Once a privilege of digital nomads, freelancers, and those involved in widely understood liberal professions. Often associated with freedom and enticing, picture-perfect views that bring to mind beach workation or office with a view of magnificent mountain ranges.


For some, remote work is a miserable, daunting task. Others find it to be a perfect solution. It goes without saying, however, that it remains one of the most frequent form of employment for many translators, and that’s why today we will take a closer look on remote cooperation with translation agencies.


Working remotely in the translation industry – where to start?

The profession of a translator, like no other, creates almost unlimited opportunities to work from virtually anywhere in the world. Finding a stable and secure Internet connection is basically the only requirement influencing the choice of your next destination. But what has to be done to make this bold move actually work and become an unforgettable experience?


The importance of networking in the translation industry cannot be stressed enough. Finding new contacts and maintaining good business relations is key. Many seemingly trivial conversations, whether while holidaying or visiting industry events, are a chance to find a new business partner. Trying to keep with the times, many specialists resort to social media to reach the widest possible audience.


An impressive customer portfolio equals financial safety. But how to ensure a constant supply of new translation tasks when we’re new to the business? Reaching out to translation agencies is one of the most reliable solutions. Some of them recruit new workers from time to time, some seek professionals to join them and work on a particular project. It never hurts, however, to contact the customer service department and ask about the possibility to join the ranks of their translators. It’s worth noting that operating your own business (usually a one-man business) is key for many translation agencies, as it allows the translator to issue invoices.


Translators who cooperate with Alingua include both our in-house team and specialists living in metropolises, charming towns, and the most beautiful places across the whole world. But how does one coordinate the work of a team scattered around the globe? It’s not easy when we take into consideration cultural differences, all time zones and national holidays in various countries! However, we’re always open to cooperate with new colleagues, so if you dream of becoming a freelance translator – or maybe starting your digital nomad adventure – explore our “Careers” tab.


Working remotely with a translation agency – completing a translation

But how does the whole translation process actually work when the three parties involved can’t even meet in person? Oddly enough, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. Project coordinator is the key person here. It is them who facilitate seamless communication between a client and translator, as well as supervise timely delivery of a whole project or its part, as previously agreed. Moreover, they’re the most familiar with the translators working with the company and instantly know which texts they excel in.


Adhering to the ‘well begun is half-done’ mantra, choosing the right specialist makes the task way easier. Let us take a closer look at file sharing now. A lot depends on a given agency’s internal procedures; what matters the most is that the file submitted to the translator is editable and legible. To complete work online, some translation agencies offer web licenses in a browser-based environment. These work pretty much the same way CAT tools do, including the use of translation memories and term bases, facilitating the consistent use of preferred terminology. Such online system allows project coordinators to monitor workflow and, if needed, step in just in time.


Any further editing, proofreading or DTP handling of the text is completed the same way. Exchanging e-mails is the most fundamental form of communication in this industry; still, professional correspondence is always handled with necessary precautions, ensuring data protection compliant with standards introduced in the company.


Benefits and drawbacks of working remotely as a translator

The translation industry is a wonderfully nuanced sphere, with plenty of niches that make the work of a translator a fulfilling profession for both introverts and extroverts for whom contact with other people is a basic need like air. For them, remote work might be a bit of a challenge – though on the other hand, they may easier adapt to the dynamic community of digital nomads.


Independence is one of the most widely recognised advantages of remote work. This is not limited to location-independent work only. You are also free to choose any working hours that are the most in tune with your chronotype. There’s also the possibility to create the most comfortable work environment that is tailored to our needs… and simply move on at any moment, without the need to make arrangements with HR department. It’s a perfect solution for free-spirited people who keep off the beaten path in life and value spontaneity.


Still, remote work comes with some disadvantages too. Some people find it hard to motivate themselves to pick up work, for others it’s the lack of daily chit-chat over coffee with their colleagues that makes it unbearable. When we look into more practical issues, self-employment excludes paid holiday leave and sick leave. Every single day away from work comes with financial consequences. But maybe it’s a great chance to wonder what’s closer to our heart: having or being?