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How to Start a Home-Based Language Translation Service

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Globalization and diverse populations translate into growing opportunities for language translators. If you know a second language such as Spanish, German, Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian or Japanese, you should be able to set up a home-based translation service with ease.

Sharpen your language translation skills. Look through books, magazines and online articles, and read out loud in your second language. Take community interpretation courses. Find a multicultural community center that offers interpretation training certificate programs. Take a translation training seminar online. Locate a professional translator association and see what language training they offer.

Start a collection of resources helpful for a home-based translation service. Good books to start with include "Becoming a Translator: An Accelerated Course" by Douglas Robinson, "The Translator's Handbook" by Morey Sofer, and "The Craft of Translation (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)" edited by John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte.

Determine your fees for language translation services. The fees you charge will depend on the assignment and where you live. Do some research to find out how others in your area are setting up their fee schedule. You can also consult with professional interpretation associations for assistance in setting your fees.

Have your name listed on government-accredited interpreter rosters. Visit the multicultural center in your community, and get your name on their roster of qualified interpreters. Research companies that offer interpretation services over the telephone; you may be able to find freelance work with these companies. Contact local businesses such as lawyers, accountants and physicians, and offer your services for meetings and written documents.

Use the Internet to market your services. Place classified ads on the appropriate websites. Join professional associations such as the National Association for Interpretation and American Translators Association. Use social networking websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to market your professional translation services. Create your own website, and write informative articles.