Learn how to earn money from the comfort of your own home by using your language skills. Translation jobs are a great way to make money while working remotely.
Discover how much you can make, what types of assignments are available, and how to find clients through platforms like Gengo and Upwork. Learn the secrets to making a successful career as an online translator in Nigeria in 2023.
Have you ever thought about using your talent for languages? Then you can start translating online and earn money from behind your laptop.
An ideal source of income if you like to travel the world or work from home. We have already experienced several times that there is money to be made with online translation. We don’t translate ourselves (still have to work on spelling sometimes…), but We have often approached translators for translating web texts of my clients.
Often this was for translating a website so that it also appeals to a different target group. Other texts for which a translator is hired include reports, contracts, travel guides, wills, books or social media posts .
What is certain is that you can make money with (online) translation in Nigeria. This is because for many translations a Google translate or OpenAI is not sufficient. We discuss in this article how you earn money with translation in Nigeria 2023.
How much money can you make with online translation?
make money translation
You can translate several things online. Think of translating a manuscript for a book, web texts, blogs, articles, e-mails or even a business plan.
To put a price tag on working as an online translator is not that difficult. Most online translators charge a rate per word plus the start-up costs.
Discounts are often given when it comes to recurring assignments such as articles on a website that are constantly updated (< correct spelling?). In any case, you will have to translate qualitatively, otherwise you will soon be out.
A translator earns between $0.08 and $0.12 cents per word (36 to 54 Naira). That may not seem like much, but that of course depends entirely on the assignment. With a blog it will be about 100 dollar (45,000 Nigerian Naira). But when you can translate an entire book, we are talking about several thousand dollars. After all, the average novel is 55,000 words, which is quite a job!
An online translator thus earns about 50 dollars (22,000 Naira) per hour. Although you can of course also ask for more based on your quality and experience. But before that, you will first have to find assignments and that is sometimes a ‘hell of a job’ in itself.
How do you get jobs as an online translator?
Earning money with online translation starts with finding clients. You will have to look for companies that want to have books, web texts and articles translated. Or you have to make sure those people find you . But the latter probably only happens when you’ve been around for a while and have some customers left and right spreading your name.
Before starting your career as an online translator, you will therefore have to focus in particular on actively recruiting customers or promoting yourself on a platform. Below I discuss some ways to do this.
1. Platform Gengo for online translation assignments
One of the platforms to find clients for online translation is Gengo. You will be paid per translation you make. You must first be approved. It is important to them that your translations are of high quality so that they know that they are of value to the company. Interestingly, certain languages on this platform are much more profitable than others. For example, Chinese, Japanese, English and French are the highest paid. Most assignments can also be found for those who master two of those languages.
2. Platform Upwork for online translation jobs
In principle, Upwork is a much broader platform for freelancers where you can find much more than just translation jobs. Many jobs are posted on the platform. So you will occasionally see a translation assignment that you can respond to. Keep in mind that a translation portfolio can help you a lot. Often several parties respond to an assignment and then you have to stand out a bit. The useful thing about Upwork is that you can see in advance what a translation job will yield for you.
3. Approach companies yourself for assignments in online translation
If you prefer to decide for yourself who you translate for and want to earn more money with online translation, it can be a good idea to approach companies yourself. That way you can calculate your own rates.
For example, think of a website that you came to but that was full of spelling errors or wrong translations. Then approach that company with an acquisition email and explain how you can help. You won’t be the first to get customers this way ;).
4. Be visible and approach your network
For almost all services that I offer myself, I always check my network first, and this also applies to online translation assignments.
So make sure it is visible that you translate online by creating a website with your portfolio on it. Think of it as your online profile. Tell it to people you meet and before you know it the ball will start rolling. The more people know, the more likely someone will think of you when they come across a translation job. Network = gold.
5. Teach online
Of course you don’t necessarily have to translate texts if you have a knack for languages. You could also choose to teach English to people who want to learn this language. There are many digital nomads who earn their money that way. They teach online to students in Nigeria and China.
6. Find translation jobs on one of the many websites
Actually, there are countless websites where you can find translation jobs. That’s why I thought, you might find it useful if I list them for you. Hereby ;). Translation jobs can be found here: Appen, Language Line, Verbalizelt, TextMaster, Cyracom, Language Service Associates, Lionbridge, Transparent Language, World Lingo, Pacific Interpreters, Verbal Ink, Rev and Pactera. Many of these websites offer more than just translation jobs. So sometimes it takes a while to find a suitable assignment.
The big disadvantage of translating via the internet
With the rise of artificial intelligence (Chat GPT etc.) and its development in 2023, the future of online translation is somewhat uncertain. The correct translation of texts is becoming increasingly possible for computers. This process is very fast, especially with the more widely spoken languages.
As an online translator you will therefore have to deliver quality work to make the difference with the translation from a computer and make that difference clear to your customers. For those who do their job well, it is one of the ways to earn money independently of location. But that is not for everyone.