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Translation Work From Home Ideal For Students & Graduates
These days, more and more students and graduates are starting to think outside the box and come up with alternative, creative ways to replenish dwindling bank accounts by earning some legitimate extra funds and working from the comfort of their home - or student accommodation, as the case may be.

E4S have produced numerous articles and blog posts providing tips and ideas for making cash by working from home . When not studying or socialising, young people, students and graduates can use their skills to earn money without working to a set number of hours per week in a place of employment, meaning part time work from home jobs can be the ideal solution for students who need to be flexible with how they spend their time. Any spare evenings or weekends can be monetised by taking on extra projects at home.

In the 21st century, it’s unlikely that any young person at university doesn’t own either a PC, a laptop or a notebook - and most students and graduates will have access to the internet either in their own room or in a designated wifi area. A laptop of some a description and an internet connection opens up a lot of avenues for students looking for ways to earn money. Typing projects such as transcription work are popular student jobs Other flexible, part time projects that can be taken on by students are taking paid surveys or website testing . And if it’s a bit of passive income that students and graduates would like to earn, selling photos online is another option. For even more ideas, check out our blogpost about 11 Jobs Students Can Do From A Laptop .

Are You Fluent In More Than One Language? Have You Considered Translation Work From Home?
This is another skill that university students and graduates can make use of when trying to think of ways to earn extra income by working from home. Students who are studying for a degree or a postgraduate qualification in a second language can fund their studies by taking on translation projects in their specialist language. Translation work is a good option for young people with English as a first or second language.

People don’t necessarily have to be studying a second or third language at university in order to take on translation work. There are those students and graduates out there who are lucky enough to be bilingual or multilingual as a result of their place of birth or having family members from other countries, for example. Anyone with sound knowledge of more than one language can take advantage of the many translation projects that may be available to them.

Who Can Take On Translation Work From Home?
If you are qualified to work in the United Kingdom and you are confident in a second language, then you can work from home doing translation work. There are lots of benefits to taking on part time, flexible translation projects at home but students and graduates who do this work need to make sure they get the financial benefit.

Working from home doesn’t necessarily pay very well as there is generally a lot of competition for projects - but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t value your time. Make sure that:

a) the translation job is legitimate
b) you are going to get paid at the end of it, and that
c) your pay is going to be at least the national minimum wage.


What Skills Are Needed To Do Translation Work From Home?
Knowledge of more than one language
The UK is increasingly culturally diverse and there is a growing need for translators in many industries. Obviously, it goes without saying that knowledge of more than one language is essential to undertake translation work from home

A recognised qualification for work with government agencies
Those who wish to do translation work for government agencies will need a recognised qualification in translation but that doesn’t mean students and graduates who don’t have a qualification cannot get work. These days, there are many private agencies, companies and outlets who need all types of translation. (See section below on ‘Who Offers Translation Work?’)

Skill with the written word - both reading and writing
Translation is different to ‘interpreting’ in that interpreting deals with speaking and listening. Interpreters need to work out, on the spot, what another person is saying. Translation usually deals with reading and writing rather than speaking, and knowledge of another language is only a small part of being a translator.

Students and graduates who wish to work from home need to be able to truly understand the text in front of them. What is the point of the text? What is the author of the text trying to convey? What is the tone of the message the author is trying to convey?

So translation isn’t just a case of writing down, word for word, what the author has written. Once the message and the tone has been ascertained, a good translator needs to convey that using suitable words and sentences in the language they are translating too. How often have you heard people say, “It doesn’t translate well”? A good translator needs to choose appropriate words and phrases to make sure the intended message is conveyed to readers. They need to make that it not only translates, but that it translates well.

How Are Your Time Management Skills?
As a student or graduate working from home doing translation work, although you may only be working part time flexible hours for some extra cash to fund your studies and lifestyle, remember that someone on the other end is waiting for your completed translation. Make sure you have the time to complete the project while meeting your other university commitments. For some languages, competition for projects can be stiff and a good reputation for timely and accurate completion can go a long way in helping you secure future work.

Research Skills
Sometimes, documents will have specific technical or legal language that must be carefully researched to ensure the correct and most appropriate translation of the text. As well as particular phrases, you may also be required to carry out background research around the topic to gain a better understanding of the documents you are translating. Much of this research can be done on the internet, but you may also have to liaise with experts in the field to make sure you provide an accurate translation.

Communication Skills
Even if it is only short, fast turnaround projects, students and graduates undertaking translation work from home need to be able to communicate well with the client they are working for - informing them of expected finish date or clarifying any issues that may arise. Those working with translation agencies and other freelancing agencies are usually provided with ‘chat rooms’ via the agency for this type of communication.

Which Languages Are In Demand?
If you know any other language or languages, then it is always possible to find work from home as a translator. However, some languages are in more demand than others when it comes to translation work.

Students and graduates with a sound knowledge of any of the languages of the European Union and the United Nations are likely to find work translating documents. Eastern European languages are increasingly in demand in the UK, particularly Polish. Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Chinese are also growth areas.

