Translator Salary by Language: Top Highest-Paying Languages

Translator Salary by Language: Top Highest-Paying Languages

If you decide to become a translator you must focus on your preferred languages. You can aim to improve your skills by maximizing every learning opportunity. Since you might be looking to earn as much as possible, you will have to look for methods in which this can become a reality.

The truth is that you will have to specialize as generally there is no above-average income with average skills. It may take some years to get there, but eventually, it will pay off to dedicate your energy and dedication for this purpose.

You might also want to consider that although some languages pay more than others, in many cases it is not worthwhile to invest your time into a language you don’t like. Although Chinese is in high demand you might not like it and this is why it may be recommended to look for languages you love speaking.

Even if you manage to speak decent Chinese, you won’t be able to specialize in a certain area if you are really not motivated enough.

How to become a good translator

If you become a good translator you need to go through some basic steps which will allow you to aim for a higher income. For example, even if you speak a language which is not in high demand but you manage to specialize in a certain area such as the legal or medical fields, you might see a significant increase in revenue.

You can always check for translator jobs on Since you might be tempted to work in an environment which doesn’t automatically come with high income, you might be passing on some great opportunities.

A good method to avoid this situation is to really assess your skills. If you know 3-4 languages and you would like to work in one of them but you are not as fluent, it might be worth reconsidering your choices.

While Japanese can pay more, French may come easier for you. At the end of the day, you need to have an objective outlook on what you can really offer.

What if you are starting from scratch? If you are just embarking on the journey of learning languages, you may want to consider the ones which sound better to you.

Although German might be easier to learn for an English speaker than Spanish, in the end, your willingness to learn the language is going to make the difference. If you choose rare languages, make sure you take some time to experience it at least through media if not with a native speaker to assess if this is something that would really interest you.

Arabic, Chinese and Japanese are best for maximizing income

The salary you can expect for translating certain languages will depend on your location on the globe. If you live in China you may find there is an increasing demand for good English speakers.

This is determined by the economic and political climate which has strengthened the ties between China and the United States but also due to the international nature of English.

In the United States, the best paying languages are Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. These languages will be in high demand over the following years due to the trade agreements and the political situation.

Together with Danish, these languages offer the best chance to maximize your revenue. So what can you expect in terms of salary range?

The salary for these languages typically starts at around $70.000 per year. The upper limit for specialized translation is around $170.000.

For the latest translation jobs you can check  Real Translator Some of the lower paid jobs come with Italians and Spanish.

This has also been influenced by the political and economic nature of migration and trade. Since there are growing communities of Spanish and Italian speakers in the country, the wages are also kept to a minimum level.

Advice on how to increase revenue

What if you are willing to make any sacrifice and maximize on the top paying languages revenue? In this scenario, you need to be able to truly master one of the above-mentioned languages.

If you want to learn Arabic and truly master it, the simplest way to start is by talking to native speakers.

They will give you many insights into certain variations and colloquial uses which are hard to be learnt at academic level. Then you might want to join a university or a course to get the most out of formal learning.

With so many options to choose from, you can even go with an online option. In most cases, distance learning can benefit you with practicality and the fact that you can attend multiple courses on your preferred schedule.

If you plan to take this route, make sure you also supplement it with face to face interactions where you can practice your chosen language. Look for online meetup groups in your area for the specific language or you can even try visiting specialized stores and restaurants where you can have the chance to practice the skills with native speakers.

How much can I earn translating?

Making a good income with languages is possible. In the United States, the average salary is $61.000 per country. If you are an experienced translator you can earn up to 30% more.

Entry-level positions are paid, on average, 14% less. If you speak a rare language such as Pashto, you can earn 38% more than the national average wage.

The Arabic language will come with 22% more, while Chinese will come with 14% more. Some popular languages are paid below the average salary. French is paid about 7% less while Spanish is paid around 8% less.

You can also add other benefits to these wages. Medical insurance, dental and vision insurance are not that rare for translators.

Your earning potential can also be maximized alongside your job, with training courses or freelancing opportunities. Some of them may be available at

In the end, you will have to learn and master your preferred language regardless of the salary if you want this to be a career choice.

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