John is a 42 year old freelance translator from San Fransico. Right now he lives on a 38 foot sailboat in Mexico.
He speaks English, but his grandmother on his mother’s side was from Spain. Although he can’t speak Spanish, he can read and understand simple text.
He loves to fish. So for the past 2 years he has anchored his boat just outside of the main harbor in La Paz, Mexico. Every other day he rows his dinghy to the docks and walks to a small cyber cafe.
There he spends about 3 hours “working” as a translator. His specialty is website translation.
The rest of his work week is spent mostly fishing. He describes himself as “stress free” and happy.
School Teacher from Delhi
Kalyani is a 31 year old school teacher from a small town outside of New Delhi. She teaches English to primary age kids. She speaks Hindi and learned Tamil from her grandfather. She also reads French. She has built a thriving translation business that she operates from her kitchen table.
About 4 years ago she started volunteering as a translator for a government health program. From the contacts she made through that work she was hired by foreign agencies to both translate documents and interpret during meetings.
She now works full-time translating and part-time teaching (because she loves the little ones).
Alba is a retired English speaking grandmother from Durban, South Africa. She started translating for a magazine to earn extra money about a year ago.
Once it became known that she could read and write Afrikaans, Dutch and Zulu her email was flooded with freelance job offers. She no longer has time for the magazine and is making enough money to put her 3 grandchildren through college.
What do these folks have in common?
Practically nothing! That’s the point.
Just about ANYONE with knowledge of a second language – living in ANY TOWN – in ANY COUNTRY can make a very good living as a freelance translator in today’s market.
An Internet connection
One thing they all have in common is a working INTERNET connection and of course access to a computer.
You don’t need to buy a ton of software. In fact, you don’t need to buy any.
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