Is Working at VIPKid Worth It? A Review of VIPKid

In our last article, we covered online jobs that involve teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to students through video-chatting platforms. One of the platforms I mentioned in that article was VIPKid. I explored VIPKid a little bit then, but I feel that a more comprehensive article should be posted afterwards in case people are more interested in joining VIPKid. So without further ado, let’s dive into VIPKid! Is working at VIPKid worth it? What’s it like teaching for VIPKid? 

Before we go on, I must disclose that this article will contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on one of them and purchase something using that link, I will make a commission off of that sale. However, I reiterate as always that this will not affect my review as I aim to talk about as many aspects of each product or service I review, whether bad or good.

So let’s go!

What is VIPKid?

VIPKid is a platform where paying students (mainly from China) connect with English teachers from both the US and Canada through video chat. It was started in 2013 and since then, it has grown tremendously.

As of November 2018, VIPKid has around 60,000 teachers catering to 500,000 students. That’s a lot of teachers and students! VIPKid is a popular place for online ESL teachers to start working.

How Do I Sign Up?

In order to sign up, you need a bachelor’s degree (in any subject), eligibility to work either in the US or Canada, fluent English skills (duh!) (American English is preferred) and at least one year of teaching experience.

Luckily, “teaching experience” is left quite vague. While professional teachers in iTalki need to show proof of professional teaching experience, this isn’t necessary with VIPKid. As long as you’ve had some kind of experience teaching someone (be it mentoring, coaching, or private tutoring), VIPKid will take you. Experience with children is definitely a must as you will be teaching children online.

You have to fulfill these requirements, as VIPKid will reject you immediately if you write in your application that you don’t meet any of the requirements.

If you have what it takes, however, then the next step for you is to fill out their application.

Below is a screenshot from their website once you create an account with them. The application process is fairly straightforward.

After you fill out your basic information (including things like degree, experience, etc), you will be asked to do a demo lesson.

Demo Lesson

VIPKid gives applicants two ways to complete their demo lesson.

You can either record a five-minute video of yourself conducting a demo lesson. VIPKid’s YouTube channel has a video
showing an example of a demo lesson. Follow along with what the teacher is doing in the video while recording your own demo lesson.

The other option is doing a live 30-minute demo lesson with a VIPKid representative watching.

Either option works just fine. However, if you’re looking for more immediate feedback, the live demo lesson might be your cup of tea. That being said, applicants who choose the five-minute video option will get feedback and results within 24 hours.

When you are doing your mock lesson, always remember that you’re going to be talking to kids. Be outgoing, entertaining and caring for your students.

Many teachers bring props in order to make their lessons more engaging to students, as we all know how easily distracted and bored kids can be. Props can include items like dry-erase whiteboards, puppets or a reward system for students. It’s up to you! You can go with the tried-and-true whiteboard or you can be creative! This, of course, isn’t a requirement, but it does help!

Try to be timely. Don’t go on any tangents away from the lesson and try to fit everything within your time limit, but also remember that you will be teaching children, so talking too fast is also a big no-no.

So How Does VIPKid Work?

Once you have been accepted as a teacher, you will then be asked to complete a bio about yourself and a 15-second introductory video. These will be used for parents looking for teachers to book, so make sure you are leaving a good impression on them!

Afterwards, you will have to pick the times that you are available. The more time-slots you have open, of course, the more likely you are to get booked.

Parents will choose from a variety of English teachers hosted on VIPKid. It might seem a little hard to stand out from such a big crowd of teachers, but there are ways you can change this.

One thing I like to do is add tags. Parents will serach for teachers using tags (ie “patient”, “entertaining”, etc) to find someone that fits their kids’ learning needs. You can add up to five tags and I definitely recommend adding all five. It can be a total game changer, as you will stand out more as parents narrow their searches.

Each lesson is 25 minutes long. You will receive an editable PowerPoint lesson for each class and go over it with your student through video chat. The kids are well-behaved and the worst possible problems you might have with a kid there are either no-shows or keeping them engaged.

Of course, props are always encouraged in these lessons, especially if you want to keep your students’ attention.

After your lessons, parents will be asked to provide feedback and ratings for the teachers they booked. Originally, teachers weren’t able to see their own feedback/ratings. However, this appears to have changed.

In the case of no-shows (where a student doesn’t come to class), you will usually have to stick around in the classroom interface in order to be compensated. In the case of trial classes, you’re expected to stay at least 15 minutes. In the case of other classes, you will be required to stay for the whole 25 minutes.

How Much Does VIPKid Pay?

VIPKid will pay teachers $7 to $9 for each 25-minute class. If you complete 45 lessons and are on-time to all of your lessons, you will receive an additional $2 bonus for each class you teach. 

That means hourly pay can come out to around $20 an hour, assuming you are able to book two 25-minute classes within that hour. Not bad at all!

What About the Time Difference?

Since the students are mainly from China, VIPKid teachers will have to deal with the huge time difference between North America and China. Many have chosen to start teaching as early as 4:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, as it would be 4:30 PM in Beijing Time. 

So if you’re more of a night owl, this might be a great gig for you! I deal with insomnia at times so when I can’t sleep at all, sometimes I will fire up my computer and get some early-morning/late-night bookings on VIPKid.

However, there are “rush hours” in VIPKid when bookings and classes are most active. If you can hop on during those times, you can definitely get booked. These “rush hours” usually take place on Friday and Saturday nights, from 9 PM to midnight Eastern Standard Time. So don’t worry, VIPKid isn’t only for night owls!

Pros and Cons?

Pros:

– The pay is pretty good. If you can get booked for two classes for every hour you work, you can earn up to $20 an hour!

– You don’t need to do any lesson prep, as VIPKid provides the lessons in the form of PowerPoint presentations. VIPKid does offer some teaching materials so teachers can get a look at the lessons they will be covering, but you don’t have to make the lessons yourself.

– The hours can be pretty flexible, as you set your own hours and the parents book lessons based on when you are available. Of course, the more open you are with time the more bookings you will get. But in the end, you decide when you work.

-You can look at feedback left by parents of the students you taught. VIPKid also offers feedback after mock lessons.

Cons:

– The time difference between the US/Canada and China can be a hassle. You might have to work early morning/late night shifts. 

Conclusion

Overall, VIPKid is one of my favorite ways to work-at-home. The work isn’t hard, as the lessons are already laid out for you and you will be teaching students remotely instead of dealing with a noisy classroom. The pay is good and the hours are flexible. Getting booked consistently can be a challenge, but there are ways that you can make yourself more visible to parents so that they are likelier to choose you.

All in all, I definitely recommend working at VIPKid.

If you are interested in signing up, sign up at VIPKid.com!

Teaching English as a Second Language Online?

Teaching English online from the comfort of your own computer

Hey! You there! Are you proficient in English? Do you like teaching kids?

If you said yes to both, did you know there are ways you can teach English as a second language online (yes, from the comfort of your own home) and get paid for it?

Did I catch your attention there?

If so, today, we’re going to talk about what it’s like to teach English as a second language online and some of the things you will have to know before diving into this field!

DISCLAIMER: Before we go on, however, I wanted to disclose immediately that there will be affiliate links throughout this post. What this means is that if you sign up for some of the programs below or purchase a product by clicking on an affiliate ad on my post, I will get a commission.

However, I have always promised that I will never let that affect what I say in my reviews. I will speak what is on my mind no matter what, whether it is positive or not. So let’s begin!

So you want to teach English online?

Working as an ESL teacher online

I don’t think I need to talk about how prominent the English language is all over the world. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, then you already know how much of an impact English has had globally.

