Highest Paying Translation Languages: Which Languages Are the Most Profitable to Translate?

Rana MaaloufRana Maalouf

Thinking of becoming a translator? Protranslate is a great place to start and in this blog, we will give you all the insider tips and information you need to know on highest paying translation languages before getting started!

First off, let’s talk about the average translator salary for highest paying translation languages

According to research in the United States, the average salary of a translator is around 47,000 USD annually. However, there are various factors that will make this number higher or lower. So you want to make sure you set yourself up for success and make the most of your future translating career. Also keep in mind a freelance translator salary will be different than someone is working full time and able to take on more/ bigger projects.

Elements that can affect your salary

Language will, of course, have an effect on your translator salary. So it is important to do research in regards to which languages pay the most. Certain combinations will end up being more lucrative than others. Even a $0.05 value increase per word can make a big difference when you are talking about larger projects. For example: if you are given a 3,000-word document at $0.10 a word than your payment will be $300. However, if you are able to make $0.20 per word that brings your payment up to $600 for the same work.

So let’s break down the strategy. The two things to keep in mind are as following:

  • The supply of translators with the same language combination as you.

This is basic economics. The more translators out there offering the same services, the less money you will make. The more unique your language services are the more you will make.

  • The demand for translators with the same language combination as you.

Given the above stated, you have to make sure your language offers aren’t too unique. For example, translating Kinyarwanda to Uyghur will definitely allow you to stand out from your competition. And the more scare your language services are the more you can charge. However, there probably isn’t that much demand for that language translation. You may make less in the long run.

Let’s save you some of the research and let you know the highest paying translation languages

Spanish and French have the most competition, as well as the greatest demand so it might be a sweet spot. In fact the Spanish translator salary is higher than almost any other language. Chinese and Japanese is also a great competition with high demand but lower competition. Meaning Japanese translation jobs no matter how big or small will end up paying well compared to other languages. Korean and Swedish on the other hand have lower demand and lower competition. So you don’t want to be stuck there on the spectrum. The average translator salary by language will vary based on these combinations. So make sure to do your research before.

Now that we have figured out what language combinations are the most lucrative, you should know the highest paying translator jobs

Literary translation is the highest payment translation service. This is because literature is considerably more challenging when rewording content to maintain the integrity of the writer, the story, subtext, metaphors etc. It can be very challenging for the translator, but again, a great opportunity to make money. Literary translators on average make $51,000 a year. Already around $10,000 higher than the average translator salary.

This isn’t to say you can’t make great money translating other types of content. Just something to keep in mind.

Hopefully, this helped clear up any questions you had about translating! Let us know if you have any further questions and good luck!

Certified Translation Services

Get your documents translated and certified by a professional translator in 60+ languages with 24 hour delivery.

Get a Quote
Post updated on 7 Feb, 2024.

Related Articles

How To Get A Death Certificate Translation?
How To Get A Death Certificate Translation?

Death certificate translation must be performed by professionals. A person who dies in a country where he/she is not a national, or if the death certificate has to be presented to any foreign institution by the inheritors, in these cases, the professionals should do a...

Which Countries Speak French?
Which Countries Speak French?

How Many Countries Speak French? In 2024, there are about 300 million people in 51 different countries that are French-speaking, either as the first, the second, or a foreign language. Among the world's map, only the countries that speak French can distinguish their...

How Many Portuguese Speakers Are There Worldwide?
How Many Portuguese Speakers Are There Worldwide?

How Many People Speak Portuguese? Portuguese is used by over 260 million people worldwide. Originating from Latin, Portuguese is an Indo-European language. Such a thick density of speakers is making the language ever more significant on the global platform. It shares...