By: Dina Indelicato | February 27, 2018

Working for a translation service or on your own requires a lot of practice and knowledge. The more time you put into learning a new foreign language, the better you will handle new projects. Also, you will be paid more for languages that are not so popular.

But, what are the languages a translator should know? What are the best-paid ones? Well, you are in luck because today we will present top five languages a translator should know.

A Word of Advice

The money you receive for a translation of any foreign language depends mostly on the demand and the competition. It also depends on where you work, who offers the job and other factors. Some translators learn a new language because they want a higher salary, while others learn a new language because they like it.

Before you start with a new language, check the market first. See what is in high demand and how many translators are there in your country. English, for example, is known almost everywhere, and more and more people start learning either German or French. Meanwhile, if you want to see how a professional translation service looks like, we recommend checking Pick Writers.


Going for a niche is always a good idea, but you will have to take into account the number of clients that want their documents to be translated into that language. A sweet spot is needed and that is why you should do a bit of market research. Check your local translation services, forums, freelance sites and so on.


  1. Chinese

This language is not always in high demand but it does pay well. There are not many translators in the US that handle this sort of job and you can bet they rely mostly on a second foreign language like Spanish to pay their bills. Chinese is a tough language to learn.


The first thing you will notice is that they have no Germanic words, so it nowhere close to English. The next thing you will notice is that you will have to learn to read and write using the Pinyin alphabet. The Chinese pronunciation is also a difficult thing to master.


So, if you are not stubborn and determined enough to learn Chinese, you will probably give up.


  1. Japanese


Again, it is like Chinese, but it is a bit simpler. Besides, many teenagers who watch anime or Japanese movies love the language and the culture. So, who knows, maybe you will pick this language up by watching Japanese movies, which is both fun and educative.


  1. German


German is paid a bit better than English in Europe. It can be a tough language to learn, especially if your native language is Latin based. However, there is a high demand so you can get all sorts of projects for this language.


  1. Arabic


It is not a popular language, but it is still paid very well. It is a difficult language because you will have to learn a new alphabet and it sounds nothing like English or a Latin-based language. Don’t rely too much on it, you are better off working with German or Russian and taking Arabic projects when you have the opportunity.


  1. Russian


Again, it is a tough language to master. You will have to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, but you can get a lot of projects based on this language. It is not as popular as German, French or Spanish, but it can get you a few more bucks once in a while.




We would also recommend checking Spanish or Portuguese.

Category: Translating 



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