Volunteer in Translation Abroad

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Translation


155 Translation Volunteer Abroad Programs


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IVHQ’s local organization cooperates with a network organization including 30+ local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and other Cambodian towns, focusing on community and rural development, democracy development and gender issues. The organizations support the poorest of the poor and those who have become landless, offering capacity building opportunities and orga...


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Love Volunteers has provided thousands of volunteers with the chance to travel abroad and volunteer where help is really needed. Love Volunteers provides safe, responsible, affordable Translation volunteer programs for volunteers who want a truly memorable experience abroad. Check out our exciting program options!


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Nestled between the Caribbean Ocean and a tropical rainforest, volunteers have the option to spend a weekend or two exploring this wonderful location and enjoy its many attractions and activities - including stunning beaches, rainforest, canopy tours and white water rafting. Volunteers plan and run lessons and assist with English language education for the community members. The local commun...


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Projects Abroad offers a Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care project in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Interns on this project work at a center that cares for stray dogs, birds of prey, and tortoises. Many of the animals have been rescued from the streets of Cochabamba or from previous owners that did care for them adequately, so volunteers can play a huge role in their rehabilitation. Alternatively, volun...


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As you explore its ancient ruins, canopied jungles, and epic coastline, you'll understand, Peru is quite literally the stuff of legend. A melting pot of Japanese, African, Chinese, and European influences and roots tracing back to Pre-Columbian Incas, Peru is like no place else. Volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions and you'll experience not only the great things Peru is famous for, but al...


Are you adept at sign language and communicating with children with special needs and hearing impairment? Join our team and volunteer at a school for deaf children in the Philippines. Get the opportunity to work with local teachers and kids, helping improve learning and class interaction. An estimated 150 babies in the Philippines are born every day with hearing loss and an astonishing 27,000 b...


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Adelante Abroad offers low cost volunteer programs in a wide variety of fields and causes (listed below) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Volunteers can work for up to 12 months and programs are offered year round. Programs are customizable; you'll be paired with organizations in need of specific skills while allowing you to reach your academic and career goals. Oaxaca is one of the most biodiverse ar...


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Located in Santiago, Vina del Mar, and Valparaiso Chile, ELI Social Work Projects get volunteers involved in a variety of ways. With an overall goal of benefiting the community, participants work with local social workers on several different project including working at a Children's home, volunteering at a kindergarten, and helping out at-risk youth while others work more with women at shelter...


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ISA Service-Learning provides opportunities to serve in local NGOs, schools, clinics, and businesses through structured service-learning programs year-round. Through service at a local organization and guided reflection activities, our goal is to help you gain a better understanding of the local language, culture and community. Throughout your program, you will create a portfolio, which consi...


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Volunteers For Peace, a Vermont-based nonprofit, has been offering volunteer projects around the world for over 30 years! In France, VFP offers over 400 volunteer projects each year. Volunteer projects center around renovation, construction, historic preservation, archaeology, festivals, environmental projects like trail building, park maintenance, education, organic farming, working with s...


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UBELONG offers 1 week to 6 month volunteering opportunities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. In Costa Rica, volunteer with UBELONG in caregiving, education, health, NGO support and women's empowerment - explore UBELONG and join the thousands of people who have already become UBELONG Volunteers!


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The Intern Group is the leading provider of internship programs in the emerging market of Colombia! We provide international students with internships in top private companies, NGOs and state ministries. Our programs are regularly featured on CNN International and other mainstream media. Apply now for a wonderful experience and propel your professional development! Develop your Spanish langu...


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Ciudad Vieja is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants in Guatemala's central highlands, approximately 3 km (2 miles) from Antigua. The town is situated at the foot of the Agua volcano and surrounded by subtropical forest and agricultural land. We offer the following programs in Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala: (1 to 24 weeks placement) Program Length: 1 to 24 weeks Program Date: January thru Novemb...


Join the Rural Xhosa Village Project in East London, South Africa. This rural grass roots initiative is focused on the Xhosa tribe living by the foothills of the Amatole Mountains. Together with the project’s founder, Lieve, you will assist with day care and after-school care, woodwork, charcoal production, and other activities. Tasks include (but are not limited to) the following: - Teachin...


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Work as a Social Media Intern in the Galapagos. Help monitor and actively market IOI Galapagos donation and fundraising functions, and continue to build their presence on flickr, Google+, twitter, and Facebook. You will also take charge of blogging and website updates. IOI Galapagos encourages long-term volunteering to maximize benefits for both the locals and the volunteers. They encourage...

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Volunteering Abroad in Translation

Parlez-vous français? Hablar español? Hui bu hui shuo hanyu? If you answered “oui,” “si,” AND “hui,” you might be a robot. BUT, if you happened to answer “yes” and you are a living, breathing human being, then you are truly a language superstar! Why not take your unique skills set and ability to forge communication between unlikely populations and apply it to a meaningful cause? We hate to be Johnny Obvious, but volunteering abroad as a translator in your language(s) of choice is probably your true calling. If this sounds like a “hao,” “bien,” or “bueno” option for you, read on!

