What Sort Of Role Could Your Second Language Land You?

Being able to speak a second language is an incredible skill. Few people around the world can master more than one language, giving those who are able to achieve this an edge that will set them apart from others when looking for work. Of course, though, there are also plenty of roles on the market that directly relate to speaking a second language. To help you to get an idea of what you could do with this skill, this article will be exploring some of the best careers that can be shaped from it. This should make it much easier to use the language skills you’ve worked so hard to develop.

Corporate Translation

Businesses often have a strong need for translation services, especially when they work in more than one country. Doing work like this might involve translating instruction manuals, marketing materials, and a wealth of other corporate documents that need to be presented in the right language. This sort of translation is taken very seriously, as it can impact a company’s image if they don’t use the right wording on this sort of document.

There are a lot of freelance roles available at the moment that can put you into a position like this, but the best jobs will usually be those that involve direct employment. This makes it much easier for those who are able to speak niche languages that still need to be included in the documentation, and your payment will usually increase if you’re able to take on more than one language like this.

Business To Business Translation

Business to business translation is a little different from corporate translation. Rather than working to translate documents and other paperwork, you will spend most of your time in meetings and at conferences. Many companies work with other businesses in different countries, and language barriers can make it much harder for them to get things done. Tools like Google Translate aren’t accurate enough to be trusted, leaving companies to rely on dedicated translators.

Roles like this can be rare, and you may have to look for work with a translation agency to be able to approach this field. Many businesses don’t hire dedicated translators for themselves, looking for other companies that can provide them on a contract basis. This makes it worth expanding your search when you’re hunting for roles like this.

Political Translation

Much like B2B translation, political translation (interpretation) involves attending meetings and translating so that everyone can understand what is being said. With groups like NATO, the EU, the UN and countless other groups of collective countries, the need for this sort of skill is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Of course, though, this can end up being a lot more serious than translating for businesses.

Those who end up in roles handling political interpretation can find themselves at some of the biggest meetings in the world, but this job can also involve scarier stuff, like negotiating with foreign powers in times of war. While interpreters rarely get into trouble, you have to be very confident that you can do a job like this without making mistakes before you decide to take it on.

Customer Support

Businesses have long been looking for ways to offer customer support across the world without having to spend a fortune. Hiring translators to work in this sort of position can be a good way for them to save some money compared to opening loads of call centers, even if they pay you more than other customer service employees because of your skills. This sort of work can be quite challenging, but those who enjoy a hard role will flourish given the chance.

A role like this is usually best as an entry-level option for those who want to break into a career in translation, giving you a job that is in high-demand while also giving you the chance to hone your skills in an environment that won’t be as intense as the other options in this article. Of course, though, you will need to be able to read, type, and speak in your second language for this to work properly.

Litigation & Law

The field of law can be a complex one, and many cases involve people from different ethnic backgrounds. Most court cases in the US are mainly handled in English, presenting challenges to those who speak Spanish, Portuguese, or the other languages that are common (or less common, such as Arabic) in this part of the world. This can make life very difficult for a litigation attorney, as they will have to try and work around a language barrier while working with their clients.

A good translator – court interpreter – can solve this problem, providing their skills to make it easier for court cases to progress smoothly. You can get roles like this in the public defense sector, though you will be able to earn more money if you decide to look at private firms. As time goes on, you will learn a lot about law in a role like this that could be transferred into your career.

Freelance Translation

Finally, as the last idea to consider, it’s time to think about freelance translation. Many small businesses and individuals can’t afford to spend the money it takes to hire a translator directly, relying on online services that can offer translation on a freelance basis, instead. You can get into this sort of field with ease, with loads of websites hiring people to handle this sort of work. It is noteworthy that you will be able to make the most out of something like this if you get clients for yourself.

Creating a translation portfolio will be a big part of this. Thankfully, even if you don’t have clients, you can create something like this by making examples out of text and audio that already exist. This can be tailored towards the type of translation you’d like to be doing in the future, giving you the chance to make a portfolio that will capture the minds of your potential clients.

Learning A New Language

Most people in the world are only able to speak one language, and this makes sense, as they don’t interact with people from other places when they are young. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a new language. You can build the skills you need to achieve a job in the field of translation, though you may need to spend quite a few years working on this depending on the language you choose.

Options that are similar to your native language will be easier to learn than those that have developed separately. For example, a Dutch person will have an easier time learning English than they will have to learn Japanese, and this trend can be seen across languages. You can learn a new language at school, with private tutoring, or even on your own if you don’t mind engaging in independent study.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of finding a job that enables you to use your second language. There are more options available than just these, but this should give you a good start in this field without having to dive too deep. And as a last note, a degree in translation is your best bet at becoming a professional translator, because speaking 2 languages alone is not a guarantee that you will flourish as a translator.



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