Babelcube: A Site For All Languages

Not many freelancers will be able to utilize Babelcube to its full potential, but it is being included on this list as it is an up and coming site that is slowly building a large client base.

The main purpose of Babelcube is book translations. Into English, from English, from some other language to yet another language.

There are three ways to use Babelcube: As a writer. As a translator. Or as both.

To join Babelcube as a writer, a freelancer must have written a book (fiction or non-fiction), published it, AND retain the translation rights to the work. When you sign up as a writer to Babelcube, you input information about the books you are offering for translation. Information such as, genre, what language it's in, what languages can it not be translated to, a synopsis, information about sales, and so on.

Freelancers then bid on translating the book into various languages. As described later in this post, the freelancers do not bid with fees, they bid with how long it will take them to translate the work, a translation of several paragraphs of your choosing into the target language, and what their qualifications are and why they should be the one to translate your book.

To register as a translator, you should know both your chosen "from" language and your chosen "to" language fluently. You should have experience in translating and be confident in your abilities to translate a book containing 20,000 to 60,000 words and be able to maintain continuity throughout. You should be able to translate more than just the words, you must be able to make the translation make sense.

For example, I translate a lot of German language books into English on Babelcube and elsewhere. One of the first things to stump me in translation was something like, "She drank some water to calm her circulatory system." Of course, I had never encountered anything like that before in English. Calm her circulatory system? It took me some thinking before I realized that in English, this should be rendered as, "She drank some water to calm her nerves." Makes more sense, right?

Once the book is translated, the author checks it out, which is odd, as the author most likely does not know the target language, and then passes or fails the translation. Babelcube then releases the book as an ebook available on many platforms. Of course there's the requisite Nook and Kindle stores, but there are other stores around the world. If your book is translated to Italian and there's an ebook store that deals in Italian language ebooks, your book will eventually end up for sale on that site. While the site primarily prepares books to be sold as ebooks, the author does have the option of editing the paperback version their self. These paperback versions are manufactured through Amazon's Createspace program as print-on-demand books.

At this point, to join Babelcube as both a translator and writer requires two different email addresses so that you can make two different accounts. Care must also be taken when navigating the site signed in as one as I have noticed sometimes I could be signed in as one, but a page would load thinking I was the other.

Unlike the other freelance sites listed in this series, Babelcube pays when accumulated royalties are over $50. So if your book has been on sale for six months and over those six months you have accumulated $47 in royalties, you have to wait until your book earns you another three dollars in order to see any payment. There is a formula for how they figure up the royalties, and instead of going into it here, I will link to their explanation:

The down side on this is that your pay day may take a long time coming and not be worth much. On the other, your pay day may be big and often. It depends on what the people want to read, and in what language.