Many translators who want to quit their in-house positions and shift to freelance want to know how to find translation work online. There are more than enough places on the web where translators search for new projects. Some of them were established at the dawn of Internet development and did not change much since early 2000-s though still remain very popular both among clients and translators. Others were created not so long ago but are quite promising. However, due to the excessive amount of information and high level of competition, it is not always possible to find websites and resources that can serve as an additional source of projects for freelance translators. Therefore, in this blog post, I prepared the Ultimate List of Places to Find Translation Work Online.
In this blog post, I wanted to show that there are many opportunities on the web. The main idea here is to provide newbie translators with a hint where to search for the first jobs and how to start. Many translators are afraid of going to freelance because they think that it is hard to find the job. This blog post is one in a series about finding first translation jobs. However, established translators may also find some interesting places listed here.
Translation platforms and Job Boards
I already wrote about The Open Mic in my previous post, but it is worth mentioning it again. This platform offers not only modern design and totally awesome user profiles, but it already represents a certain value for outsourcers and clients, who can easily find professionals at The Open Mic using various search filters. Moreover, this platform is totally free and will be forever free for all translators.
I provided some information about Tm-Town in my blog post 26 Free Tools and Resources for Freelance Translators. This platform offers a number of useful features mainly for translation resource management. Here you can store and analyze your translation memories and glossaries, convert various project files, extract terms and much more.
In addition to all these reach functionalities, registering your account at the Tm-Town will give you a nice opportunity to represent yourself as a professional translator, while potential clients can use Tm-Town database to search for the right fit for their translation projects.
I wrote about SmartCAT in the list of free resources for translators. Being a CAT and TMS solution, it also allows freelancers to get jobs directly from clients around the world. To do that freelancer needs to create a profile, set up own rates in the profile and start getting new clients. Here is a video showing how it works. At the same time, SmartCAT is absolutely free cloud solution. A freelancer can streamline translation and editing productivity with free, unlimited access to the simplest translation interface. Here is the website section describing SmartCAT opportunities for freelancers.
Proz needs no advertising as almost every translator who ever thought about promoting his/her business on the web and searched “work for translators” on search engines already knows this platform and, for random reasons, still use it though it became less effective during the last several years.
Same as any online services, Proz has its pros and cons. Nevertheless, if you are just starting your freelance translation career, register at Proz to add some value to your online presence by posting your resume with links to your personal website.
Having a profile at Proz is free, but the platform will gently persuade you that without paying you will get nothing or almost nothing: you will have limited bidding opportunities and will be displayed first from the end in search results.
Proz sibling Translators Café represents the same job portal for translators with similar limitations in a free version, however, not so strict as at Proz. Worth registering to find random jobs and improve online visibility.
Another well-known platform for translators based on similarly old forum engine as Proz and Café. Here you can find some random translation works, however, you can bid for jobs only eight hours after paid members.
You may register on this website and fill in your profile. However, to bid for jobs you have to buy a membership plan.
Job board website with standard profile features, a list of agencies, forum, etc. Again you have to become a paid member to get some benefits, like bidding on jobs limited to members only, receiving updates on new job posts, and accessing job poster’s information, etc.
Relatively new bidding platform for translators, copywriters, guides, and tutors. Currently, you may use the beta version. The platform will keep being free of charge after the launch. Upon registration, you may choose between the roles as stated above, add your bio, portfolio, certificates and other information relevant to your professional profile.
So many platforms and so little difference. You may register on this website to have your profile listed in their database, but you have to buy a membership plan to bid on projects, i.e. no free bidding at all.
Gengo is a web-based human translation platform that currently includes approximately 10K pre-tested translators working across 34 languages. Translations can be ordered via direct order or API integration. API allows developers to integrate Gengo’s translation platform into third-party applications or websites and is aimed at the translation of dynamic content such as blog posts and product descriptions on e-commerce sites. At the time of writing this post, Gegno stopped testing translators in some language pair (for instance English-Russian) as they have enough translators to cope with the current workload. You may sing up and check it out. If they recruit translators in your language pair – you will have to pass a test to join the team.
