If you want to make money speaking another language, the first step is to start speaking. This article is for you if you are traveling abroad and want to augment your income with some currency, or if you are bilingual.
If you’ve worked in the language sector before, you’ll know that there’s a lot of money to be made teaching people a foreign language or translating. But you’re now curious what the right way to get started is. Don’t worry, I have answers to all of your questions.
Here are 9 practical tips on how to make money speaking another language.
1. Become a conversation buddy
If you know two languages well enough that it helps you at work and you’re willing to teach others what you know, offer your services as a conversation buddy.
Being a conversation buddy is a great way to make money while speaking another language. Conversation buddies provide opportunities for language learners to practice with native speakers.
Offer to be a conversation buddy with the neighbors, or offer to tutor their children. Some school teachers will also be happy to pay you to help get their students fluent. It’s a great way to practice your local language as well.
Your friends and family may be willing to pay you for your knowledge of their native tongue or another language which you may have. This is especially true if they struggle with learning a language and need someone else to chat with.
2. Work as a freelance translator
Translations are always a must in today’s global market because there are no two cultures that speak the same language. Computers have made translation more scientific and less of an art form, but when human judgment and understanding are still required, it takes a human translator.
At first, freelance translating was done mostly by people who already had a background in translation or linguistics. But in recent years with the need for translators on the rise, many students enrolled in translation courses are becoming freelance translators.
When working as a freelance translator, you can choose your own working hours, practicing the language you so love on the side or full time.
Learn more: How to make money with your voice.
3. Create language resources
A website can be a powerful language resource. But you do have to invest some time in order to gain optimal results.
A blog or website provides an unlimited amount of material, has audience-ready text that native and non-native speakers can read and listen to, and is updated regularly with up-to-date content.
When creating your content, you should also consider the language resources you are going to make available along with your content. If you are a non-native English speaker, then a spoken video might be the best content format for conveying your message.
Yet, if you happen to be an expert in this spoken medium and find that you can communicate the most with this method, then making it a video might not be your best move to make money.
4. Teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)
Are you good at teaching others? Do you love to learn a new language? Will you like to merge these two passions into an interesting and satisfying activity? If you’re interested, this might be the perfect opportunity for you!
Helping children learn English as a second language also brings you closer to your own educational and personal objectives. There are over a billion native English speakers on the planet, which means you have a huge opportunity to make money with your language skills.
Few countries do require fluency in English to operate legally, while others favor individuals with significant expertise with the language. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) can be a good way to earn money when traveling.
5. Become a tour guide
If you like meeting new people and exposing others to the culture of your home country, becoming an interpreter for a group on a tour of your homeland can be a great way to go.
Tourists can’t always speak the native language, which means they rely on tour guides to take them to interesting places and explain the sights. If you live in an area that is popular for tourist or even a student, consider becoming a tour guide.
You will be able to know your own city better and make some extra money. Just make sure to focus on providing quality information rather than delivering your spiel as fast as possible.
This is a great job for somebody who loves to travel and likes to share their own experiences with others.
Learn more: Best travel Jobs
6. Become a freelance writer
The internet is full of freelance writing opportunities to teach others how to speak your native language. Freelance writing is an excellent way to make money speaking another language. Whether it’s for online magazines or for blogs, there are plenty of options.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of websites and publications looking for people to write about their expertise in their native language.
To get started, look for websites or blogs that accept articles in your native language and offer you money for them. If you’re really ambitious, you can sign up for pro-writer sites like Upwork and make yourself available as an article translator.
7. Plan trips abroad for holidaymakers
Whether a romantic trip to Paris or a weekend break to Amsterdam, holidaymakers want to have a good time and want you to help them achieve that. They would love to learn foreign languages or find a language teacher who can plan and guide their holiday trip at the best possible price.
Business opportunities in this sector are plentiful as the travel business is being fiercely fought for. This means there is more work available for translators specializing in holiday areas.
8. Teach at a museum or community college
If you’re motivated by a genuine desire to spread your love of language to others, teaching is the perfect way to put your skills to the test and make some cash at the same time.
Several museums in areas known for having high linguistic populations offer classes; if you’re bilingual, that can really open some doors.
Teaching English online is not the only way to make a living speaking another language. In reality, teaching languages in person is not for everybody and it takes time and energy to build a solid client base.
Some language teachers have full-time jobs and need to teach part-time on the side or during vacations. For others, teaching English in community colleges provides them with the freedom to work when they want and how much they want to earn.
9. Make language videos on YouTube or a language blog
Do you know that language blogs and YouTube videos offer additional sources of income? One of the easiest ways to make money while speaking another language is to start a blog about it.
If you have a passion for your language and want to share it with others, consider making videos or writing a blog. This is a unique way to not only make money through adverts on the video via YouTube or blog but also brand yourself as an authority in the language you are speaking.
There are so many topics you can choose from, and there are millions of people who read blogs online, in any given language. You can either do it for fun or create the main goal for generating income with your blog.
Learn more: How to make money on YouTube
How much money can you make knowing a foreign language?
It’s tough to guess just how much money you would make speaking a foreign language. But, it differs for each individual. Each country has its own requirements, various levels, and varying incomes.
Many people have very rewarding professions as translators, while others serve as language teachers or in other roles such as translation. The most important thing is to first become fluent in the language you want to know.
Can speaking two more languages increase my job prospects?
Yes, there is no doubt that speaking two foreign languages can greatly increase your chances of having a more interesting job. Many companies in the international market prefer people who speak languages other than those used in their homeland.
Speaking two more languages can help you develop yourself for a competitive edge in the workforce. This is especially relevant if one of the languages is English because there is a high demand for English speakers around the world.
But what if I only know one language?
The trick is to identify a need and then meet it. You can also make money translating even though you don’t know more than a language.
Many extra language learning websites exist, even though you don’t know a second language, and will teach you a version of the same language you already know. If all else fails, a fast search on Google will reveal various resources.
Which languages are most in-demand?
Most people making a living through speaking another language teach or translate at large events. Since some of these positions require proficiency in multiple languages, knowing Spanish and English is usually enough to find a job.
However, other important languages include German, Japanese, Arabic, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
Speaking another language isn’t something reserved for the privileged few. It’s actually a valuable skill to have in the modern market. Many people say learning another language is a waste of time and only helps you get a job teaching the language.
But, speaking another language has many benefits when it comes to making money beyond just teaching. These tips will help you earn more and keep your big-money clients happy.