Because of this, there is always a demand for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. I’ve actually worked as an ESL teacher for several years, teaching senior citizens in class settings as well as Korean immigrants in private one-on-one tutoring sessions. So I know that the demand is huge.

And it hasn’t abated! If you think you have what it takes to teach folks ESL, there are plenty of opportunities on the internet for you to land a gig doing so!

Some of them don’t have many requirements, so long as you pass through their recruitment process (interviews, introductory videos, etc). Others might require more professional experience, such as a degree or a teaching certificate.

So how does one get involved in this kind of work?

Find a Program that’s Right for You

finding the best place to teach esl online

Well, as I have said before, there are all kinds of programs you can sign onto as an ESL teacher online, each with their own requirements.

Based on the skills, academic credentials and experience you have, as well as other factors (such as time, pay grade, etc), you’ll first have to pick a program to join.

Here are a few recommendations of mine. These are some of the largest companies teaching ESL out there and many people who get into this usually start here.

  1. VIPKid

There is a huge market in China for English teachers, which makes sense given China’s population size and their role in the global economy. VIPKid caters to this market.

As of November 2018 they have about 60,000 teachers teaching 500,000 students.

When you work for VIPKid, you teach Chinese kids English remotely using a webcam.

The hours vary but since you will be teaching kids in China, expect most of your gigs to be during the night or early morning (since VIPKid hires teachers from the US and Canada).

VIPKid also requires their applicants have a bachelor’s degree (in anything), eligibility to work in the US or Canada and at least one year of teaching experience. However, VIPKid is pretty lax with what they consider to be “teaching experience”. If you have tutored, homeschooled, coached or mentored someone for at least a year, that counts.

As for pay, they have a base pay of around $7-9 an hour but they tack on a bunch of bonuses for each class you teach, so the final take-home pay is around $15-20 an hour.

I will be uploading a review of VIPKid soon, so keep your eyes out for that!

2. Cambly

Cambly is another English-tutoring program online that’s looking for English-speaking tutors. It’s pretty self-explanatory. When you sign up, you will get gigs from a paying Cambly customer (or a student) and you converse with them in English so they can get better at their conversational skills.

If you can hold a conversation in English, this should be pretty easy for you!

Tutoring is done through a webcam so you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

Their pay is around $10 an hour. They pay through PayPal twice a month and require at least $20 of earnings to cash out.

3. iTalki 

I’ve reviewed iTalki previously from the standpoint of both a teacher and student. I thought it was a great platform that both teachers and students should consider. Not only was it a great way to make some extra money on the side, but if you are learning a language, I cannot recommend anything more than practicing with a native speaker.

If you don’t know what iTalki is, it’s a program where language-learners connect with teachers through webcam to practice their conversational skills.

For teaching ESL, iTalki still can be a lucrative platform to work on. There’s no shortage of people trying to study English, as I have said before, so I am sure you can find some willing customers.

Payment can range widely though depending on how many teachers and students there are in the language you are trying to teach. On average, people tend to earn about 10-20 dollars an hour, but sometimes rates can be low as $5 an hour.

If you want to dive into iTalki, I would certainly recommend it. However, I would do my research on how many people are studying ESL, how many ESL teachers there are as well as how much they charge hourly on this site. That can really make or break your experience on a site like iTalki.

So now that I have given you three of the most popular options for ESL teachers online, let’s dive into the logistics!

 

Get Your Equipment Ready

To start off, you don’t need too much, which makes this a pretty decent opportunity! Chances are if you are reading this and already plan on working from home online, you already have the things that you need to start teaching ESL online.

You are going to need:

      1. A computer (if you’re looking for a new computer to work-at-home from, check out my article on the best work-at-home computers of 2019)
      2. High-speed internet connection
      3. A webcam (if you are looking for a new webcam, click here to purchase my webcam of choice, the Logitech C270)
      4. A whiteboard – some platforms will require you to bring teaching aids like flashcards, a whiteboard or even puppets to help keep students engaged. A small white board with marker is pretty inexpensive, so it’s worth the investment.
  1. Once you have all of those things set up, then you’re already good to go!

    Pre-Requisites

  2. Many of these sites may also require experience in the teaching field. Going back to my three main examples, VIPKid requires applicants to not only have a bachelor’s degree (in anything) but also some experience in a teaching setting (they are very vague about this, as they will take private tutoring and mentoring as “teaching experience”).

    For example, iTalki has two types of teachers:

    Community tutors, which help learners brush up their conversational skills, do not need anything besides an application, the equipment and proficiency in the language they are teaching.

    Professional teachers on iTalki, however, need documentation showing that you have trained and worked as a professional educator. These teachers are usually expected to come bringing lesson plans and actually tutor students instead of just having a regular conversation with them.

    Interviews

  3. When applying to jobs like these, you usually will have to do some kind of interview, video or mock class so that companies can see if you are a right fit.

    Now, I know interviews can be anxiety-inducing for many of us, but no need to fret! These interviews are relatively simple.

    In some cases, like VIPKid, you will have to teach a mock class. Just imagine you’re teaching someone already! In other cases, like iTalki, you will need to upload an introductory video so prospective students can see if you are a good fit for them.

    When doing mock classes, you might have to get your whiteboard and other teaching aids ready as many of these platforms encourage teachers to bring things like whiteboards and even puppets to help keep the students engaged.

    In these mock classes, the platforms usually give you a pre-made lesson and you just have to pretend you are teaching it to a kid.

    General Logistics

  4. I already started covering this when mentioning iTalki, VIPKid and Cambly. Generally, hours and pay will be fairly consistent among platforms. Many of the people needing an English teacher will not be in the US or Canada, so you will most likely have to work on their schedule. This is something you should keep in mind, as you might have to work during late at night or early morning in order to accommodate their schedules.

    However, if you are an insomniac like me, you might really like this type of gig for the hours you can work.

    Usually you will be booked by a student for an allotted time-slot (usually lasting 30 to 45 minutes each).

    Pay is generally consistent, ranging around $10 to $20 an hour. If you can get more time-slots, the pay really starts to add up which was great for me. In some platforms like iTalki, some of the more professional and experienced teachers can charge up to $80 an hour (iTalki teachers set their own rates).

    In the case of no-shows, which will happen at times, you usually have to stick around for a certain period of time (in the case of VIPKid it is 15-25 minutes), but you will generally be compensated for no-shows.

    And remember, these are your students that you are teaching. So when you have a session with one, remember to be as outgoing and helpful as you can so that each of your students learns something that day!

    So, Pros and Cons?

    Pros:

    • The pay is pretty good. If you are able to get consistent bookings, the pay can really add up to some big money. My work with iTalki and other platforms like it have gotten me a decent chunk of moolah, which is what all of us dream of, right?
    • Hours can be flexible. If you are the type of person who likes to stay up late at night, then this might be the perfect job for you because many bookings tend to happen during the later hours.
    • You can wear your pajamas to work!
  5. Cons:
    • If you’re more of an introvert and don’t like engaging with kids, this might not be the right pick for you. You will be teaching people remotely, which will require you to be outgoing and proactive in making sure your students understand the content you are teaching.
    • Booking a session with students can sometimes be hard, either because there are too many teachers or too little students. Though the pay is pretty good for gigs like these, the main issue can be consistently booking sessions.

     

    General Thoughts

  6. I personally really liked working as an ESL teacher online. Since I already had some teaching experience under my belt, doing this online was nothing new to me. I got to make some decent money on the side through these gigs and I think you can too. Sometimes, as I have said before, you might need to invest some time and a few materials in order to be the best teacher you can be. Sometimes you might have trouble booking people consistently. However, once you get through those obstacles, this can be a really good way for someone to make money from home. The rates for online ESL teachers are pretty decent especially if you can book many classes throughout each week.

