Bilingual, Trilingual Jobs/college

Page 1 of 1 [ 13 posts ] 

jbinion
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2008
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 87

30 Apr 2009, 10:04 pm

I really like learning foreign languages. I know english, spanish...and I'm teaching myself italian right now.
What college degree can I get with knowing foreign languages and what jobs or careers can I have?



Learning2Survive
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,777

30 Apr 2009, 10:45 pm

good question

#1 don't go to an expensive college

you need to get a job RIGHT NOW. anywhere legit.

Can you handle working with customers and be professional? You could try getting certified as a Hospital Interpreter.
Waitering at an Italian Restaraunt
Working in an Italian Wine Shop
In an Airport where you need to talk to people from different countries


_________________
Some of the threads I started are really long - yeay!


Dussel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,788
Location: London (UK)

01 May 2009, 4:27 am

Learning2Survive wrote:
good question

#1 don't go to an expensive college

you need to get a job RIGHT NOW. anywhere legit.

Can you handle working with customers and be professional? You could try getting certified as a Hospital Interpreter.
Waitering at an Italian Restaraunt
Working in an Italian Wine Shop
In an Airport where you need to talk to people from different countries


This is not really the case - Being multilingual is for itself not that special: You find e.g. in London a lot of badly paid jobs in call centres serving the continent. But if combined with other skill it can be very helpful. Just think about lawyers with legal qualifications in two countries or researchers which need to read and understand documents and books from other countries.



DWill
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 218

21 May 2009, 9:32 am

Linguistics degree is what you want if you like learning language. Its the study of language and its structure and such, getting a degree in it will help you learn languages afterwards significantly quicker. In my linguistics program we also have to learn a non-western language (I chose Arabic), which you can continue to pursue for a job as a translator or similar.

Otherwise once you have a linguistics degree there are quite a few options as far as careers go, so if you really do like learning languages I'd say go for it. I'm physics/linguistics myself (the two subjects I love the most) so if you have any questions just ask.



Tori-kun
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jun 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 113
Location: Pacific Northwest

28 May 2009, 11:21 pm

Majoring in Foreign Language and coupling that with a teaching degree would be really valuable. that's what I'm trying to do.


_________________
Jesus was an anarchist.


Greentea
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,678
Location: Middle East

23 Jun 2009, 12:58 pm

I'd say something in International Commerce if you're inclined in that direction. But the best is to research the place where you're planning to live, for the job options there and evaluate them against your personal talents.

I'm an English Linguist and language teacher with lots of experience and an excellent resume. I master another 2 languages almost perfectly, plus another 2 at partial mastery level. I have extensive experience in International Telecom sales coordination at leading global companies. I'm unemployed and can't find a job for the life of me. So there are no guarantees.


_________________
So-called white lies are like fake jewelry. Adorn yourself with them if you must, but expect to look cheap to a connoisseur.


Aoi
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 683

22 Jul 2009, 11:42 pm

Language by itself rarely leads to a steady career. You'll need to combine it with knowledge of a particular subject if you want to translate or interpret, or acquire skills as suggested by Greentea and others in a field like international law, commerce, or finance.

When you say "master a language", you have to be careful. No offense meant here, but people who are 18 to 20 or so haven't mastered any language fully because of a lack of deep exposure to how professionals in a given field, from law or medicine to finance or physics, use the language, and the subject knowledge you'll need to understand their use of language. If you want to work in international law, for instance, you'll need a law degree, and your knowledge of the law in both your languages will deepen.

Also, what matters in the world of people who speak two or more languages is what pairs you know, and where you live. In the U.S. these days, people who know English and Spanish well are common enough that unless you are a well-trained translator or certified court interpreter, there is a lot of competition for few jobs. By contrast, if you know Chinese or Arabic and are a citizen, the government will probably hire you for intelligence work.

I'm a translator, by the way, so I can give more details about that field if anyone's interested.



ruennsheng
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,523
Location: Singapore

25 Jul 2009, 2:27 am

Me! I am ok in Chinese and English... and I am a high school student. So how?