My Translation is an online translation platform. To date, the company has an online community of over 2,000 freelance translators who work in over 45 different language combinations. To receive projects from clients, you have to pass a test checked by website staff. The website uses internal currency – credits which are converted into real money that you can withdraw. There are two types of job posts – Express Translation (you get fixed 0.05 credits = 0.05 Euro per word) and Auction Translation, where you are rewarded as per the rate negotiated with the client.
Translation jobs aggregator that evidently works like a parser collecting job postings information from multiple sites around the web and sending email updates with available translation job opportunities.
Freelance Platforms to Find Translation Work
The second place to search for the translation jobs after industry-specific platforms are freelance job portals offering multiple choices for remote workers of all possible areas of specialization. Translators are no exception.
FreeeUp is a rapidly growing freelance platform connecting top freelance talent and boutique agencies with digital businesses all over the world. They are unique in that they actually vet and interview all freelancers for skills, attitude, and communication (which is a rare case among similar platforms) then only allow the top 1% of applicants into the platform.
Businesses can sign up for free, post the work they’re looking to get completed, then get introduced to pre-qualified talent within 1 business day. On the backend, FreeeUp is big on customer service and making sure that all businesses and freelancers have a positive experience. There’s always someone to get in touch with and they’re quick to work with you to find a solution.
Hubstaff Talent is the latest freelance directory that sets itself apart from the rest by being 100% free – no fees, no markups.
Freelancing is quickly growing in popularity as people are recognizing its many benefits such as setting your own schedule, ability to work anywhere in the world and being able to decide your own income. The main challenge freelancers face as they begin their career is that of finding quality clients and work as most freelance marketplaces charge some kind of fee for service.
Hubstaff Talent wanted to change the way freelancers find work which is why they created a free directory that features the world’s top freelancers and is growing in popularity every day.
Hubstaff Talent’s main objectives are;
- To help freelancers find quality work. Meeting new agencies and businesses to work for is easy with Hubstaff Talent, simply create a profile and wait for businesses to start contacting you. Potential employers are able to reach out to freelancers directly – no middlemen involved. Hubstaff Talent also recently launched a “Jobs” section on the website where freelancers can search through hundreds of awesome remote jobs to find the right one for them.
- To help businesses discover top quality freelancers. Hubstaff Talent has hundreds of freelancers creating professional profiles every single day. They understand the importance of attracting and retaining talented creatives, which is one of the reasons why they keep their services free.
- To help remote agencies promote their services globally. Hubstaff has thousands of clients that use their time tracking software on a daily basis, many of these clients run service-based businesses and are exceptional at what they do. Hubstaff Talent was created as a free way to help them discover more clients.
Hubstaff Talent is easy to use and it’s clean, professional design makes it straightforward for businesses and agencies to search thousands of contractors based on skill, location or category.
Thousands of remote startups, agencies, software companies and ecommerce businesses have chosen to use Hubstaff Talent for their recruitment needs and they are looking for talent just like you. Sign up and begin your career in freelancing today.
Probably the largest freelance marketplace on the web. In 2015, oDesk and Elance, two big players on the international freelance arena announced the consolidation of companies forming a single platform named UpWork. UpWork offers wonderful opportunities for job seekers though competition is very tough here.
The platform has both free and paid plans. Paid subscription does not provide any benefits in terms of visibility in search results. Visibility depends on your success score. Work better, get more positive feedback and reach 100% success score to be found by clients. In addition, you may pass relevant tests to show potential clients what are your strong points. Tests are free to pass.
New translation projects appear almost every 30 minutes (at least in English-Russian language pair), though you have to carefully select projects and bid only on those that fit your experience and skills.
There are three levels of proficiency to choose between for your profile: beginner (basic knowledge, low prices), intermediate (combination of experience and value), and expert (top services for higher prices). I have to note that many clients prefer to mention “for beginners” in their job posts.
To bid for a job you have to spend local UpWork currency – “connects”. Free plan gives you 60 connects per months (2 connects per bid). Paid subscription will provide you with 70 connects that will be transferred to the next month if you don’t use them.
UpWork takes ~20% (to much, in my opinion) from your earnings and $1 per each withdrawal of funds.