    I definitely recommend considering this as a possible way to work from home online.

iTalki Language Program Review: What’s it Like to Learn Through iTalki?

conversation can go a long way in learning a new language!
Conversation can go a long way in learning a new language! (Photo by @theexplorerdad at Unsplash.com)

In my last article, I talked about what it was like to work for iTalki as a teacher. My general conclusion was that it was a pretty good place to work, especially if you have an outgoing, social personality as well as proficiency in the languages that you speak. But I have not reviewed iTalki from the perspective of a learner, so some of you who have stumbled across my previous review might be wondering: what is it like to learn through iTalki?

Today, I’m going to review the iTalki language learning program, not as a teacher but this time as a student.

DISCLAIMER: I will be featuring affiliate links on this post, which means if you sign up and buy lessons through my link, I will make a commission off of it. However, you can be sure that this will not affect how I will review iTalki, as I am here to give you my genuine thoughts so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.

What is iTalki?

I went over this during my review of iTalki as a teaching job, but in case you haven’t read that article, allow me to briefly summarize what iTalki is.

iTalki is a website that is primarily based in China that connects language teachers to students. Students usually go to iTalki to practice their conversational skills in the language they are trying to learn. There are millions of users and thousands of teachers in more than 100 languages, including even some endangered languages!

What Does iTalki Membership Come With?

Once you sign up for a membership, you can browse through a wide selection of tutors and teachers on the iTalki website.

There are two types of teachers: community tutors and professional teachers.

Professional teachers come with fully prepared lessons and are required to have some form of teaching experience before becoming a professional teacher on iTalki. While the lessons can be more expensive than communtiy tutors’, you are guaranteed a high-quality lesson with a teacher guiding you (and helping you) every step of the way. Keep in mind, however, that experience will vary depending on who your teacher is, as every teacher will be different. But you can be sure at the very least that professional teachers are qualified and prepared to teach.

Community tutors are for people who want a more informal learning setting. With community tutors, students can practice their conversational skills with people who are usually fluent in the language being taught. This can make for some great practical learning. Of course, the quality of your lesson will depend on who your teacher is, so I would recommend that you explore with different tutors and see what works best.

How Much is iTalki?

While membership is free, the lessons are not. Depending on who your teacher is (and other factors like whether they are community vs. professional, their ratings, etc), prices can range from as low as $5 an hour to as high as $80 an hour.

However, iTalki teachers do offer trial lessons which can go as low as $1 to $5 an hour. I would recommend that you use these trial lessons to your advantage to find a teacher that is right for you.

Furthermore, there is a referral system for students. If you send someone a link and they sign up through it, for every $40 they spend on lessons, you get $20 of credit added to your account. This can be very useful if you are trying to practice regularly, as the cost of lessons can add up quickly if you are trying to take lessons often.

Pros/Cons

iTalki is a unique program compared to some of the other programs I have reviewed so far on this website. Thus, it will have its own set of pros and cons as I will list below.

Pros:

– PRACTICE OPPORTUNITY: Practice is one of the most important parts to learning a language. In order to be able to speak a new language (especially with native speakers), you will have to practice speaking it obviously. So what better way to do this than to practice with someone who is fluent in the language you are trying to learn?

-Trial lessons: The trial lesson offer can be super helpful, especially when you are starting off and trying to find a teacher that fits your needs best. Compared to going rates for hiring tutors and teachers on this site, a trial lesson is much cheaper.

-Professional vs. Community Tutors: I really liked this feature because it shows how versatile how iTalki can be for language learners. There are some situations where a prepared lesson might be needed and iTalki provides this through their professional teachers. But of course, if you aren’t looking to pay extra for a lesson and just want to practice, iTalki also has that through their community tutors.

-Easy to use: Their website is well designed so navigating through it was a breeze.

-Open minded about criticisms: If one has a complaint about iTalki, the website is very good at receiving feedback.

Cons:

-Ratings system: iTalki comes with a rating system you can use to rate each teacher after a lesson. This can be useful for deciding whether a teacher is worth your time and money. However, the problem is that bad reviews can really bring a teacher’s rating down, which might be necessary at times, but what if I just had a small constructive criticism of the teacher? I wish iTalki had some kind of PM or personal note feature I can use to offer some kind of constructive criticism.

-Multiple teachers: Sometimes one teacher might not be so great for you, so you might have to try different teachers to see who is right for you. This might be a bit of a hassle and drain on one’s wallet, but luckily iTalki has a trial lessons feature where you can try lessons for a reduced price. The trial lessons make this a lot easier as a process, so I can’t really complain about this. However, it is worth noting that you might have to go through a few teachers until you find the right one.

Conclusion

Overall, I really enjoyed iTalki. It offers something that few language learning programs do, which is the ability to practice with an actual native speaker of the language you are trying to learn. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be able to talk to someone who can proficiently speak the language. The prices are decent and the trial lessons are really helpful. I recommend this program, although I do think it should be used in conjunction with other language-learning programs if you are a beginner, so that you can get the other fundamentals of new languages down.

If you want to sign up for iTalki, please click on the image below!

Improve your English with a native teacher on italki today!

The Best Work at Home Computers for 2019

So you’re looking to start working at home…

Perhaps you’re trying to become a freelance translator, which might be why you’re on this site 😉

But your computer might not be the best for such a task. Maybe it’s too old, or maybe it’s not the best computer you bought.

Well today, I’m going to cover some of the best (in my humble opinion) business desktops and laptops of 2019 for people who are looking to start working from home.

A few things to understand, however before we dive right in:

1. Unless you’re trying to become a day trader or Twitch streamer, understand that you won’t have to completely splurge on a new computer for a work-at-home gig.

2. These recommendations come from my personal experiences with different computers from different companies and are simply my opinions.

3. Keep in mind that in my recommendations, I will have affiliate links up, which means that if you choose to purchase a computer using those links, I will get a commission. However, please be assured that this will not mean I will lie to you about what the best computers are. My goal here is to offer you some options. It is ultimately your choice whether to buy them or not.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

1. MacBook Pro

I’ve been a Mac user for several years now. I bought my first MacBook in 2016 and it has worked wonders for me. I recently decided to purchase a new one while giving a family member my old MacBook as I needed something with more processing power (for other projects), but that old MacBook has been with me through thick and thin.

I’ve found Macs to be a very good brand of computers. I’ve used my MacBooks for a wide variety of purposes, from working-at-home as a freelance translator to editing video and audio. MacBooks are powerful and can get so many things done. I’ve never had a serious problem with them. Currently I am using the 2018 version of the MacBook Pro and so far, it’s been very good. 

My only real issue with MacBooks is that they can be INCREDIBLY expensive, as Apple products normally are. The newest 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at about $1,300 and that doesn’t factor in other things like increased storage space, warranty/AppleCare, etc. 

Another great thing about MacBooks is that they last for a while. I’ve known people who have purchased MacBooks over five to ten years ago and they are still using them to this day. They might not work as well as they did when brand new, but they will still get the job done.

Finally, another thing I love about the MacBook is that it’s extremely portable. You might ask, “Isn’t that the point of a laptop?”

Sure, but some laptops are a lot bulkier than others (look at some of the Asus gaming laptops for example!). There are lighter laptops out there but oftentimes this comes at the cost of performance/computing power. MacBooks have both the portability and performance, which makes it the perfect computer to use on-the-go. 

MacBooks can be a great investment, but keep in mind that they are quite expensive. If you’re just starting off and don’t have too much money, I’d recommend something cheaper. I also wish there was more storage space on the MacBooks. Oftentimes I’ve found that I would need to buy a separate hard drive to contain a lot of the files I have.

