Fiverr Community Forum

How to get orders at a good price being a professional translator

Hi! I’ve been using Fiverr for almost 3 months now and I only got 2 translation requests.I feel like my work doesn’t count over here, since there’s a lot of so called translators that translate with a really low fee.

How can I stand out and get more orders?

Thank you in advance,

Doina.

2 Likes

Very hard field to work in a freelance platform, little control over pricing. Translation is one of those things where if you can get someone who does a competent job for $5, you have no reason to hire someone else for $10.

This is opposed to creative fields, where value is subjective, and that’s why a logo designer can charge 1000 for a logo where others charge 5. That doesn’t fly with translation.

Now, it’s possible to make a good living as a translator, and I’m not saying it’s not a highly skilled field, don’t get me wrong. But you will have to compete on price (as in, you have to be priced around the market rate), no way around it. If there are a lot of good translators from low cost of living countries delivering good results, there’s no way to do it.

One way to do it is by decreasing competition, focusing on a more obscure language pairing, or highly technical subjects - but that has the side effect of decreasing the market as well, since less people will be interested in that pair/subject. You’ll be able to charge more, but will attract less clients.

2 Likes

Very good point. Nevertheless, specialization and quality is something you’re willing to pay for, but that’s not such the case in every client request.

That’s totally true and in this market, Fiverr I mean, competence is very high. Of course. Translation is a complexed process when the text gets technical and the side effect comes hand in hand.

Citation needed, lol.

But yeah, I referred to that above. You can always specialise, and that will lower the competition. However, that will also lower your market, so it’s a tight rope to walk on.

I feel like in fields such as translation you absolutely need to nail down a couple of big volume clients and long term projects. Essentially becoming an employee of sorts, with a somewhat fixed salary and consistent hours. Until you can manage that, it can be next to impossible to make a good living. Clients wanting a one time, one page translation won’t be worth the effort to even engage with.

2 Likes

Sorry for that haha

Yeapp. That’s true. I’ve been trying to get some extra cash with Fiverr, but if you don’t have long term client, it doesn’t work. I’m an interpreterm actually, since I focused my skills on simultaneous interpreting, but even that, which normally is paid very well, it’s not outstanding so much :frowning:

What’s your language pair?

English<>Spanish, German <Spanish, Romanian <Spanish

1 Like

Well, you’re not a native English speaker, your English is a bit iffy to work professionally as a translator. That already cuts you off from a lot of the market, since realistically you would have to undercut all the native English translators to stand any chance. I would say to analyse the market and see if there’s demand for the german/romanian pair and focus on that, less competition for sure.

Well, maybe you’re right. That’s a good point of view. Thank you for giving me such insight :slight_smile: Really needed haha

1 Like

Specially in English-spanish, since that’s probably the most popular pair, with a load of people speaking both natively (in the US they are both official languages, so it is to be expected). There will be much fewer German/romanian or German/spanish natives. Romanian/spanish is meh, both latin languages and quite similar, lower barrier of entry.

Then, Romania is a much smaller market than either Germany (super powerful industry and economy) and Spain (spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world). So, I would focus on German<->Spanish for sure, with German<->Romanian as a secondary.

1 Like