Guest Post

How to Start a Career in Languages?

This month Gabriele Monti, creator of thelanguageclass.co.uk tells us all we have to know in order to kickstart a career in languages.

If you’re a passionate language lover keep on reading to find out how to make your passion your job!

If you are hoping to start a career in languages to become an interpreter, language teacher or a translator there is a certain career path that you might wish to follow. I would like to share 3 key points of advice with those willing to embark on a multilingual adventure.

1. Where to Begin on your Language Journey

Graduating from university with a diploma in foreign languages opens up the world of communication for you. The choice of which modern language to study is fundamental as well. According to the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), the world’s most spoken language, by number of native speakers, is Mandarin Chinese, followed by Spanish and English.

Choose the language you fancy learning according to your personal interests, just follow your gut feeling. In life, it pays off to follow your own personal drive. Choose English if you want to be able to communicate with the world as it is the swiss army knife of all languages and now spoken virtually anywhere on the planet. However, Spanish is also one of the most spoken languages in the world. It will open the doors to South America which is one of the fastest developing areas in the world and home of enchanting latin cultures. Or choose Chinese if you like the far east and exotic cultures. Chinese offers endless job opportunities as most goods are now manufactured in China.

For wannabe language professionals it is almost essential to move abroad as practice is key. The Erasmus programme in Europe for example provides students with experiences in foreign universities. Going on exchange as a student is a great way to test drive living abroad.

Additionally you should combine languages with other subjects such as marketing, computer science or law. This will open more possibilities of employment upon graduating.

2. A Passport to the World

Of course, speaking foreign languages is a passport to the world. It will provide an opportunity to experience new cultures, establish international relationships and gain practical skills abroad. Don’t forget becoming fluent in a language and learning about the country will definitely heighten your chances of landing a job abroad. Moreover researches have demonstrated that the brain of a person who speaks two or more languages develops better cognitive skills. Bilinguals are able to switch from a language to another instantly, which helps them become better multi-taskers as well.

3. Bilingual Jobs

You have to be aware of your skills and talents when deciding which path to take on your language career journey.

If you love working with people and hope to inspire others to learn languages, becoming a foreign language teacher is the way to go. This means that you will work with students, helping them to develop knowledge and competence in a second language. Foreign language teachers can work in public schools and universities, as well as in private language schools. So you have the choice to decide what aged students and how big a group you feel comfortable with teaching.

If your passion lies in writing, choose the target language you are the most prominent in and a source language and culture you have an excellent understanding of. Voila, you can kickstart your career in translating. Do you love working under pressure? Interpreting was made for you! Translating in “real time” is a great way to combine your love for languages and events. Interpreters work with spoken languages at conferences and meetings. There is also a need for interpreters in multinational companies. There are two types of interpreting: simultaneous or conference and consecutive interpreting.

Finally you can choose to become a linguistic to study language scientifically. You will become immersed in the nature and characteristics of human language.


 

Gabriele studied Modern Languages in London at South Bank University. His passion for languages became evident quite early on. He loved using computers since childhood. (We’re talking about the Commodore 64, for all you techies out there.) At that time it was all in English, coding was done using English command words. So basically all the manuals and games were in English. This is how it all started.

Gabriele now speaks English, French, Japanese, and Spanish. He has taught in Japan, France and Italy. In 2005 he created thelanguageclass.co.uk to help people learn languages in the UK.

Gabriele’s next challenge is to learn German, however, the real challenge seems to be finding the time to keep on learning!

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