Top 5 Books For Freelance Translators

freelance translators

Top 5 Books For Freelance Translators

Top 5 Books For Freelance Translators

(Last Updated On: July 16, 2019)
Top 5 Books For Freelance Translators

The translation business is a complicated job that requires patience and lots of studying and practice. A good language converter needs to read lots of materials to master the craft. Machine language conversion is widely spread on the internet but their understanding of the language still needs human intervention. Real experts in language conversion are needed in developing AI converters.


Luckily, there are many writings about translation that aspiring language converters could use to sharpen their understanding of the craft and the languages that they want to focus on. Listed below are the top 5 must-read articles for aspiring translators.

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator by Corinne McKay

It provides an overview of the translation business. It describes translators as a profession. It also discusses what it takes to be a language converter. The book also gives insights on how to improve your skills. There are topics about its converter’s working environment, and the kind of work translators do, including software localization. There are also topics on the kind of works translators do, including staff done for translation agencies and direct clients. The book also provides topics on interpreting and the rates of language converters. McKay’s book also listed professional associations for translators. It provides insights on the certification that language converters need to achieve to be considered professionals on the field.

McKay also included topics that discuss how to start and grow your business in the industry including preparations for job search, finding clients, building up a business, starting a part-time language conversion business, skills you’ll need in the business, setting up your office and business, maximizing productivity, and topics for working parents.

freelance translators

The author also discussed the preparations for your home office, the ups, and downs of working from home, the necessary office equipment, organizing your business, translation home office technology, non-western character sets, speech recognition software, and translation memory software and choosing a computer system. Aspiring language converters will learn a lot on the author’s book because of the detailed work of the author.

freelance translators

The Prosperous Translator – Advice from Fire Ant and Worker Bee by Chris Durban

Durban’s book is one of the best books about language conversion. It provides the pithiest advice on how to build a successful language conversion business. “Fire Ant & Worker Bee” written by Cris Durban and Eugene Seidel provides a satisfying text about the grandest and most foolhardy enterprise that humans can engage in. The authors provided a knowledge filled book that provides a guide to the lucrative and intellectually satisfying career. The authors believe that skilled translators benefit from accepting an entrepreneurial outlook, sharing insights and experiences, and investing in themselves.

The authors provided their professional advice on their column in the Translation journal in 1998, discussing topics ranging from successfully navigating the freelance/agency divide to finding direct clients, raising prices, kicking implicit content into explicit shape, mastering office clutter and translating in the nude. Readers of the text, including a conversion company owners, students, and others, found the advice on authors invaluable. It received high ratings and reviews from its readers.

The Translation Sales Handbook by Luke Spear

Spear’s book provides strategies to find new and higher-paying clients and how to convert existing clients to higher-payers. The book helps aspiring writers by providing a new approach to facing their large workload. It provides a roadmap to put language converters on the path of streamlining their business. Spear discussed methods on improving the writer’s rates and on how to meet their deadlines. It provides insights on how to spend more time living and less time working by providing a plan on how to streamline the business.

The Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner

The book was written by twins Judy and Dagmar Jenner, experienced converters. It teaches how to start your entrepreneurial linguist journey. The book was written in a purposely non-academic style. The book will show readers how to market their services to direct clients, build and nurture relationships, grow your client base in a structured way, use web 2.0 to promote your services, and much more. The book is intended for both aspiring language converter and experienced interpreters around the world.

Is that a Fish in Your Ear?: The Amazing Adventure of Translation by David Bellos


Bellos wrote the book in a funny and surprising approach to every page. The book offers a different insight into the mystery of how we interpret other languages. The author used this type of conversion as his lens in showing how much we learn about ourselves by exploring our methods of interpreting other dialects. The book discussed a range of topics from the historical roots of written language to the stylistic choices of Ingmar Bergman, from the United Nations General Assembly to the significance of James Camerons Avatar. Reviews said that the book ranges across the human experience to describe why translation sits deep within everyone and why people need it in many situations. The author claims that every writer is language interpreters. The book was written with joie de vivre, and it reveals both in misunderstanding and communication. The book promises aspiring language interpreters new approach in understanding the world. The book is considered as a comprehensive and badly needed primer that is full of insight. It is divided into 32 small sections that deal with a different aspect of language conversion. The sections were written delightfully and concise, using analogies and humor in discussing the complicated topics on language conversion.

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