1. Become a translator
Translation depends on three crucial skills above all:
Very high language ability (obviously). Experience or academic background in the field you intend to translate. Contrary to what a lot of people might assume, translators don’t translate everything. They’re very specific on one or several areas of expertise (e.g. law, tourism, health and so on).
Skill as a writer and translator (into your own language).
Believe it or not, translation skills are not the same thing as foreign language skills. You can be amazingly fluent in a language and yet still be a useless translator.
2. Get a career as an interpreter
Translating and interpreting are two totally different things.
Translation is about the written word – changing texts.
Interpreting is spoken and a much more challenging job than translation.
This is tough because you have to deal with people who are speaking spontaneously and colloquially, and you need to be equally spontaneous and accurate!
Also consider the fact that many interpreters work in roles where they have to interpret comments that can have disastrous consequences if interpreted incorrectly (e.g. interpreting between patients and doctors, between politicians of two countries, between a lawyer, defendant and judge, and so on).
If that sounds like the kind of challenge you’d find rewarding too, go for it!
But if you’re more of a sit down and work on your own type person then translating is probably a better option.
You also need to be skilled at business and marketing if you’re going freelance because it’s a highly competitive field.
There are of course linguist jobs as well in intelligence agencies but as mentioned with regard to interpreters, for any kind of job like this you need to be skilled enough to spot very subtle nuances in texts that could have serious ramifications if translated incorrectly.
3. Work as a teacher of a foreign language
There’s obviously so much that non-native teachers can’t teach you no matter how good they are in the language. There are always going to be expressions and colloquialisms that a non-native will miss.
Non-native teachers do have their place and there is a lot that native speakers often cannot articulate or explain properly to learners.
More importantly, they can’t really relate to learners of their own language because they’ve never had to do it themselves.
And this is the key point.
So if teaching a foreign language is your interest, look into roles where non-native teachers are employed in support roles for native teachers.
That combination of native teacher + learner teacher can produce some very effective results.
4. Become a full-time language blogger or online content creator
5. Foreign languages will make you more competitive in the workplace
6. Work in a customer service position that requires foreign languages
Customer service roles of just about every kind are increasingly in need of more multilingual staff.
Certain languages will get you further than others of course but the mere fact that you speak another language will usually put you ahead of others who don’t.
It also looks fantastic on a resumé (check out this guy‘s video CV for instance) and many companies favor multilingual over monolingual applicants.
Academic qualification and proficiency in foreign languages opens the gate for career in sectors such as tourism, embassies, diplomatic service, entertainment, public relations and mass communication, international organisations, publishing, interpretation and translation, etc. Additionally, various multinational corporate bodies require candidates possessing excellent language skills in French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, etc. Some new avenues such as online content writers, technical translators or decoders too have come up in a big way.
International organisations such as the United Nations Organization (UNO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and various Indian national organisations such as Ministry of External Affairs, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), etc too require professionals who have specialisation in foreign languages.
Foreign language professionals earn attractive remuneration depending upon the work and the organization. Professionals working for PR or Marketing Department of any MNC can earn Rs 30,000 – 50,000 per month. Teachers can earn any salary in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 a month. Translators on the other hand receive Rs 250 to Rs 500 per page; compensation depends a lot upon the proficiency in the language. Similarly, an interpreter who is paid on an hourly basis can earn Rs 2000 to Rs 4000 per hour, again depending upon his calibre and work experience.
Demand and Supply
Despite huge demand for foreign language professionals there is not much information available for aspirants. As a result few professionals come out from foreign language institutes which ultimately results in a dearth of trained foreign language experts. India requires a huge number of foreign language experts, particularly in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. Whereas India possesses millions of English language experts, it faces shortage of people who know French, German and Portuguese. One important reason for shortage of trained foreign language professionals is lack of infrastructural set up in institutes and universities. Also, there are not many institutes which offer quality training in any foreign language. Additionally, most of the foreign language training centres or universities are located only in metros and big cities and candidates from small cities cannot afford to come to learn languages in metros.
1. A Career as a Translator
2. A Career as an Interpreter
3. International sales marketing
4. College lecturer or faculty
5. Linguistic Tour Guide
6. Jobs in Embassies
7. International correspondence (Journalism)
8. Job in International Organization
9. Language Blogger and YouTuber
10. Language Corporate Trainer
11. Teaching Abroad as an ESL Teacher
12. Content Writer and Editor