Why become a freelance translator?

It cannot be said often enough that being bilingual is not enough to make you a translator.

If you’d like to find out how you can become a translator, visit this page. If you’d like to learn more about life as a freelance translator, then you’re in the right place!

The translation market

In general terms, today’s translation market mainly comprises translation agencies (or LSPs: Language Service Providers) and freelance translators. At Acolad Community, “freelance translators” means anyone who works as a self-employed translator, no matter the status you hold with your country’s official tax body.


Translation agencies may use teams of professional in-house translators, although this is uncommon and many translation businesses only work with freelance translators. As for how to become a freelance translator for a particular agency, there are no hard and fast rules as each company has its own selection methods.


When you become a freelance translator, you can enjoy some freedom. Indeed, this is what usually drives young translators to go freelance. When you work for yourself, you can organise your time as you please and only accept projects you want. This means that in becoming a freelance translator, you can avoid the potential disadvantages of corporate life: austere offices, hierarchical relationships, commuting, etc.

When you’re your own boss, you also have to take on the roles of project manager, accountant and sales person, as well as being responsible for your own marketing as you look for new clients and work on your image!


It’s not as easy as it seems! To become a freelance translator, you will need to be flexible and devote time during your working day to tasks other than translation. While you can make your own decisions, you are also solely responsible for developing your own business and it’s helpful to have a resourceful nature or do some relevant training to improve your skills in the different aspects of being a freelance translator.

You will also need to learn to be meticulous when it comes to organising yourself and your time so you meet every project deadline, do your accounting properly and submit your invoices correctly.

In theory, when you become a freelance translator you are choosing a solitary profession. You will need to make a special effort to expand your network and meet peers. However, this is entirely doable and Acolad Community is here to help!