Salaries by Language: Top 10 Highest Paying Translation Languages in the World

Jan 17, 2019

Choosing to work as a translator could be a very good step for your career. As the world keeps prioritizing globalization more and more, it is only normal to see a rise in the need of translators all around the world. Translation job has become a big trend in our day and time and people of all backgrounds can land a job as long as they know a set of languages.

If you are interested in becoming a translator, if you already know a pair of languages or are bilingual, it would be smart of you to know just how much you could make from translating based on the languages you know. This will help you decide whether the field of translations you chose will be profitable enough or not. Here are the 10 highest paid languages in the world in the field of translation.

  1. German

Considering the power of Germany’s economy and its business relations with the rest of the world, you can surely understand why it is providing translators with some of the highest paid language jobs and plenty of job opportunities. On average in the US, a German translator should expect an annual income of about $50,000 while in the UK you would earn an average of £34,000.

  1. French

French translators in the US would earn up to $19.49 per hour of their services. If you live in the UK, the fact that the two countries are close to each other could help you land a job a lot easier, especially in various business sectors. From that you could expect about £32,646 annually.

  1. Arabic

The need for people with knowledge of both Arabic and English has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Working as a translator with this language would help you earn about $20.22 per hour in the US. In the UK, you could expect an annual salary of about £34,122, thus making this one of the best-paid translation jobs you can land.

  1. Chinese

Over the past few years, China has been expanding its reach all over the world and many businesses across the globe are now Chinese-owned. A Mandarin-speaking translator could earn around $74.92 per hour on average. It is good to keep in mind that the need for translators who are fluent in Mandarin and English keeps increasing all over the US.

  1. Dutch

If Dutch is the language you will be translating to and from, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of opportunities for work. On average in the UK a Dutch translator should expect to earn about £29,523 annually.

  1. Japanese

The technological advancements of Japan have surely created a way for it to connect with the rest of the world and that has helped create many job opportunities for translators who speak the language. Less experienced translators could charge between $20-40 per hour, while more experienced ones could charge up to $60-100, depending on the translation and the client’s needs.

  1. Spanish

Spanish is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. Thanks to that fact, Spanish translators are in big demand in the US and also are some of the highest paid translators. You can expect to make around $19.49 per hour when working with this language.

  1. Russian

When it comes to business and financial-related translations, Russian translators are always in need. Due to the number of people immigrating to the US, such translators will always be in need. This language can help you earn up to $78,206 in the US while only £28,658 in the UK.

  1. Italian

Italian is another language which is important for business and such translators are often sought after. This language can help you earn about $50k in the US and £28,523 in the UK.

  1. Portuguese

Another language which is needed more and more in the US in Portuguese. You could easily earn $20.06 per hour when offering your translation services to a client in the US. You can always take a look at some posts of paid translation jobs online and see if it’s worth your while.

Starting your journey in the translation business

The important thing about translations is to remember that not every sector is equally profitable. For example, medical translations are usually the most expensive, closely followed by legal ones. Choose the field that best fits your background and keep in mind the translator salaries by language. You will be able to make a good living no matter the language you speak.