Why Volunteer Abroad in Translation

The world keeps getting smaller and smaller as our societies become more globalized. The value of translation and intercultural communication skills has never been higher. If you’re not quite sure how to begin your future career as a translator, starting off as a volunteer translator abroad is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Volunteering abroad as a translator will allow you to help others communicate in the most efficient, effective way possible. You’ll be on the ground to perfect your speaking skills along with help others communicate. Using your skills and seeing your language abilities in action may inspire you to stick it out and keep learning, even on those frustrating days when it seems no one has any idea what you are saying. You will make international connections that are perfect for securing future translation job opportunities too. While volunteering in translation abroad your language skills will improve up the wazoo, so true fluency will be a pretty sweet perk you can walk away with.

The value of utilizing your target language in a nation that speaks it cannot be extolled enough. This experience, singularly, will make your time volunteering abroad entirely worth it. You will walk away with an improved skill set, a deeper understanding of the complexities of the world, and new lifelong friends and contacts.


With global development rising at a fast pace, communication is a very important component in today’s world, making translators a valuable team member within any organization. Where you go is dependent on what languages you speak, but here are some potential locations!

Spanish speaking countries are among some of the most popular destinations to volunteer abroad in translation. However, being a Spanish translator in places like the United States, where large numbers of Spanish speakers live among a majority of English speakers, can be useful too. Other popular countries for Spanish to English translation volunteer work include Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Regardless of whether you are translating English to Spanish or vice versa, the America’s offer many different translating volunteer opportunities.

French translation goes far beyond the borders of France to other francophone countries like (some parts of) Canada, Haiti, and even countries in Africa, such as Cameroon and Mali. Volunteering as a French translator in these countries will provide you with a cultural experience far beyond France, and allow you to have a positive impact on countries that are in greater need of translators.

Volunteering abroad as a translator in Arabic is becoming increasingly important in today’s global market; hence, there are Arabic translation volunteer opportunities around the world. Some of the most common places for Arabic translators in the Middle East and North Africa include Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. Even Western countries, like the United States, England, and many European countries, need Arabic translators because of current global events taking place involving both English speakers and Arabic speakers who are not bilingual

Translation Volunteer Work Abroad

Being a volunteer translator abroad is more than just following around stuffy businessmen and women in suits for big international meetings. As a volunteer translator you will have the opportunity to connect communities with necessary resources, bridge intercultural gaps through language, and make a real impact on the lives of others. There are generally a few different types of translation volunteer opportunities abroad.

Healthcare. Translators volunteering in health care services will help translate important documents and during appointments. By translating medical and legal documents, you will help medical professionals and institutions ensure they are exchanging the correct information with patients and other facilities. This is a great way to volunteer abroad in translation because it will help individuals provide and receive effective healthcare services, while also giving you international experience that will look great on a resume.

Nonprofit. Working for a nonprofit or NGO as a volunteer translator can help organizations effectively build international relations and increase the efficiency of their communications. This is a great way to get international exposure and experience that will benefit your future career goals, while also contributing to an organization dedicated to making a difference in the world. The goal of a nonprofit or NGO is to share their mission with the world, and your translation volunteer work will directly support and promote this mission.

Community Development. Having translation assistance in any aspect of community development can be extremely beneficial for the members of local communities and as well as project implementers. Whether translating for a local school, educating the public about the environment or health concerns, or even sharing general information with the community, you can help ensure information is shared and disseminated correctly as well as answer essential questions. Regardless of how you help the community or organization communicate, having a translator on their side will help them develop at an even faster rate and make their programs more successful.

Timing. Translation volunteer placements vary in duration greatly depending on the level of communication required between organizations, companies, and groups of people. While some translating gigs may only last as long as one meeting, there may be a need for documents to be reviewed by a translator regularly or for a more extensive amount of time.

Requirements. Previous experience is only occasionally required to volunteer abroad in translation. Regardless of previous experience, you obviously must be fluent in at least two languages to become a volunteer translator abroad. The application process for translation volunteering tends to be much more detailed, and placements more competitive, than other volunteer opportunities abroad due to the responsibilities given to volunteer translators.  

Benefits & Challenges

Tricky Translations. Working as a volunteer translator abroad can be a challenging task, especially when it is being done in the business world. Not only do you have to be fluent in both languages, but you also have to understand terminology that might not be used in other settings. Before volunteering in translation abroad, you may need to review specific vocabulary related to the type of content and information you will be working with.

Analytical Ability. You have to be able to analyze a message quickly and translate it correctly to be a successful translator volunteer abroad. Therefore, translation volunteering is not for the faint of heart, however, it is extremely rewarding for those who succeed. Your brain power will be supercharged and your skills set only short of world domination! Maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

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