For anyone with a command of obscure or niche languages, then it could be more difficult to find regular work, but you might be able to force higher wages for your particular knowledge base.

What Types Of Translation Projects Can You Expect?
Most translators work from home and work on a variety of projects. Most projects tend to be:
  • scientific documents
  • technical documents
  • legal documents
  • commercial documents
  • financial documents
  • educational documents
  • travel and tourism documents
  • personal accounts and product reviews (see ‘Blogging’ below in the section ‘Who Offers Translation Work?’)
What Are The Benefits Of Doing Translation Work From Home?
Flexibility With Time
Perhaps one of the major benefits and attractions for students and graduates working from home is flexibility with time. There are going to be particular times of the year when you are busy with essay completion, writing a dissertation or thesis, or studying for exams.

University life is packed with all sorts of commitments and translation work from home means you can choose when you are available and when you are busy, unlike some part time student jobs where you need to work fixed hours on fixed evenings and weekends. So, when the time comes where you need to really buckle down to do some serious study, you can forget about the translation work for a while and make sure you get through your exams and get your assignments completed on time.

There are also more quiet times when you might have a bit of extra time on your hands. During these weeks and months, this is when you could maybe take on larger translation tasks or, if you are just starting out and trying to build up a reputation, you can take on the emergency, quick turnaround tasks that other more established translators may not have the time or the inclination to take on. This is the time to start building up your reputation.

Flexibility With Work
And flexibility with time means you also have flexibility with work. If you only want to work flexible hours as a student or graduate, some translation agencies have a system where you can pick and choose the jobs you take on. If one isn’t in your area of expertise, you don’t need to put yourself forward for it. Maybe a particular project looks like it might be too demanding of your time or too difficult - these are the jobs you can leave alone and wait for one to suit you to come along

Of course, the flip side to this is that other people who want to do part time translation work might be applying for all the same, easier looking jobs as you, so there may be more competition for them. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you finish any jobs you do win both accurately and on time so that you build up a good reputation and get requested to do future projects.

Translation Work Looks Good On Your CV
Working from home doing translation work doesn’t need to be seen as a means to an end. Just think how good this type of work would look on your CV when you start to look at and apply for graduate jobs .

You don’t have to be applying for a career in translation, it can be in any type of job, and your future potential employer is going to be impressed to see evidence of your abilities with other languages. Many companies are global these days and, whatever job you are applying for, your extra skills might just push you above a rival candidate.

You Can Build Up Your Portfolio
And if you are a student doing a degree or a postgraduate qualification in another language or in translation, you can use your part-time translation work that you do from home to build up your portfolio. This will enhance your application for vacant posts and could make it easier for you to get your foot on the graduate career ladder as a translator after you have finished your studies.

Who Offers Translation Work?
If you think you have what it takes to complete translation projects from home then there are many outlets out there that can provide texts for you to translate. As we said above, make sure the translation jobs are legitimate and that you are guaranteed payment at the end of it.

Translation Agencies
These days there are many online translation agencies that students can register with to start building up their portfolio doing small translation projects from home. These agencies, such as gengo for example, are convenient as they allow the flexibility students and graduate need.

You are able to pick and choose the projects you want to take on and the agency will look after payments from the client and making sure you receive your money at the other end.

General Freelancing Agencies
For translation or other online freelancing work students can do from home, there are many agencies with which you can register and bid on projects. Some of the biggest of these are Freelancer and Upwork. The more work you get with agencies like this, the more you build up your profile, making it easier for you to get future translation work.

Government
As we said above, to work for the UK government providing translation services, it’s likely that you will need a formal qualification to show you are capable of doing the work. The UK government needs to be able to provide services to people in a large number of languages and a lot of this work is outsourced to external agencies so there may be work available through these.

Private Companies
Because of the internet, it’s now easier for even smaller companies to operate in many countries, so they too need to be able to display their products on their website in various languages. There may be translation work available for students and graduates to translate the whole content of a company’s website into another language.

You could actually be very proactive about this and try to find opportunities where you know a particular company is trading in another country, yet they haven’t adapted their website to help that country’s consumers to understand their products and systems. If you approach companies like this and offer them your translation services then there is a strong chance that you will be able to persuade them of the value you could provide.

Bloggers
A good way for students to build up experience in translation work is to get a bit creative and think about the types of people who may need work translating. An example of this is bloggers. There are millions of bloggers out there and some of those bloggers make a career from their work.

To grow their site, many are now wanting their blogs translated into other languages. Join groups on Facebook, get yourself a profile on LinkedIn, follow lists on Twitter and get to know which bloggers might be interested in your services. Obviously, some of these types of jobs will also come up via the freelancing agencies, so keep an eye out the them if you think is something you might be interested in.

How Do I Work Legitimately?
Students and graduates working from home need to make sure their work is legitimate to avoid falling foul of the law and the taxman. For further information, read these two E4S article on Part Time Jobs And The Law and Student Tax. There are also tips in these about your entitlements regarding part time employment and the amount of tax you may be able to claim back.

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