However, if you do have the money and plan on working-from-home for a significant portion of your time, then I would  definitely recommend MacBooks. 

If you’re interested in purchasing a MacBook Pro, click on the image below! It will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase your very own MacBook Pro 🙂


^MacBook Pro 13-inch on Amazon

2. Dell Inspiron Laptops

Before switching to Mac, I was a pretty committed Dell user. Not that I had any brand loyalty or anything… It was just the computer brand I was most familiar with.

Inspiron laptops are a lot cheaper than MacBooks, but how does it compare on other aspects?

For one, I thought that Inspiron laptops were decent when it came to performance. They can get quite slow with use over time though, which is something that wasn’t as bad with MacBooks. However, they do have some features that I found lacking with MacBooks.

For one, their hard drives store way more memory than MacBooks do. The newest Inspiron laptops on Amazon that I found have 1 TERABYTE of space!!! It kinda puts the MacBook Pro’s 128 GB to shame. 

Another thing I found useful is that each comes with a DVD drive. It might not be relevant if you’re working a job that doesn’t require handling DVD’s or CD’s, but it might be worth noting. Nowadays, however, everything can just be streamed online so maybe Apple was onto something when they took their DVD drives out (though you can buy a separate optical drive from Apple).

Overall, I’ve also found Inspiron laptops to be quite useful, especially for their prices. If you’re looking for an affordable laptop that can do all the basic work-at-home things you need to get done, this is definitely worth considering.

In the image below is a link to one of their newer Inspiron laptops. The pricing’s not bad! Click to buy!


^2019 Dell Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Intel Core i3-8145U up tp 3.9GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Win10 Home, Black) (Renewed) on Amazon

3. Microtella Lenovo ThinkCentre M625Q

We’ve covered laptops mainly so far, so here is a desktop that I would recommend for those trying to set up a home office to work from.

I’ve always liked Lenovo computers (maybe because I get a rush of nostalgia when I use one of their ThinkPads). So when I saw the ThinkCentre M625Q, I really wanted to give this one a go.

This computer is not only compact (perfect for small home office spaces) but also runs really well. Setup was pretty easy and once I got that out of the way, it worked perfectly. For a small computer, it sure is fast! It’s also pretty durable, as I’ve accidentally knocked it over a few times and it still works perfectly fine. It can also support multiple displays, which is perfect if you’re like me and have a thousand different windows open at once.

Another thing I really liked about this computer is that it didn’t consume too much electricity either. I highly recommend this computer if you’re trying to start working from home and need an affordable, powerful and small computer to use. It’s also highly affordable, starting at $360 for a 500 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM.

If you want to pick one up, click on the image below!


^Microtella Lenovo ThinkCentre M625Q on Amazon

4. Dell Inspiron 22-3277 All-in-One PC

I’ve covered Dell Inspiron laptops, but what about the Dell Inspiron desktops?

This computer is another desktop that I would highly recommend for those trying to work at home. For a rather low price (not as cheap as the Lenovo computer though!), the Dell Inspiron 22-3277 All-in-One is a powerful workhorse that I’d argue should be a staple for any business (whether home-based or not).

This computer not only performed really well, but it also came with a wide variety of features from a large 21-inch touchscreen to drives for multiple kinds of memory cards. Not to mention, it also takes up little space, considering that everything is inside the monitor itself.

Starting at $650 for 1 TB hard drive space and 4 GB RAM, this is one of the best business computers I have worked with. It’s powerful, fairly compact, affordable and also features a touchscreen monitor with beautiful visuals. 

Click below if you’re interested in purchasing one of these powerful bois.


^Dell Inspiron All-In-One PC on Amazon

Conclusion

While this doesn’t nearly scratch the tip of the iceberg of 2019’s highest performing business/work at home computers that I would recommend, I can guarantee that these computers are just the kind you need to start successfully working from home.

If you have any insights, please leave comments and feedback below!

iTalki Review for Teachers: What’s it like Earning Through iTalki?

So, we’ve covered some ways that bilingual folks can make some money on the interwebs, mainly through translation. If you haven’t gotten to take a look at those resources, then I recommend this article on how to get started as an online translator and this article on four places you can look to start your translation gigs.

However, recently my attention has turned to iTalki (not because it sounds like Takis), a site where you can speak to actual native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. Not only is there a learning opportunity here but there’s also an EARNING opportunity from iTalki. So today, we’re going to review iTalki as a possible online gig. I will make a separate review on iTalki from a learner’s perspective, but since this site is dedicated to helping online translators (and bilingual home workers), I decided to cover this first. So without further ado, let’s find out what it’s like to work for iTalki!

What is iTalki?

iTalki is a website based from China that was started in 2007. Its main thing is connecting people learning a language to teachers through a video chat. Since practice is a crucial component in learning a new language, iTalki gives learners an opportunity to have real conversations with people who speak the language they are learning.

iTalki has grown exponentially since their original founding over ten years ago, with millions of users and thousands of teachers. Their website teaches over 100 languages including even endangered languages.

For teachers, iTalki offers two ways you can teach for them. There are the professional teachers and community tutors.

Community Tutors? Professional Teachers? What’s the Difference?

I’m glad you asked.

So community tutoring seems to be the route most teachers take on this website, as their requirements are more lax than professional teachers’.

Professional teachers are… well… you guessed it, actual teachers. They are supposed to have preplanned courses for their students to learn from. Those who want to apply to be a Professional Teacher on iTalki have to upload not only planned out courses they intend to use but also lesson plans, lesson materials and certification.

iTalki wants their Professional Teachers to be legit, so they want proof that you have experience teaching people another language and that you know what you’re doing.

iTalki also has an option for people to become Professional Teachers in the English language, but they state on their website that those who want to do this must show an English teaching certificate that has no less than 120 hours of courses/training.

Community tutors are for students who want a more casual/conversational learning environment. This is where many go to practice their conversational skills. Community tutors will generally engage in conversation with their students in their selected language. To be a community tutor, you have to be proficient in the language you are trying to teach, be at least 18+ and agree to use iTalki according to the terms and conditions laid out by the website.

Now just to set the record straight, I didn’t apply as a professional teacher. I decided to join as a community tutor.

Great, So How Do I Apply?

You can apply by creating an account on iTalki and applying here. They will ask you to have a few things ready:

1. A display name: make sure you’re not displaying your whole name but also make sure you’re not using an online screenname or a name that makes you indistinguishable from others. For example, if your name is Jane, Ms. J is a perfect display name.

2. Skype or Google Hangout ID: iTalki connects students through these two programs usually, so you will have to create an account for either of these if you haven’t already. Make sure you’re not revealing any personal information publicly on your account and that your internet connection is good.

3. Where you’re from and your current residence

4. Name, address and phone number

5. Languages and how competent you are in each one

6. A profile picture: Make sure it’s a professional-looking photo. You don’t have to be wearing a suit or a fancy dress, but use something that you’d upload on LinkedIn.

             Above is a guide (screenshot) from the iTalki teacher application page on what an acceptable profile picture should be.

7. A written introduction: Talk about yourself and why a student would want to pick you as their teacher. Feel free to dive into teaching methods and background info.

8. Video introduction: iTalki will ask you to upload a video introducing yourself and what you can offer as a teacher. You are required to speak in the languages you have listed yourself as proficient in. This introduction video will be visible to prospective students, so make sure you put in actual effort in making it.

9. Training or experience documents: This is only if you want to be a Professional Teacher on iTalki. Community tutors don’t need to provide this.

Pay

Pay varies from teacher to teacher. There is no salary guarantee and tutors have to set their own rates. While the going rate is about $15-20 dollars an hour, I’ve seen a wide range of prices. Some charge $5 an hour (which is ridiculously low in my opinion) while others charge as high as $80 an hour.

