Translate.com enlists freelance translators to translate or edit documents, but pays practically nothing
Expected pay: 1 cent – 2 cents per word
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: Fluency in English and a second language
Translate.com helps websites and digital retail shops translate their copy into multiple languages. But since they use machine-based artificial intelligence as a first pass to translate most documents, the site pays paltry per-word rates for editing and translating.
How it works
If you want to work here, you sign up online and take a translation test to confirm that you have the necessary knowledge to translate in the language or languages you choose. If you’re a certified translator, you’ll be asked to upload your diploma and you can earn somewhat more.
Once accepted to the platform, you’re given translating jobs to do. After “some time” of doing a great job, you can be promoted to editor. This apparently comes with somewhat higher pay, but the pay rates are miserable.
Translators at Translate.com earn between one-half cent and 2 cents per word. That means you’ll get about $2.50 to $10 to translate a 500-word document. You earn slightly more for presentations and scanned documents. Payments are made through PayPal after you build up at least $20.
We saw no complaints about them failing to pay wages once they were earned. But you’d have to be remarkably fast to make this job pay minimum wage.
Unless you’re too young to work elsewhere, you are probably better off signing up with your local state or municipal government, court system or school district, where in-person translation services may be needed and valued enough to demand reasonable hourly rates.
Better sites to ply translation skills include ServiceScape, SmartCat, Rev and ProZ.
Another way to use your linguistic skill: Consider work in tourism.
Several sites, such as Tours by Locals and Viator allow you to design tours that you price and organize. If you specialize, say, in German or Japanese, you can design tours specifically for these groups of tourists and charge premium prices to be the guide.
You can also find translation jobs at Indeed.com and Glassdoor.
What their users say: (from Indeed)
This seems like a great idea. You create an account, work as a translator and receive notifications once they need a translation in the target language of your choice. However, by the time you sign in, you discover the task had been taken by another translator as the task board is already empty. Unless you are a translator of languages like Yoruba, you are better off looking for work and extra income somewhere else.
Granted, I had only signed up for German-English/English-German translating; so it’s very likely that a multitude of people are also translators in that area, since German is a major world language. However, if you want to get tasks at all, you have to go for them immediately, no matter what time of day or what else you’re doing at the time; if you wait even a minute, they’ll no longer be available. And with having to translate 50,000 words or some large number like that just in order to get tasks that are not simply post-machine edits, it will take an eternity to get anywhere with it.
At least for Russian, there are not enough, or barely any, tasks available. Minimum payout of $20, means the cents you make translating will just be sitting there. At the moment, from the point of a view of a translator, it’s a waste of time and not a real opportunity. Sorry if this is not an example of having something nice to say or not saying anything.
As a native speaker of Turkish, I have found this job very easy to make. I always work form home. The pay, however, is low. Also, I wish I could could have more work.
Flexible translation work. Do jobs whenever suits you (depending on availability). But the pay is low, lack of job security, no benefits, harsh and rigid ratings as the sole basis of employment. Two shots at an admittance exam (EVER) is not enough. Also, paying either half a cent or one penny per word simply is not enough!
I hadn’t heard of them so I poked around their website. I decided to order a translation to see how much the would quote me (I didn’t actually order the translation). In the quote they mentioned the rate. They (for Japanese to English translation) are charging $0.02 per word (note that a ‘word’ in Japanese is a single character). So if they are charging that then they must only be paying their translators $0.01 per word. That is super low. I mean shit, I don’t think you can actually go any lower than one cent per word. You would be better off doing volunteer/charity work to beef up your resume to find better paying agencies.
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