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Is it hard to find a job as a German Interpreter?

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I would love to major in German in college, but I am not sure if that is a good language to study. Most European countries now study English as a second language , so I don't know how in demand German skills will be!! #german #foreign-languages #travel

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Nicole’s Answer

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Hi Anna,


It depends - Are you strictly set on doing interpretation? Or are you open to other options that use German? I've found that many high school and college students do not know that there are plenty of jobs outside of translation and interpretation that require the use of foreign language skills, but you have to be willing to learn something outside of just the language.


For example, I ended up getting an education in information technology from my very first employer after I graduated simply because I speak three languages with enough fluency to handle a wide variety of professional situations.


I was a double-language major (Spanish/French) in college and I couldn't imagine having a job where I don't get to use my language skills on a daily basis. Many people think that majoring in a language is a waste of time and money, but I disagree because that hasn't been my experience. The key - I cannot stress this enough - is to pair the language(s) with another field that has great job growth, for example, technology, science, international business, communications, etc.


Even if you do want to go into straight interpretation/translation, you will still have to develop a specialty or a field of expertise and you will be required to know very technical terms in that language and be familiar with the concepts, so either way, just keep that in mind and try to find something you'd like to pair your language skills with.


Overall, my advice is to let your passion for German drive you into another field so that you can have the best of both worlds!


Kind regards,

Nicole

Nicole recommends the following next steps:

  • Run some job searches in your area or the area that you want to move to so that you can see what kinds of jobs might be available to you/you might be interested in.
  • Research majors that you might like to pair with German and get a feel for what the coursework would be.
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Jason’s Answer

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Hi Anna. My logic will sound a little weird but if you can hear it and decide if this makes sense. If you have a specific language that you have passion in and by all means please pursue the language of your love. Passion is the only thing which will keep your going in the times of endurance. Learning a language requires a lot of patience and practice. It will only take 1 second to give up and years of practice to almost be like a native speaker.

However if you are not sure which language to go after I would strongly recommend you to open up a map and first look at which are the most rapidly developing countries at the moment and may be in the next 10-20 years. Second use reverse thinking to think about who will need your help the most? Countries with poor English efficiency like Japan, Vietnams, Taiwan, and etc might be in high demand of interpretor since these countries rely heavily on imports and exports and will be that way at least in the near future. Your language advantage will take you pretty far down the road as far as I can tell.

Overall please follow your heart and let your voice within speaks.
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