Freelance Translating

Finding freedom and flexibility in your chosen career

"The flexibility of being my own boss",  "Having location independence",   "Doing what I love!" 

These are phrases which are frequently associated with a career in freelance translating. So how do you find success and happiness working as a freelance translator and what skills do you need?

During over 30 years in the translation industry, we have talked to thousands of people - who are a part of a network of over 270,000 translation professionals using our technology - to help us gain an understanding of what it takes to be a successful freelance translator. Check out the free resources below to learn more...

Free eBooks

Top reasons to become a freelance translator

FL ebook 1.

Why do people become freelance translators? Is it the flexibility and freedom it offers, or the fact it enables them to do something they love?

Is a career in freelance translating right for you?

FL ebook 2.

Are you considering a career as a freelance translator? Are you wondering whether you have what it takes to succeed and be happy?

What type of people become freelance translators?

FL ebook 3.

Do you need a translation degree to get started? What business skills might you need? What makes a successful freelance translator?

Free Webinars

Spreading Your Wings: Transitioning to a Career as a Freelancer

Jamie webinar pic

Jamie Hartz, ATA-certified Spanish>English translator, editor, and transcriber talks through the skills/habits of freelancers, advantages of being new, what a typical day looks like, the basics of business and finding clients, as well as tips on setting rates.

Is Freelance Translating
Right for You?

Meghan webinar pic

Meghan McCallum - French to English translator who specializes in corporate communications, HR, marketing and financial documents - looks at the personality traits, habits and skills that make for an enjoyable and productive experience as a freelance translator - besides the language skills, of course!

Try the world's number one translation software

Learn about CAT tools, terminology management and translation memory in our Translation 101 video series.

These are SDL Limited videos that are now part of the RWS Group.

Read an introduction to translation memory technology (TM)

Gain inspiration and advice from other freelance translator's stories

Anna Cribley persona web

Anna Cribley

"There was something about the freedom and flexibility of your own schedule, the responsibility for your own translations and learning in addition to the challenge of creating a successful business that always inspired me to become a freelance translator."

Jadwiga persona web

Jadwiga Ruchlewska

"A good translator is of course someone who loves languages and likes playing with words, but what I find even more important is that it is someone who likes to listen"

Peter Kahl persona web

Peter Kahl

"I started out in the localisation department of a software company and went on from there to work as a project manager for a couple of translation providers. After a while I realised, that I enjoyed doing the translations more than asking other people to do it, so I went freelance."

Eva Grunwald persona web

Eva Grunwald

"It was a beautiful challenge to transform 3 pages of tearful, flowery Asian rhetoric into a 1-page sober, matter-of-fact list of charges for a North German policestation.”

Rowena Woolner persona web

Rowena Woolner

"After five years in a high-stress environment I needed a change! I was also desperate to have a dog and doing freelance translation from home seemed to fit the bill as it meant I could use the skills and contacts I had and also look after and enjoy a dog properly!"

Liana persona web

Liana Acquaviva

"My linguistic interests have deep roots! While studying, I decided that my professional life would be centered around translation."

Maksi persona web

Maksi Kozińska

"It is said that translators tend to be introverts, but to be honest most of the translators that I know are rather opposite."

Jo persona web

Jo Bate-Clarke

"I fell into languages quite simply because I didn't really enjoy any other subjects at school! I loved the challenge that learning French posed (plus it reminded me of happy family holidays in France!)"