these individuals may or may not have to obtain a college degree to work in the translating field, depending on each employer and the degree of importance of the documents that must be translated. In general, many translators only possess high school diplomas and certifications. On the other hand, certain college courses can help these professionals stand out against other job applicants. However, most employment opportunities will not require you to have bachelor’s degree to work as a translator.

As a remote translator, you may consider undergoing specialized training that pertains to the field you will work in. For instance, translators in the health care field may benefit from having a general understanding of medical terms. There are several translating courses available at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Moreover, the American Translators Association provides certifications in 27 languages. Furthermore, federal courts are able to provide certifications for certain languages.

Who makes a good translator?

Good translators are generally meticulous and ethical professionals that understand the degree of responsibility that their jobs require. Translations must carry the same tone, facts and meanings that were presented on the original written document. Therefore, when making this career choice, a professional must be incredibly attentive to details. In addition, translators must be able to perform research if they come across phrases or technical terms that they are unfamiliar with. As a whole, a translator’s job is to make sure that a translated document carries the exact same meaning as its original document. In addition, because remote translators are virtual workers, they must be able to consistently provide services without much supervision.

Your Work Is Not Your Own

Regardless of whether you are working in the medical, legal or literary field, you must be mindful that your translated work does not grant you the right to claim ownership of the thoughts and ideas that were given to you through an original document. In other words, your work is essentially not your own. For example, if you are translating a novel, that story still belongs to its original author. Therefore, as a translator, you must not alter an author’s original material in any way. Instead, you must focus on simply translating the style, words and meanings of the original text.

Skills to Help You Succeed as a Great Remote Translator

When working as a remote translator, it is important to develop and hone skills that can help you succeed in this competitive field. To succeed as a translator, it is important to:

  • Read regularly in both your native language and the language that you translate from.
  • Consider spending time in a country that speaks the languages you perform translations for.
  • Develop and hone your skills in writing, editing and research.
  • Become familiar with popular translating tools that can assist you.

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