Pay also depends on how many students you get.

Of course, there are various factors that go into how many students you get, including your prices and your skills. Choose a price wisely.

Keep in mind that iTalki will take a 15% cut of your earnings. This might sound like a big amount but other platforms usually take upwards of 35% from your earnings. Also remember that iTalki does much of the business grunt work, meaning all you have to do is find students and teach them.

Pros and Cons

With any job, there will be its perks and its downsides.

Pros:

In my experience, I thought that teaching for iTalki was not only flexible but also a rewarding experience. I was able to set my own hours and that was really helpful especially when I had other things to take care of (like the kids, other jobs/gigs, etc).

Furthermore, being able to set your own price is pretty great too. But of course, you have to choose your prices wisely. You don’t want to charge too high of a price, but you don’t want to sell yourself short either.

The languages that iTalki offers are endless. If you can think of a language, chances are someone on iTalki is looking for someone to help them learn it.

Finally, I liked the fact that you didn’t have to give iTalki any money other than the 15% cut they take from your earnings. Oftentimes other platforms will have fees, take larger cuts or have tiered membership structures that you have to pay your way through. iTalki keeps it simple, not just in their user interface but their business model too.

Cons:

Sometimes it can be really hard to find students because of how competitive the site is. If your teaching language is one that’s widely spoken, there will undoubtedly be plenty of other teachers trying to teach that language too. This can be a tough challenge for beginners and sometimes it can be really discouraging.

However, I encourage those of you who signed up to keep persevering. While there are plenty of teachers on iTalki, there’s even more students, so you’ll find at least one who is wiling to learn from you.

It also helps if you offer something unique, like conversational practice on topics that aren’t normally covered by other teachers (keep it appropriate though).

Another issue is that if you’re a more introverted or camera-shy person, this might not be the best job for you to pick. In order to be a good teacher, you have to be outgoing and proactive with your students.

There’s also the prospect of student no-shows, where someone books a lesson with you but doesn’t show up for whatever reason. It can be annoying, but remember that there are plenty of other students using the site who will show up to your lessons when you book them. iTalki has millions of users, so don’t let one or two no-shows discourage you.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed working for iTalki. I am generally an outgoing person so I found it to be fun talking to students while making money. The platform that iTalki offers is not only a flexible and simple one but also very effective for both teachers and students.

It can be hard finding students sometimes though. I’ve seen people make comfortable livings off of iTalki, but if you’re just starting off, that might not be possible just yet. I’d recommend looking at other gigs so that you will have another way to earn while you are waiting for your next booking.

I would also say though that if you’re not the kind of person who wants to talk to random students through a webcam for an income, this is probably not the gig for you. But don’t fret, there are still other language-based gigs you can turn to online, like freelance translating!

In my next article, we will take a look at iTalki from the perspective of the learners.

Happy teaching!

To apply to iTalki as a teacher, visit https://teach.italki.com/

Should You Learn Korean Through Rosetta Stone?

Rosetta Stone is one of the most prominent language learning programs out there. I’ve seen advertisements for their courses everywhere from television to YouTube videos (before I got AdBlock ㅋㅋㅋ). In fact, Rosetta Stone was the first language learning software that I have ever heard of.

When I started this website and began reviewing language learning programs, I knew that eventually I would have to cover Rosetta Stone’s courses. Until recently, my only time using them was when I got a free trial DVD from them which featured samples from several of their language courses.

So today, we’re going to review Rosetta Stone Korean and see if it is really worth all that hype.

Keep in mind that I will include affiliate links in this page, which means if you choose to purchase Rosetta Stone through that link I will get a commission from it. However, I am not here to be a salesman. I am here to present the facts of each language learning program so that you can make your own informed decisions. The links are there should you decide that this is the best program for you. So please keep that in mind.

What is Rosetta Stone?

Rosetta Stone is a language learning program which is named after the Rosetta Stone, a rock discovered in 1799 that had a king’s decree written on it with Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic scripts and Ancient Greek. Because of the similarities in what all three scripts were saying, the original Rosetta Stone was crucial in helping researchers understand Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The stone that started it all! Credits go to user Tulumnes from Wikimedia Commons!

Rosetta Stone language courses have been around since 1992 and rely on a type of immersion-based learning, teaching users to match images with new words and phrases. This brings us to our next question.

How Does Rosetta Stone Work?

Rosetta Stone uses something that they call “Dynamic Immersion”. It relies on spaced repetition.

What is spaced repetition?

Imagine you’re studying for a test on state capitals and you learn that Boise is the capital of Idaho.

The next day, you take the test and you remember what the capital of Idaho is… and you aced the test!

Now unless you live in Idaho, chances are that after this test you won’t find yourself in any situation where you need to remember what the capital of Idaho is, or what state Boise is the capital of.

Let’s fast forward a bit. Imagine you’re at a game show. You’re about to win and the last question is: what is the capital of Idaho?

Suddenly, you remember what it is! It’s Boise! DING DING DING!!! You win the game and with it an amazing prize!

Spaced repetition relies on this phenomenon. In order to remember something you learned a while ago, you will have to periodically refresh your memory to recall that fact.

For instance, let’s say I’m quizzing you for a test. I show you a flashcard that asks, “What is the atomic symbol of hydrogen?” Then I flip the flash card and show you the answer. It’s H.

After I show you the atomic symbol for hydrogen, I show you more flashcards asking the same question but for other elements on the period table. You learn that the atomic symbol for helium is He, argon is Ar and that gold is Au.

Then I show you the flashcard asking you what the atomic symbol for hydrogen is again, but this time I don’t flip it over. You have to remember based on the last time I showed you the answer.

Let’s say you answer it correctly and we keep going. We go over even more elements than last time. Radium is Ra, salcium is Ca, sodium is Na, chloride is Cl and Silicon is Si. Then I ask you again what the symbol for hydrogen is. That’s basically how spaced repetition works.

You constantly have to recall the same fact over and over, but the time between each instance I ask you what the atomic symbol for hydrogen is gets longer and longer. Eventually, you will be able to remember anytime that hydrogen’s atomic symbol is H.

That was a bit long winded, but I wanted to explain it in depth just so you understand how the concept works.

Rosetta Stone operates using this method. In a lesson, usually the user has to match an image with a sound or text.

They usually do this in two ways. Let’s say you’re studying Korean.

1. There are four images: an apple, orange, banana and pear. Rosetta Stone will give you the Korean word “sagwa” (사과) and ask you to click on the image that the word corresponds to. In this case, the correct answer would be apple, so you would have to click on the picture of the apple.

2. There is an image of a person eating an apple. Rosetta Stone in this case will give you an incomplete sentence: This person is eating an _________ (이 사람은 ________을/를 먹고 있다). You will have to either pick the correct word (out of several choices they give you) or type the word out.

That’s how Rosetta Stone operates generally. Of course, the same question (about the apple) will periodically show up in longer intervals so that you have to refresh your memory (and eventually retain the Korean word for apple).

What Does Rosetta Stone Korean Come With?

If you’re purchasing an online subscription, the course includes:

-The lessons of course

-A phrasebook

-Extended Learning: this is a feature from Rosetta Stone for users who want to take their learning to the next level. It features games and “stories”. The stories feature has stories written and read aloud by native speakers in the langauge you are learning. You have the option to read along and even record yourself reading to see how your skills have developed. Stories vary in content from poetry to simple narratives.

-Audio companion to your lessons

-Access to mobile features including the app

How Much is Rosetta Stone Korean?

On Amazon, you have three options. You can purchase a six month, 12 month or lifetime subscription.

