11 Language Translation Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

11 Language Translation Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a language translation business in 2021?

We put together 11 of the best language translation businesses you can start in today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other language translation businesses to help you see what it really takes.

Here's the full list:

1. Start a language learning app ($224K/year)

Alex Chernikov from Berlin, Germany started Gikken ago, a language learning app.

  • Revenue: $18,635/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Gikken’s foundation was laid in 2011 or so. I don’t remember the exact year but I was in high school. I was amidst my most active English learning years. I was trying to read as many articles, blogs, essays, etc in English as possible. At some point, an idea that it’d be great to double click on words to get them translated right there struck me. It was the early days of Google Chrome that wasn’t the most popular browser yet. And, I think it already could translate pages entirely, but it was totally useless for me because when I can understand 80% of the text, why would I translate it entirely? It’s also terrible for mastering a language. Guessing the meanings of words from the context works better for memorizing new vocabulary. The more effort your brain takes, the stronger neural connections are.

So, physiology aside, I wanted a fast way to translate single words I didn’t understand or double-check sentences. The previous flow involved copying it, switching to a new tab with Google Translate opened there, translating it, and then switching back. Terribly inefficient and annoying when you have to do it 10 times per article, 100 times per day.

By the time I was obsessed with this idea, I could already easily implement anything I wanted on the web. I started coding at 13, so I had already at least 2 or so years of experience with copycatting news portals, trying to build my social network (who didn’t!), and reinventing a few popular JavaScript libraries. It was the early days of not only Google Chrome but also Chrome Web Store—the extension store. I made an extension that I needed for my own needs, called Instant Translate, and uploaded it to the Chrome Web Store. Uncunningly, the timing was perfect for organic growth through the store as Instant Translate happened to be one of the first extensions there. The 15-year-old me knew something only about building apps but absolutely nothing about turning them into a business. Thus, I relied on "organic growth". In other words, routinely checking analytics and praying that it grew. I did nothing more than that for the first few years.

how-we-started-a-18k-month-app-and-browser-extensions-development-business

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Alex Chernikov, on starting Gikken ($18,635/month) full story ➜

2. Start a web design & online marketing business ($900K/year)

Francesc LTW from Barcelona started La Teva Web almost 19 years ago, a web design & online marketing business.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 19
  • Location: Barcelona

My academic background has always been focused on management and strategy, I did economics, a PGDip in European Companies Management, and an MBA in England. Once I finished these studies, I started to work in Barcelona as a product manager for a couple of large companies. These were very well-known and large companies and, although I was in my twenties and I had achieved a relevant position in both companies but, for me, it was a waste of time.

At that time you could not expect to have a minimum influence in companies where all marketing decisions are always made in central offices, always abroad. Unfortunately, Spanish companies produced few goods and they merely buy and sell products manufactured in other countries.

I wanted to see all processes and, above all, feel that my efforts were worth something real and touchable. That’s why I decided that if I wanted to put into action everything I had learned, I should build my own company.

on-starting-a-web-development-agency-in-the-early-00s-and-growing-it-to-75k-month-and-20-employees

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Francesc LTW, on starting La Teva Web ($75,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a catering business ($240K/year)

Nestor Nidome from Crestmore, California, USA started Elegante Catering ago, a catering business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Crestmore, California, USA

For as long as I can remember I have always been attracted to the idea of being a business owner. I’ve tried many businesses starting with my own DJ company. I got some business cards, printed them at Staples, passed them out, and waited for the calls.

It took a bit of time, but eventually, the calls started to come in and bookings started to happen. I did that for a couple of years until one of the DJ gigs some gangsters got into it and I was almost in the middle of a gang fight. Thank GOD things calmed down, but after that, I started looking for another business!

During this same time, the whole tech bubble was growing and I wanted a part of it. I took some coding classes in college and started using HTML to code my website from scratch. I kind of borrowed a lot of ideas from Yahoo but it was going to be mainly focused on my local city. I visited some businesses and got some of them to advertise. Things seemed to be going well when the bubble burst and I was once more left to venture out and look for something else.

how-i-found-success-with-a-20k-month-catering-company-after-starting-many-businesses

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Nestor Nidome, on starting Elegante Catering ($20,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start an online language coaching business ($2.88K/year)

Marlena Jorn from Windermere, FL, USA started Marlena Jorn Tutors 10 months ago, a online language coaching business.

  • Revenue: $240/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Windermere, FL, USA

I have been learning German since I was twelve in 2007. I first went to German-speaking countries two years later, and after stepping off the plane back home in Chicago, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to it. After college, I worked exhausting service jobs. In March, I finally leapt off the edge and applied to teach German on Outschool. I was accepted, and I have been teaching there since with a 4.7/5 rating!

There will be many discouraging moments, many "No"'s. This is completely normal and part of the journey for many entrepreneurs, including myself. Keep pushing yourself, and you will get through the tough times!

With six months of teaching under my belt, I finally felt that it was time to branch out to something of my own. I contacted some people who I knew were interested in learning German, and we began private Zoom lessons. I created my website this October, and Marlena Jorn Tutors was born. I knew this was the right time after being contacted by a family asking me to teach three of them privately. I saw that as my opportunity to finally take that leap.

on-starting-a-private-german-lessons-online-service

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Marlena Jorn, on starting Marlena Jorn Tutors ($240/month) full story ➜

5. Become a dream interpreter business

Examples of a successful dream interpreter business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a dream interpreter business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a dream interpreter business ➜

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6. Start a multilingual stock brokerage business

Examples of a successful multilingual stock brokerage business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a multilingual stock brokerage business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a multilingual stock brokerage business ➜

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7. Start a mediator business

Examples of a successful mediator business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a mediator business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a mediator business ➜

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8. Start a foreign language training business

Examples of a successful foreign language training business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a foreign language training business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a foreign language training business ➜

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9. Start a neighborhood market business

Examples of a successful neighborhood market business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a neighborhood market business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a neighborhood market business ➜

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10. Start a freelance spanish interpreter business

Examples of a successful freelance spanish interpreter business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a freelance spanish interpreter business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a freelance spanish interpreter business ➜

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11. Start a document translation business

Examples of a successful document translation business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a document translation business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a document translation business ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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