Making Money Online with a Second Language

As Americans climb out of difficult financial times, student loans remain an economic barrier to many, with loan debt growing in every quarter since 2003. Repayment is a burden for many current students and graduates.  What can you do to rid yourself of the debt accumulated?

I recently spoke with a community college graduate who smartly navigated his way out of educational debt through leveraging his proficiency in a second language. Though highly intelligent and proficient in their own languages, many students at his school were having trouble mastering English, and needed someone to fill the gaps introduced by textbooks and professors. The graduate spent some of his free time tutoring students in the library, but before long he had expanded to online tutoring as well.

Current students and grads don’t have to move far to make money; a number of people make sizable profits by roving online opportunities.  Those who speak a second language land jobs, leveraging multilingual skills to consult, tutor, translate documents, and address other tasks. You may not think that moving “learn to speak Spanish” to the top of your to-do list makes sense, but here are a few reasons why investing in that second language is a fiscally sound move.

General Advantages of Learning More Languages

Even as the population of the world increases, in some ways the world becomes smaller; technological advancements and digital communication allow people from all over the world to communicate in real time.  Knowing an additional language invites:

–          Academic progress in multiple subject areas

–          Enhancement in abstract and creative thinking

–          Test score improvement

–          Increased chances of college acceptance and job security

–          Better networking in social and professional settings

The benefits of being multi-lingual go beyond this small list, but within this small list financial opportunities are numerous.

Tutor Online

A number of digitally-organized tutoring programs exist online.  Sessions are performed remotely or tailored toward those needing help in particular communities.  Do you like the thought of helping others while making money from the comfort of your own home?

Depending on the structure of the enterprise, and level of those needing tutoring, compensation may range from $9 to $30 per hour (or more).  Additionally, other teaching opportunities are found on the web; several companies and colleges hire online teachers/communicators for college-level and corporate classes.  One particular entity, Connections Academy, hires virtual teachers for K-12th grade classes.

 Translation Service

Imagine you’re done with classes for the day and studying for the evening, yet still have energy left to make money online.  Those who know another language can translate documents and forms of content for businesses and non-profit entities.

Common translation projects require communicating a message from one language to another for multiple purposes, whether commercial or educational.  Businesses pay high wages for translation tasks; maintaining consistency and efficiency of message, avoiding language barriers and misconception, is integral.  Online hubs, such as Freelancer, align translators with those seeking the service.

Buy Domain Names

Ecommerce is an exploding market.  E-tailing is expected to increase by 16%, with American spending estimated at $327 billion by 2016.  Americans, and people the world over, use the Web to find information, goods, and services.

Making money online offers different dynamics, such as ‘owning’ a domain name, like ‘’.  Imagine if you owned a domain name associated with a highly-sought service or product.  Businesses pay a lot of money for lucrative domain names, with a number of individuals making passive incomes by purchasing names, later selling them to interested parties. One gentleman, confronted with a $25,000 offer for a domain in the 90’s, makes a living out of buying and selling domain names.  Those with the knowledge of another language potentially place themselves at an added advantage, understanding the implications and meanings of terms associated with desired and commercially-lucrative goods and services.

Business Consulting

The business landscape is expanding, allowing businesspeople across the world to communicate in real-time.  Mobile marketing alone, advertising to consumers through cellular phones and other remote devices, has the possibility to bring incredible financial opportunity.

For instance:

–          76% of Japanese smart phone owners used their phones to go online every day in the past week

–          53% of smartphone owners in France browse phones while watching television

–          41% of Egyptian smartphone owners make purchases directly from their phone devices

Businesses of all verticals have begun embracing digital technologies, hoping to increase global market share and revenue, introducing goods and services to foreign consumers.  While the global demand is present and domestic companies offer services and products to supply those demands, communication remains a crucial factor in embracing foreign markets.

Those speaking foreign languages, also endowed with a better sense of the culture, purchasing behaviors, and differences in norms, serve as financial advantages to American brands as well as foreign companies seeking to embrace American consumers with offered goods and services.

Foreign Correspondence

Newspaper outfits are continuously forced to make the digital switch, with many going bankrupt as more find ways to cut costs on print and make headway with digital publications.  Are you great with words, did you study journalism, or written for your college newspaper in the past?

Work as a foreign correspondent.  One successful foreign correspondent offers, “I work remote, have never visited the headquarters, talked to my boss about two times in the last two years and no one seems to have a problem with that.”

Global correspondence grow in demand as increasing numbers of digital publications get eager to communicate with new domestic and foreign markets.  Digital communicators of respective languages execute work from anywhere in the world, making a living due to language skills and the widespread availability of an Internet connection.

With student loan debt creating an ever growing burden for students, looking outside of traditional work study can lead to lucrative endeavors. Students who have mastered a second language, or were born into a bilingual family may already have a money making solution at their fingertips.

About the Author: Leslie Collins is a long time writer for Pimsleur Approach. She enjoys traveling, coffee, discovering new cultures, and hikes with her golden retriever.
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  1. Hi
    I will admit I only came to this post because I thought what I don’t think that will work. The problem is it has now got me thinking uumm I wonder If I can do that. I think I could teach going to dig a bit deeper and see what I think

    Thanks I think lee great post

  2. These are all very interesting ways to make money with another language! I need to learn a second… 🙂

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