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I’ve heard that you can do well in legal translation

  Tags: Law | Career | Translation
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
13 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
United States
Joined 2420 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes

 Message 1 of 13
2014 19 March at 7:11am | IP Logged 
I heard that you can make big money by translating if you are in the medical or legal field; exactly how do you
get into those fields and how much money can you make?

Edited by legalhigh on 2014 19 March at 7:13am

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Pro Member
United Kingdom
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 Message 2 of 13
2014 19 March at 4:30pm | IP Logged 
I've heard that you can do well ;)

Translating is a very competitive field, as there are millions of native speakers of almost any language, and many of them are asking themselves "what can I do to earn a little more money?" and are registering as translators.

Obviously medical and legal translating requires specialist vocabulary; do you have it? Do you have any medical or legal training? Your name "legalhigh" suggests that you might, though the fact that out of three sentences written on this site so far you've made mistakes in two of them (the title, and your one-liner profile) suggests that either you're not a native English speaker and/or your education is perhaps a little low for such a goal so far (which is not to say it can't be attained with time and effort).

In short, for starters you'll need good qualifications, and an initial portfolio. This might mean you have to do translations for free for a bit to build a portfolio and gain a reputation. Which is unfortunate, because it drives down the prices for everyone else, but that's how the market is.
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 3882 days ago

1265 posts - 2113 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 Message 3 of 13
2014 19 March at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
Welcome to the forum, legalhigh. The forum is a great place to learn and find whatever help you are looking for.

There is definitely demand in those areas. I'd suggest going to and doing some searches based on the types of things you are interested or your anticipated qualifications. You will see various positions advertised along with pay. In addition to translation work, there are always document review positions available in the legal world (e.g. read these boring legal documents in XXX language and note anything that relates to YYY issue).
3 persons have voted this message useful

United States
Joined 2420 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes

 Message 4 of 13
2014 22 March at 2:00am | IP Logged 
I found a legal translator posting but it doesn't say what the salary is. ls&jobOrderID=3562758&ref=indeed
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Senior Member
Joined 2722 days ago

308 posts - 414 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English
Studies: German, Swedish

 Message 5 of 13
2014 22 March at 9:31am | IP Logged 
If you're going into translation (or any other field, for that matter) just for
the money, you're gonna have a bad time.
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 2876 days ago

337 posts - 476 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Polish, Ukrainian, Afrikaans

 Message 6 of 13
2014 24 March at 2:16am | IP Logged 
Assuming you have some experience in the legal field, I would highly recommend you start off doing document review work in foreign languages. Legal language and phrasing is much different, and document review gives you a much lower pressured environment to learn how everything is phrased without having to do an LLM in the language. I know document review is seen as the low class area of the legal world, but especially in foreign language work, there's really no need for that stigma, and you can really learn a lot about the language (including translation, when the firm ultimately asks you on the spot to translate).
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 Message 7 of 13
2014 24 March at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
I have added one "do" and three dots to the title, but unfortunately I don't know anything about the subject of the thread.

Edited by Iversen on 2014 24 March at 3:34pm

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Senior Member
Joined 2951 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 Message 8 of 13
2014 24 March at 3:51pm | IP Logged 
Normally I don't consider myself as a translator but more as a Web Designer / Graphic Designer. I do
post web-pages online in 2 languages. In a country like Canada, we accept a lot of immigrants
every year. You can work in the Department of Immigration translating for immigrants on their status,
especially if they are refugees who are recent arrivals and may not have a lot of education or not fluent
in English. Another area we use translators a lot is in the court room for people who are not fluent in
English. You probably need a certificate of some sort from a local community college or university. It
would take time to get used to the legal terms used. We have a lot of French translators & interpreters
already but there is a need for those who speak other foreign languages.

There are call centres here who would hire people who are fluent in various languages to reach
customers who may not be comfortable speaking English. But these tend to be low-paying jobs at the
minimum hourly-wage allowed by the government with compensation added for each phone call made.
Many of these jobs are now located in India. In some government departments they only hire people
who are bilingual in English & French. As a way to screen applicants the ad would be posted in French. If
you can't read the posting, you wouldn't apply.

The last place to look for work is with an ethnic newspaper. We have local versions of Hong Kong
newspapers like Ming Pao, Sing Dao, other newspapers serving the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino
and other communities. You can submit articles to be published or work as an editor.

Edited by shk00design on 2014 24 March at 4:00pm

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