Volunteering as a Translator – Why, Where and How

If you want to volunteer abroad, it might seem like a daunting task. There are thousands of organizations looking for volunteers, and each one has different requirements. But don’t worry, we’ve done some research into what’s out there and found some great opportunities. We’ve put together a list of the most popular organizations, and how to find them. So let’s start digging…

What is volunteer translation? 

Volunteer translation is a free translation activity carried out by individuals who have native or advanced language skills and a second language to assist in translating training materials, reports, and other documents on an as-needed basis.

Why should you work as a volunteer?

If you’re thinking about starting out as a freelance translator, it might seem like there are plenty of opportunities available. After all, there are thousands of companies looking to hire translators, and many of them offer flexible hours and good pay rates. But while there are certainly jobs out there, there are also lots of things you won’t want to do. So how do you know whether volunteering is something you’d actually enjoy? Here are three reasons why you should think twice before signing up.

  1. You don’t want to spend your days translating – Volunteering isn’t just about helping people; it’s also about spending your time doing something else. And if you’re hoping to make money from translating, chances are you’ll end up spending most of your time doing it.
  2. You don’t want the responsibility – You probably wouldn’t mind being paid to translate, but you might find it difficult to turn down requests to help someone out. This is especially true if you’ve been asked by someone close to you. However, if you take on too much work, you might resent having to say no.
  3. You don’t want a full-time job – Working as a freelancer gives you the freedom to decide exactly what you want to do every day. There’s nothing stopping you from choosing to work part-time, or even volunteering once a week. But if you’re already committed to a full-time job, you might feel reluctant to add another commitment.

What are the benefits of Volunteering as a Translator?

Volunteering as a translator is a great way to gain work experience and build your resume. Depending on the platform, it can also give you access to a global network of translators, improve your language skills and allow you to contribute to making the world a better place – all without having to pay anything. However, there are pros and cons to consider before signing up. Here are the main benefits of volunteer translation.

  • Professional Recognition – If you want to stand out from the crowd, volunteering gives you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. By sharing your knowledge with others, you show that you care about what you do and how much you value your profession. This makes you memorable among your peers, and it helps you find future jobs.
  • International Community – The internet is full of people looking for help with their translations. There are many platforms where you can post your availability and receive requests from clients around the globe. As long as you keep yourself updated with the latest trends in your industry, you can easily adapt to changes in demand and translate accordingly.

Where I can find volunteer translation jobs?

  • Translator Without Border – This foundation helps people easily access important information. Their target is to give everyone equality in retrieving information that is usually not available in their language. TWB supports a remote working environment so everyone with translation skills can apply and work with them.
  • World History Encyclopedia – World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization providing free educational materials about history. We publish high-quality encyclopedias, ebooks, books, magazines, video courses, audio courses, and much more. They want to expand their reach and provide readers with even better tools to learn about history. To do this, they need your help translating our articles into different languages. Basically, they are looking for volunteers fluent in all languages! If you speak one of those languages and would like to contribute to their project, you can contact them via email or join them from their website.
  • Ted Volunteer Translator – TED Translators offers opportunities for individuals to grow professionally and personally while helping others learn English. It offers many different volunteer positions, including those focused on content creation, marketing, fundraising, communications, translation, research, and administrative support. This organization also provides you with the tools and resources needed to help you succeed in your role as a translator.

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