Languages and Freelancing
I am a child of the world. I’ve lived in several places throughout my life. Because of that, I’ve mastered three languages (English, Portuguese and Danish) and have a good understanding of Spanish. Knowing these languages has helped me a lot in my personal and professional searches.
Different Perspectives (a treasure for freelancers)
Cultures are different, which you undoubtedly know. This means that by reading different books from the different languages that you are fluent in, you receive a different perspective on life, work and management. You can make use of that to show that you are a very well read individual and can attack your problems from different perspectives.
You Show You Adapt Well
When you know a lot of languages you show that you are very good at adapting to different situations. After all, only the people that go out and talk to native speakers are capable of truly mastering a language. To be able to do that you need to understand the culture of the native speakers and find some common areas you can speak about.
This also means that you can get a job as an intermediary between two companies that don’t have too similar corporate cultures (due to them having their headquarters in different countries). You can use your language and cultural skills to find out where it is both of those companies overlap, which you then built on. This skills is especially handy when you're freelancing in different industries.
The Jobs You Can Freelance
It’s obvious that you can freelance as a translator. However, you need to make sure that you can specialise in one language. I can speak Danish but since it was the third language I learned, I can’t honestly say that I can provide a good translation from Portuguese and English to Danish.
When it comes to translating Danish to Portuguese and English, I can definitely do that. The other way round? Probably wouldn't be the best alternative. By not trying to over sell yourself and getting a reputation for shoddy work, you should try and focus on the languages your strongest in. That means only (in my case) translating things into English and Portuguese but being able to translate from Danish, Portuguese and English.
If you can speak a language fluently, it is very likely that you’ve lived in the country that speaks it. That means that you have a unique view on how the culture works, a view that companies would be willing to pay to have. However, you need to have a degree that focuses in intercultural communication in order to be taken seriously.
You probably are like me, can speak in several different languages but really feel comfortable within one. Companies know that, so they want people that can speak their customer’s native language. By making your clients feel comfortable, you create a personal connection, which in turn could lead to more sales.
This can be done if you have a good knowledge of the product your clients are selling and also a steady connection. The technology is there that allows people to be patched through directly to your home number. Since the world is so interconnected and technology is becoming more complex and fragile, you can be sure to receive a lot of work in the future.
If you already have a couple of languages, you can make use of them to get a variety of different jobs. We just suggest that you don’t trying new languages and instead make sure that you keep your current languages up to date. Once you have established yourself and receive a steady stream of freelance jobs, go right ahead! Take also a look at the best guide to become a freelancer!