Six month subscriptions are $119 on Amazon. While 12 month subscriptions are normally $179, Amazon is offering it at a discounted price: $109.

Lifetime subscriptions are $200 on Amazon, although they can go up to $300 on other retailers.

Pros/Cons

Pros:

-I thought that the spaced repetition method can be helpful for beginners, especially when learning new vocabulary.

-Rather than drowning new learners in grammar, Rosetta Stone mainly focuses on the basics like vocabulary and common phrases.

-The user interface is pretty easy to use and appealing. It’s not incredibly cluttered and it’s easy to navigate.

Cons:

-Rosetta Stone Korean makes you learn in the order that they want you to, which can be an inconvenience for those who might already know some of the super basic aspects of Korean language.

-Rosetta Stone Korean does not go in-depth with regards to grammar. They mainly focus on grasping smaller phrases and words, which can be great for beginners but redundant for those who already have a cursory knowledge of the Korean language.

-Rosetta Stone Korean does NOT take the time to differentiate with honorifics. Those who understand the Korean language and culture will know that there are different ways to say the same sentence depending on the age of the person in relation to you. The way to tell someone older than you that you want an apple is going to be different in Korean than if you ask someone younger than you. There is formal and casual speech. Rosetta Stone does not distinguish between the two and sometimes it looks really funny (but also pretty bad) when one of their lessons features an elderly woman talking to a little girl using casual speech.

Conclusion

Overall, while I thought there could be some appeal to beginners with absolutely no background knowledge on the Korean language, I didn’t think it was worth the money. However, even for beginners there are other programs that I would recommend for them over this such as Rocket Languages and Living Language Korean. Both of those programs are similarly priced and offer so much more for their users in my opinion.

There are so many complexities with the Korean language and culture that learners should have a grasp of. I found that Rosetta Stone’s Korean language program left a lot to be desired in covering those things.

I think this program could be useful to those visiting Korea as tourists or on business trips, as the phrases that the course teaches can be very helpful in navigating Korea. However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive study or plan on taking your Korean studies further, I would personally not recommend Rosetta Stone.

That being said, if you are still interested in purchasing Rosetta Stone Korean, click on the image below!

Rosetta Stone Korean on Amazon.com:

Rocket Languages Korean Review – Should You Buy Rocket Languages Korean?

By now, we have covered two of the big language learning programs out there for Korean. However, we have not been able to touch upon Rocket Languages Korean, which is a very prominent language learning program next to big names like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. So today, I’m going to take a look at and review Rocket Languages Korean.

Now, before going ahead with this review, I know what some people might be thinking.

“Aren’t you going to give this program a glowing review so people can buy it? You literally have an affiliate link below.”

The answer is a plain and empathetic NO.

Just because I have an affiliate link for something in a review doesn’t necessarily mean I will give it perfect ratings or reviews. I will have a link below if you are interested in Rocket Korean, which I will make a commission from if you purchase it using my link. However, this will not stop my from making an honest review.

I think every language learning program has its perks and its downsides. I believe it is my job to tell you, the reader, what those pros and cons are; and it’s your job as the reader to make a decision based on that. People react differently to different language learning programs. Some are more into full on immersion. Some are more visual learners while others are more audio-based. It’s up to you to make a decision as to what kind of program you will be getting yourself into.

So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

What is Rocket Languages?

Rocket Languages is an online language learning program that was started in 2004 by Jason Oxenham and Mark Ling. Originally starting with a Spanish course, Rocket Languages has expanded to having 26 courses in 13 languages. Their courses are web-based and there is no additional software users have to download, making it compatible with both PC and Mac. Once someone purchases course material from Rocket Languages, they have lifetime access to said material which they can access both offline and online.

They not only have courses in Korean but also languages including (but not limited to) Spanish, Hindi, French, Russian, Arabic and more. Some of their courses have three levels, such as Spanish and French, while others only have one.

What Does Rocket Korean Include?

Rocket Korean only has one level. One level of Rocket Languages courses includes over 120 hours of content, which is how much content Rocket Korean would have as there’s only one level offered.

Each level offers 30+ lessons of interactive audio lessons that are based on native-speaking Koreans’ conversations. In the audio lessons, they offer multiple ways to learn Korean. There’s the main lesson, which basically is like a Pimsleur tape in that you listen and learn. There’s also conversation role playing, where you’re put in a situation and have to speak like you’re talking to someone in Korea (ie going to the grocery store or getting directions). There’s also lesson review and the ability to listen to full conversations without the “chunking” method that Rocket Korean uses.

It also includes an additional 30+ lessons revolving around the basics of the Korean language as well as Korean culture. The language and culture lessons are mainly audio-based.



The course also includes tests throughout each lesson to make sure you reinforce what you’ve learned, which I find extremely helpful. Lord knows how many times I’ve studied something only to forget about it a short time later.

Another cool thing about Rocket Korean is that it has its own voice recognition software (which doesn’t require any additional installation, don’t worry) which you can use to practice your pronunciation. Pronunciation in Korean is pretty important, as it’s quite easy to tell if someone isn’t a native speaker based on little deviations from standard pronunciation. This is called Rocket Record and is only available on Chrome/iOS and Android apps if I can recall correctly.

Additionally, Rocket Korean has flashcards and vocabulary lists that you can go back to later on. As I have said in a previous post, flashcards are a really great way to retain what you have learned, especially when trying to pick up new words/vocabulary.

The program also has points and badges so you can track your progress. Neat!

You can download these lessons and use them on an MP3 playing device, which is super convenient. But of course, if you want to learn from your computer and utilize the other features of Rocket Korean, that’s also doable.

So How Does Rocket Korean Work?

Rocket Languages’ audio lessons utilize what they call a “chunking” method. They break down conversations into smaller segments so it is easier for the user to learn how to speak the language, all while teaching you words, phrases and culture. This not only makes it easier for users to grasp a language but enables them to practice their pronunciation so that they don’t end up having a heavy foreign accent. These audio lessons average to about 25 to 30 minutes each, which makes it more easily digestable.

Other lessons go into the basics of the language and the culture of Korea in depth and cover important aspects of the Korean language like the Hangeul writing system and sentence structures.

Testing, which we briefly covered in the last part, is used to make sure you retain what you have learned. It covers the basics like reading, writing and speaking.

And at the end of each lesson, you get awards and points which can help you track progress.

How Much is Rocket Korean?

Rocket Languages is a bit on the expensive side, as one level costs $99.99 on Amazon.com. However, there is a Rocket app on iOS that is FREE, but they only feature some languages for free. You can also access the features that you purchased from Rocket Languages through the iOS app.

Rocket Languages also offers a free trial, which features a limited amount of content that doesn’t expire.

What are the Pros and Cons of Rocket Korean?

Rocket Korean, like any other language program, has its share of upsides and downsides.

Pros:

– Plenty of content: As I’ve pointed out earlier, there is over 120 hours worth of content you can learn from in Rocket Korean. For other Rocket Language courses which offer more than one level, there’s even more than 120 hours total.

-Chunking method breaks the language into bite-sized pieces: I thought the chunking method that Rocket Korean utilizes was really useful. Even though it ultimately takes longer to learn the basics of conversational Korean, it is better to have a firm understanding of each lesson than to just speed through the entire course without taking the time to better your grasp of Korean. The testing in each lesson also helps users retain what they’ve learned, similar to how Pimsleur makes you recall the phrases they teach you. But the difference with Pimsleur is that this testing is more comprehensive and covers things outside of mere phrases, such as writing and reading.

-Inclusion of writing and reading: Some courses like Pimsleur only teach you how to speak and listen to the language. Rocket Languages not only teaches you how to speak and listen but also read, write and understand the cultural contexts behind the things you learn.

