Literary Translator

Translate books, poems, and articles into other languages.
picture of Literary Translator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Literary Translators do?

A Literary Translator takes a book and translates it into a different language. Whether you’re translating a book from English into a foreign language, or vice versa, it goes without saying that you should be completely fluent in both languages.

As a Literary Translator, you usually work alone on assignments, and oftentimes from home. Translating takes a long time and is tricky business. It requires not only a full understanding of the languages you’re translating to and from, but also a natural feel for the Author’s style.

Sometimes, you’ll be faced with too many ways to translate a phrase. Other times, you’ll find yourself with very few choices, or none at all. Either way, it’s your job to find the best translation. It’s up to you to catch the essence not only of the book, but of the Author as well. That’s why many Translators have their own set of followers. You may even enjoy a following that’s as big as the Authors’ themselves.

This job is difficult to come by though, and is largely a part-time position. But the chance to bring an important work to a whole new audience is rewarding in and of itself.

Should I be a Literary Translator?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Transliterator

    How to become a Literary Translator

    Most Literary Translators have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:yo19cx&chl=no+college+%2812%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%2826%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|doctorate+%2824%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,12,30
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Literary Translator