Five reasons why you should consider a career in translation in 2021

23 February 2021

You might be interested to learn that you can boost your salary by up to 75% if you speak a second language. And, if you do speak a second language but don’t profit from your linguistic skills in your current role, then maybe you’d like to consider a career in translation. 

If you’re looking for a little nudge off the career-switch-cliff this year, here are five more reasons why a career in translation could be the job of your #WFH dreams. 


1. Access a whole world of opportunities

If you’ve ever taught someone how to say ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ in your native language, then you’re already an unofficial interpreter for the spoken word. Challenge yourself for a moment and think back to all the times you’ve been a translator in your life. I bet you’re surprised by the amount of language moments you’ve helped bridge with your native language connection. 

The incredible fact is, at some point in our lives, no matter how small the request, we all have translation needs. Whether you’ve got to translate a university degree for a job overseas, or translate a word in passing conversation, we all experience the power of connection through shared communication, and how equally, the absence of shared language can create a disconnect. 

This universal phenomenon is why the global language service industry has a projected market size of 56.18 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, and why translation as a career holds such incredible possibility. Our top reason to work in translation? The global opportunities available to linguists are endless.


2. Work wherever and whenever you want to 

Be your own boss, work your own hours, work from anywhere, become a digital nomad, disconnect from your desk - have we hit you with enough buzz phrases yet? 

It’s the 21st Century employee dream and the goal for so many professionals stuck on endless Zoom calls. Leave the rat race behind, work from anywhere but an office. Set up that laptop in a cafe or on a beach (one day after Covid is long gone), and dip into the cool freedom of a flexible schedule. 

Translating is a digital-nomad friendly career choice that you can set up on the go. You definitely don’t need an office to freelance as a translator, but if you’d rather not be your own boss, there are awesome companies (like e-Arabization) that offer flexible, work from home opportunities for professional linguists in need of an accommodating work schedule. 


3. Important global languages make big money 

The law of supply and demand is simple. If you have something, lots of people need, but not many people can do or provide, the value increases. The same goes for languages, and in 2021, the top three languages to know if you want to earn big bucks as a translator (or in any career where additional languages are a bonus) are: 


Finding Arabic translators in the MENA region isn’t rare, but Arabic becomes incredibly valuable when you cross the seas and land in places like the UK, where Arabic is considered the most lucrative language you can speak, and businesses that want to expand into the Middle East are hungry for PR, advertising, marketing and IT talent that can localize their presence. The Arab world is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and we witness the global need for Arabic every single day.


With almost 1 billion speakers, Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world. So if you command knowledge of a language that runs the world’s second largest economy, then you’re in a position to demand a premium level of pay for your skill. 

It’s not that there isn’t a shortage of Mandarin speakers in the world, the challenge is in localization, and finding the talent to switch from English to Mandarin and vice versa. Knowing a valuable, in-demand language pair is what creates a lucrative market for certain translators. 


As the largest market in Europe and the financial centre of the region, Germany commands global power, and makes German language a very attractive second language opportunity for migrants all over the world. According to Forbes, 36% of people in Europe speak German, making it the second most used language in the region (after English). If you’re reading this and you’re fluent in German and English, then, worauf wartest du? (what are you waiting for?) Get translating! 

The job that keeps on giving: brain training 


There are a few paths you can take to become a translator, and they all involve enriching your life with further education. 

You don’t have to have a degree in translation to become a translator, but having a degree in a specialist area of knowledge can really boost your billing and ease your transition into life as a linguist. If you work in a particularly technical field, or have a medical background that you can fluently translate into a second language, then you’re going to find demand for your skill. The best part about specialisation is the fact that you will continue to benefit from exposure to material from your field of study. Over time, you’ll become a walking encyclopedia of valuable knowledge! 

If you formally study and train as a translator, then your route to linguistic success is a straighter path, but there’s still a lot of learning to do after your diploma is complete. Our advice? Even if your course of study includes computer-assisted translation, it’s always useful to get friendly with industry standard CAT tools that you might use if you work in a company like e-Arabization, where we translate millions of words every single month.


Translation is the job that keeps on giving, and when you’re reading up on all kinds of media including websites, apps, PR packs, marketing campaigns, legal documents and technical specifications every single year, you can’t help but soak up some of that knowledge and become a little bit brainier in the process. 


What about the machines? Won’t they come for my job? 


Everytime we talk about translation as a career or the industry at large, we’ve got to tackle the elephant in the room: machine translation. And while machine translation is powering ahead and solving language challenges with ease and sophistication, humans are at the heart of language, and though our roles have evolved and become easier with every technical advancement we achieve, human translators are still a vital part of error-free localization, and we promise you, that integral role isn’t vanishing anytime soon. 


So how about it? Ready to switch up your job and get translating? Tell us which language you’d like to translate for and why. 


Want to witness world-class translators in action? Need a specialist translator for your business? Visit to see how we help companies translate their offerings, or drop us a message.