-Casual vs. Formal Speech: For those familiar with traditions in Korean culture, how you talk to someone is very important. When speaking to your elders, you have to use formal speech or else the person might feel offended. However, casual speech can be used to people your age and below. Formal speech is different from casual speech in terms of what words you use and sentence structure too. Rocket Languages dive into this and make sure you understand the differences between formal and casual speech in Korean. Compare this to the Pimsleur program, which only teaches you the formal sentences in audio form. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with learning and getting the formal Korean speecch right first. It’s good for business trips. However, if you’re planning to come to Korea and get to know the people there, it will be a little weird if you’re only speaking in formal Korean.

Cons:

– The forum is underused: Rocket Languages includes a forum where students can talk and improve their language skills. However, every time I have gone there it’s been mostly empty. It would be nice if more people used it. Talking to other learners and native Korean speakers always helps improve your Korean skills. But I guess that’s what iTalki is for, which we’ll cover in a later post.

-Only 1 level: Other language courses offered by Rocket feature up to three levels. Korean isn’t one of them. Korean only has one level, which is useful, but there is definitely additional stuff you could learn about Korean culture and language that one level wouldn’t be able to cover.

Conclusion

Overall, I actually found Rocket Korean to be a great language learning course. I would recommend it especially for people who learn through audio, but the course has more than just audio content. It is comprehensive and covers all of the important aspects to Korean culture and language, while offering multiple ways through which you can learn the language from audio to visual.

The best thing about Rocket Korean is that even though they generally guide you on what things you should learn first, you can learn whatever you want whenever you want. For example, the first thing Rocket Korean teaches you isn’t the Hangeul writing system, but you can choose to learn that first if you so desire (I personally would recommend that, as learning how to read and write in any language definitely helps when you’re trying to learn how to speak it).

With Living Language Korean, I would say this is one of the top Korean language learning programs out there.

Click on the image below if you are interested in a free trial!



And click here to buy Rocket Korean!



Four Places to Find Freelance Translator Jobs Online!

So you’ve started getting yourself into translating work online… Congratulations!

Freelance translating online is a pretty fulfilling job, despite the hard work. People are always looking for someone to translate something, so hopefully you won’t find yourself lacking in gigs.

However, I get that sometimes it can be a little hard to find places to start looking for freelance translating jobs online. Sometimes it can be a little confusing even, given how many platforms there are for freelance translators to work online!

That’s why today, I want to talk about four places where YOU can find some freelance translator jobs online! Of course, these aren’t the only four places to look, but they are definitely great places for you to get started. Who knows? You might find yourself a lucrative gig! I’ve definitely made great connections and clients through websites such as the ones I’m putting out below and I hope you do too!

1. TranslatorsCafe

TranslatorsCafe was where it all started for me. I found my first freelance online translating jobs through this website and eventually managed to work my way up to larger projects like video games, phone apps and even company interviews with Korean business partners.

The site is a forum where people post freelance translating that need to be done. As a freelance translator, you can find an endless number of translation gigs on this website. Putting your profile together on the site is exhausting and the layout of the website might be a little confusing/cluttered, but I think the benefits of signing up for TranslatorsCafe far outweigh the inconveniences. For one, you would be getting your name out there, which means more clients will be interested in working with you. It also serves as a lovely online community for translators. You’ll find plenty of help for any question you might have about the freelance translation industry.

Membership for translators is divided into free and master membership. Free membership is great and I’ve gotten plenty of work from that alone, but master membership comes with a few perks of their own. For example, those who have master membership are put on top of the list when your profile matches a job. Master members also get job notifications before free members do.

However, most people are free members and the site still serves them well.

I highly recommend this website if you are looking to start finding freelance translator jobs online.

2. ProZ.com

ProZ.com is one of, if not the biggest translators’ marketplace out there. Based in Syracuse, New York, ProZ.com now boasts over 900,000 users from about 200 countries. This is definitely one place you should put yourself out there if you are trying to be a freelance translator.

Similar to TranslatorsCafe, you register, create a profile, put yourself out there and you will get notifications for job offers depending on the languages that you are translating. ProZ.com has plenty of resources for freelance online translators including a glossary and a discussion forum which you can refer to whenever you have questions.

The website also has both free and paid membership. Paid membership is $10 a month (or $120 a year) and gives members the opportunity to quickly quote new translation gigs, making clients much faster than free members. The site also features a Plus membership package. For about $14 a month (or $159 a year), Plus members get access to added security measures on the website, training material worth over $1,000 and plenty of additional tools and unique perks that only Plus members can get.

This website is the most popular place to find freelance translator jobs online, so I don’t think finding a good gig should be a problem. Going rates are also publicly listed, so that is always something to keep in mind as well.

Fiverr

No, that’s not a typo. Fiverr is a service where freelancers can connect with their clients. Millions of people use this service from around the world. Freelancers sell all kinds of services from drawing pictures to web design. And sure enough, there are translators who use Fiverr to make some dough.

The minimum price for any gig is $5, which might not sound super appealing if you’re looking to make some good money translating online, but hear me out for a second.

The basic gig has a minimum cost of $5, but there are different ways to accumulate earnings through this site. One way is to take on multiple simple translating gigs per day, for $5 each. For example, you can offer to translate 50 words (which if we assume that the average translator can translate 250 words in an hour, would take 12 minutes) for $5. If you get five of these 50 word translation gigs and complete them in an hour, you would make $25 in that hour.

Another way to maximize your earnings is by offering packages. A package allows you to make more money per gig. Fiverr offers a “3 package feature” for this. So for example, if you are offering to translate a 50 word document for $5, you can offer to translate 150 words for $10, or 450 words for $30. It means extra work, but also more $$$!!!

On Fiverr, there will always be people looking for a translator, so this is definitely an opportunity you can take! The cool thing is, for whatever skill you have to offer, oftentimes you have to build a website to professionally promote yourself. With Fiverr, all you have to do is set up a profile, tell the world your skills, create your special gig and then wait for people to reach out.

PS it’s also a great place if you’re looking to get something done for you! Like translations!!! 😉

If you’re interested in buying a gig or signing up to do some gigs, click here –> https://track.fiverr.com/visit/?bta=50589&nci=5929

Upwork

Finally, there’s Upwork. Upwork is yet another big website where freelancers go to find work (and clients go to find freelancers). I’ve worked through this service before and frankly I don’t find it very remarkable. It’s not bad, but I don’t really see anything special about it. It’s not directly catered towards translators like the first two entries are, but you can definitely find translating gigs on Upwork.

A few things to keep in mind though:

– There are fees that clients and freelancers have to pay. Freelancers’ fees are on a sliding scale depending on how much you’ve earned throughout your time at Upwork. If you’ve made up to $500, you pay a 20% fee for each contract. If you’ve made $500.01 to $10,000, you pay 10%. Anything above $10,000 means you only pay 5% per contract.

– I found it a bit harder to find work on this platform. I felt that the first two websites (TranslatorsCafe and ProZ.com) were a lot easier for translators to find work, especially because they are platforms dedicated to freelance translators. Upwork doesn’t just cover translation, so it’s more similar to Fiverr in terms of diversity of work. However, I have found some decent gigs on this site so that is why I added this site to my list.

– Be smart about your pricing. It’s pretty competitive on Upwork, so use a rate calculator and find a rate that isn’t too expensive but isn’t selling yourself short.

Conclusion

With freelancing, there are many places to look to find gigs. Freelance translating is no different. These four sites I have found to be very useful when it comes to finding freelance translation work on the internet. I highly recommend the first two, especially if you are starting out. I hope you find success with these websites too and please comment below what your experiences were with these services! Also, if you know any other websites that connect freelance translators to potential work projects, feel free to comment those below! I’d love to check them out and who knows? I might write a review or make a longer version of this list!