_________________
Ex amicitia vita


go_around
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 78

25 Jul 2009, 5:17 pm

I have a BA in linguistics and Russian, and an MA in theoretical linguistics. I'll half echo DWill in that most people who study linguistics are people who are fascinated by learning languages, and it really does help you to understand language better and thus learn at least a passable amount of a number of diverse languages. If you really love language, then you will find bliss studying linguistics. That said, you typically can't get a job just on the basis of being communicative in one or several languages. The language combination (i.e. English and Spanish for you) has to be either really, really obscure, or your level of mastery has to be extremely high and/or very specialized for you to a get a job on that basis alone. Linguistics tends to stoke your interest in many diverse languages, which I have found actually makes it harder to become truly and deeply proficient in just a few. If you are interested specifically in interpretation or translation then I would major in the language of interest to you and then maybe do a minor in linguistics, or else find a program specifically for interpretation and translation like they have at schools like the Monterey Institute.

The other option is to work on your language skills while developing some other skill, which allows you to get a job in that field where your language skill is seen as a major bonus. For most people I know that means a teaching certificate, a technical or medical degree or certificate, or some kind of business degree. If you want to stick with Spanish and other romance languages then I would definitely recommend this route for you, since as Aoi said English and Spanish is a very common pairing in the US right now so the competition among people fluent in both for a good job is pretty high and you will need specialized knowledge to stand out from the crowd.

Finally, I also sort of agree with what Learning2Survive says, with some changes -

#1 don't go to a college where you have to take out huge loans to afford it. You don't want to owe a lot of money for a degree that's not going to get you a high paying job right off the bat, that's true. But the actual cost of the college itself doesn't always determine how much you will personally spend. If an expensive school gives you lots in scholarships and aid, then that's a great opportunity. If they don't, then pass for a more affordable school. You really aren't stuck choosing between spending too much money on an education or passing on the education entirely, as long as you are wise about your choices.

#2 Get a job now, because work experience is really, really important later on. That said, with Spanish and some high school/a high school degree your options are limited mostly to customer service over the phone and some hospitality jobs, and you generally won't be a salaried employee. Experience plus $9/hr is really great when you're 17, but is that where you still want to be when you're 40? Probably not. Do it now, but be prepared to move on if it seems like it will interfere with your educational goals.



Aoi
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 683

26 Jul 2009, 4:40 pm

As go_around said, there's a difference between being a "language specialist" and a "linguist", though some employers use the words loosely and interchangeably. If you want to be a linguist, you have go do graduate work in linguistics. From what I've heard, employment opportunities for people with doctorates in linguistics are limited, unless you specialize in something like computational linguistics, and then follow a career that involves computer programming for natural language processing, voice recognition/synthesis, or AI.

If you want to be a translator or interpreter, get experience or training in your language pair so that you are as proficient as an college-educated adult in both languages and have a good knowledge of one or more areas of expertise in demand for your language pair.

The best book on the translation profession that I know is called "Translation as a Profession". It covers the entire profession, including interpretation, from where and how to develop your skills to job hunting, and improving your career long-term. I've used it as a guide to help me along in my career as a translator.

Note: Within the profession, a translator works with written language (documents, books, Web sites, games, etc.) while an interpreter works with spoken language (court room, hospital, business meetings or training sessions, conferences). I've done a little interpreting but it's too social and stressful for me to handle.



Greentea
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,678
Location: Middle East

26 Jul 2009, 8:06 pm

Aoi, what's your other language?

jbinion, if you like languages but don't have 2 languages that are at native speaker level, and instead know some of several languages, the tourism industry is your best bet. Just take into account that tourism (including hotel services) are heavily customer-facing.


_________________
So-called white lies are like fake jewelry. Adorn yourself with them if you must, but expect to look cheap to a connoisseur.


Aoi
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 683

26 Jul 2009, 9:18 pm

Japanese.



Greentea
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,678
Location: Middle East

27 Jul 2009, 1:30 am

For someone with NLD like me, the ideal job is Information Researcher. Because we're strong at languages + unusual focus + unusual analysis talent. Pity I only discovered my NLD in my late forties. It's now too late to go back to university and start a career change in my mid-fifties.


_________________
So-called white lies are like fake jewelry. Adorn yourself with them if you must, but expect to look cheap to a connoisseur.