I receive a lot of emails from people looking to get into translation and many of the questions I’m asked are common. So occasionally I try to answer them here.
One that I get asked is how long the hours are. This is one of the hardest questions to answer, because it depends. How many hours you work depends on how much work you get asked to do, how much work you want to do, what type of projects you take on, and how much time and energy each assignment requires.
You could take on one short translation job each month or you could work more than full-time as a translator.
Personally, I’ve been at both extremes, and it’s depended on my circumstances (i.e. how dependent I am on the income from translation and what other jobs I have). You can fairly easily build up a career as a freelance non-fiction translator, but to work full-time as a literary translator is generally harder.
How many hours a week do other translators work?