Living Language Korean

A Review by TranslatingMom.com


Korea’s been getting a lot of attention lately. From BTS to K-dramas, the world is starting to look at Korea and with that, plenty of people are starting to show interest in learning the Korean language. But the thing is, there are plenty of language learning programs out there and not much knowledge of which ones are the most effective and which ones aren’t.

Recently I looked at the Pimsleur program, which relies mainly on auditory immersion. You can check out my review here.

But what about the other programs out there? Living Language is another one of these language learning programs that I’ll review today!

How does Living Language work?

According to the website, there are four steps to Living Language’s programs.


The steps seem fairly simple enough. It starts with learning the basic words and phrases, progressing into full sentences and then conversational Korean. The program also includes exercises that really drill the language into your head, similar to how Pimsleur does it by making you recall different sentences and phrases by memory. Then finally, you’ll be able to develop a rather practical understanding of the language, applying these skills to any situation.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Unlike Pimsleur, Living Language provides not only audio but written and online (visual) content so that you can really retain what you’ve learned. Written content includes an 80 page book that shows you how to read and write in Korean, which I find to be really cool! Learning how to read and write in Korean definitely helps when you’re trying to learn how to speak the language.

Something I like to do once I learn a new language is writing flashcards or little stickers containing each word I’ve learned and then sticking them onto the corresponding object. For example, if I wanted to remember how to say “mirror” in Korean (which, by the way, is 거울), I’d write “거울” on a sticker or a flashcard and stick it onto a bathroom mirror. The bathroom mirror is a great place because it’s something I look at multiple times everyday. So when I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth (or popping blackheads, because it’s SO SATISFYING), I’ll see the word and repeat it to myself. It’s an actually helpful technique!

Speaking of flashcards, the course also includes those, as well as quizzes and games to make sure you stay engaged. I know it can be hard to pay attention sometimes, but the games and quizzes really help deal with that problem.

The Verdict

I think Living Language Korean is a great program for learning the language. I found the materials to be comprehensive and they covered the really important parts of the Korean language. There are a few things I did want to point out though.

  1. There isn’t much on culture, which I think is an important part to learning any language especially if you are planning to go to a country where that language is spoken. While it might be harder to include culture in languages that are spoken by multiple countries (ie Spanish), Koreans is mainly spoken by… Koreans. So I wish there was something about the culture on there because it not only makes the course even more interesting, but can also add some nuances that I think are important for learners to know.
  2. There isn’t a lot of advanced material for those who want to take their studies further. Most Living Language programs offer an Essential course, as well as the Complete and Platinum courses for those who want to learn even more. However, their Korean course only includes the Essential and Complete. The Complete course is supposed to include more advanced components of the Korean language. However, I wish there was even more advanced content.
  3. Unlike Pimsleur, this is a course that you’ll have to sit down and work through. While it does include audio content, as I mentioned earlier it also has workbooks, flashcards and online components. So it’s not a good program to take with you if you’re planning to learn while going for a jog or commuting to work.
  4. E-tutoring is also apparently available so if you’re lost, you can consult an online tutor. However, they require credits. The online course comes with a few free credits, but you’ll generally have to buy them.
  5. The content might be a little fast paced for beginners, but you can always take a moment to pause and catch up.
  6. The online content isn’t always very engaging. The games and quizzes might help, but other parts can be a drag.


That being said, I really think that this is a great course for people trying to learn the Korean language. There are two courses from Living Language, as I had said earlier: Essential and Complete. The Essential covers the basics of the Korean language and is catered to the beginner-level learner. It contains one coursebook and three audio CD’s. It’s also cheaper. The Complete course includes more advanced topics, three coursebooks and nine audio CD’s. It’s more expensive, but it’s still very much affordable.

I’d recommend this to people looking for a more intensive study of the Korean language, especially if you’re looking for a course that provides both audio and visual/written content!

If you’re interested in buying yourself a copy, I’d absolutely recommend it and I will link both courses below. Feel free to take a look at Amazon user reviews and get yourself some Living Language Korean today!

Pimsleur Review

(Photo by Austin Distel)

While we’re on the subject of translation, learning a language can be very hard (gee thanks, Captain Obvious).

But I get it.
There’s so much to learn, from rules and grammar to vocabulary and pronunciation. It’s a lot to take in.

And while there are plenty of language learning programs out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is the right one for you.

However, I hope to give you some idea of what each of the big-name programs are like, so that you can make an informed decision instead of buying willy-nilly and regretting your purchase.

Pimsleur is one of those programs that I will review. Now while I think it can be useful, I think its usefulness depends on what you’re looking for in a language learning program. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the Pimsleur method.


So How Does Pimsleur Work?

Pimsleur courses are based on the Pimsleur method of learning languages, which was developed by… you guessed it… Dr. Paul Pimsleur.

It’s audio-based and relies on the immersion technique of teaching language.

If you don’t know what that means, remember learning your native language? It probably involved listening to your parents speak and imitating their words, right? Well, Pimsleur is based on that kind of technique of learning.

So How Is Pimsleur?

Not too long ago, I decided to take a look at the Pimsleur Korean audio CD’s to take a look at how their program was. I already know Korean obviously, but I wanted to see what their strengths and weaknesses were, especially if I already understood the language. I also took a look at the Spanish CD to see what it would be like to a person who didn’t have any prior experience with a language.

Popping in a couple of CD’s and listening to them, I found that an audio-only program can be very helpful with learning specific phrases and dipping your toe into foreign languages. What they basically do is play phrases and have you repeat them, which I think is a good way to start familiarizing yourself with these phrases. They teach using a method called “spaced repetition”. The basic idea behind this is they say a phrase and have you repeat it 15 seconds later. Then they have you repeat it 45 seconds later, a minute later, so forth and so on.

Listening to the Spanish CD’s, I actually managed to learn a few Spanish phrases fairly quickly. I’m by no means fluent, but I was definitely able to pick up a couple of sentences with ease after repeating them a few times (as the CD directed me to).

However, there are some things that prospective buyers should keep in mind.

1. These programs are usually audio-only. The program will NOT teach you how to read or write in foreign languages. So if you’re looking to learn the basics of speaking/understanding Korean, this can be helpful. But if you’re looking for something more, Pimsleur might not be right for you.

2.  The phrases that are taught are usually the formal versions of phrases. It might be a little awkward to use these phrases if you’re having a conversation with new friends or fellow students, for example, but could be really helpful if you’re on a business trip. This distinction is important to understand, especially with a language like Korean which has different versions of the same sentence for younger people and your elders. While it might be weird to talk to a younger person using formal tenses, it’s imperative to use formal tenses with your elders.

3. The lessons can be a little fast-paced. However, you’re more than welcome to rewind and replay a few parts if you don’t understand it at first.

4.  While they do talk about grammar, they don’t go into a lot of detail, so if you’re looking to intensively study another language, keep that in mind.

Pimsleur Review Conclusion

Overall, I really did enjoy the Pimsleur program. I even managed to learn a few Spanish phrases in the process of writing up this review! However, I would recommend this as a first-step towards learning a new language. If you are looking for something more intensive, I would recommend either a different program or pairing this with other courses (especially courses that teach you how to read and write in those languages, as being literate can really help). I would definitely recommend using Pimsleur programs when you’re going on a run, or a walk, or commuting on the train/bus.

If you’re interested in checking out Pimsleur products in the Korean language, here are some of my recommendations. The three below are parts of the first level of the Korean Pimsleur program. Check them out!