Freelancer.com declares to be the largest website for freelancers and outsourcers by the number of projects and users. There are almost 18 mln users from 247 countries of the world. Paid subscription is only $10. There are ample monetization strategies applied on this website so be prepared to compete with freelancers who pay to place their bids on top of yours. You can select several areas of specialization, pass specialization tests (in contrast to UpWork, here you have to pay for each test). Gamification methods are used as an incentive for freelancers to develop their profiles: you can get achievements and badges for various types of activities and earn points to spend them for tests and other bonuses.
Guru is a noteworthy competitor of UpWork and Freelancer with over 1.5 million professionals working online. Create your profile and define your services. Employers will find you by these services when they search for freelancers to hire. Search and apply for jobs that interest you, in any category. Guru deducts 8.95% from total earnings you made per project.
Truelancer.com is an Online Platform for Freelancers and Employers to collaborate and work together. Truelancer strives to create a global Ecosystem of Trusted Freelancers and Employers across the world. Creating an account, finding work or posting a project is free.
Twago is the leading platform for online work in Europe. On Twago, individuals or companies of all sizes find the experts they need for projects, and freelancers and agencies find work and grow their businesses. I have to mention that I did not try this one, but you may take a look at it to decide if it meets your expectations.
UK-based online work platform opened in 2005, consists of about 250,000 active users, of whom 180,000 are freelancers and 70,000 are clients. Try it out but remember that this platform has rather complicated billing and fees system. All work billed through the site will incur a 3.5% Commission Fee, apart from the first £175 in the month (€210 and $280 equivalent), which will incur a 15% fee.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world. Millions of people use it every day to communicate with friends and relatives. However, it is also a great place to promote your freelance business and find translation work online. Dedicated Facebook groups serve to unite professional translators from around the world and help them to find new clients and projects. Carefully read group policy and rules to be admitted and not to be banned. Also, make your profile visible for non-friends and include information about your specialization as a translator, as many group admins admit new members only if they stated “translator” or “interpreter” in their account information.
The largest group about translation jobs I found on Facebook – over 20K members. This group is only for translators, specialized linguists or foreign language / translation students to find jobs and for members looking for colleagues to build up a network /create network opportunities or offering a job to translators/specialized linguists.
A large group with almost 9K members posting all kind of translation jobs from around the world. Exactly as written in a group title – nothing more, nothing less.
This is a fast growing group of translators/interpreters with 4k members as of the time of writing this blog post. If you are a translator/interpreter or you are looking for one, you are greatly welcomed to post your job or a piece of information about your language skills.
There is no group description though its name speaks for itself. Join the group to see how it goes. There are about 2.5K members now.
LinkedIn is known as the largest social network for professionals of all kind. There is nothing better that this network to promote your professional services and find translation work. LinkedIn dedicated groups will help you to accomplish your career goals.
This group is dedicated to all language experts, linguists, translators, interpreters, bilingual professionals, language job seekers, and recruiters providing services like translation, localization, language interpretation, voice-over, and to all language lovers.
The purpose of this group is to provide individuals and companies working in the fields of translation, localization, and related services to discuss best practices, issues, trends, and needs.
A group for Interpreters, Translators, Engineers, Writers, Editors, Project Managers, Vendor Managers, Localization Professionals, Freelancers or In-house T/I’s and Advertising Copywriters.
The purpose of this group is to connect people and companies working in translation, localization, and related services to discuss best practices, trends, issues, career opportunities & needs.
Translators Interpreters Network is the place for professional translators and interpreters worldwide who are looking for a new project / job / assignment.
Jobs for freelance translators and translation agencies. Free registration and resume posting for all freelancers.
The main purpose of this group is to help translators and language professionals connect and find any language job or translation-related question free of charge. This group is for language professionals, translation experts, academic linguists, specialized translators and interpreters, bilingual and multilingual translation professionals, language recruiters, language job seekers, and all other translation purposes service providers and all language fanatics.
This group will keep you up to date with translation jobs, agencies, rankings, terminology, tools, events, training courses and much more.
Now equipped with this Ultimate List of Places to Find Translation Work Online you will find some translation jobs to get by, however, serious freelancing requires implementation of a consistent marketing plan, which is vital to grow your business!