Career Enhancement Through
Foreign Language Skills
Contest - I Winner Article)
This article summarizes the
rising significance of International languages in accordance to the ever
rising employment opportunities in commerce and industry.
An Introduction to the
origin of foreign language instruction in
1990's witnessed the rise
of foreign language instruction in
language instruction, since then has become an integral part of the
college/university curriculum in India. Relationship with the classical languages originally defined the place
of foreign language in the academic curriculum.
At first, there was a
notion among the natives that the modern languages (foreign languages) were
not worthy a discipline to revert to books. To tackle this issue of
reputation, the modern language departments modeled themselves after two
respected disciplines namely:
- The philological study
of languages (the history of language combined with the reading texts
illustrating earlier phases of the language)
- Classical studies (the
analysis of literary texts that form part of the cannon)
Importance and Depth of
Learning a Foreign language
The advantage of learning a
foreign language is threefold:
1. Academic/ Educational
An extra language in the
academic curriculum is always a boon. It accentuates ones cognition and though
processes and a good three years or so of learning a foreign language is an
eye catcher in your CV. Regardless of the choice of the career, a person in
command of any foreign language has an edge over the others.
Employees who can
communicate in foreign languages and understand other cultures are always a
blessing for any employer. You are like a bridge to an employer who would
always connect to new clients if you know their language.
A person who is openly
receptive to new culture which comes with learning a new language is blessed
with the ability to reinforce their own identity and thereby the
self-confidence. Study of a new language, communication with the natives of
the language and knowing about their culture is both a source of pleasure and
personal enrichment. Knowledge of a foreign language will enables to compare
and contrast cultural concepts.
Careers for Foreign
If you are competent enough
in the concerned foreign language, the opportunity never quits knocking at
your door. The majority of the job opportunities pertain to these
and Engineering Positions
2. Media and
International e.g. United Nations
and Clerical Positions
8. Travel and
1. Technical and
Companies with overseas
association would need technical and engineering personnel with foreign
language proficiency for titles like Research Worker, Technical Engineer,
Quality Control Supervisor etc.
2. Media and Arts
This is another significant
area for Foreign Language expert
Audio and Visual Media:
broadcasting companies are in search for translators with a strong linguistic
background for their Radio/TV marketing departments in their respective
Subtilter: A Foreign
language specialist can work as subtitlers and provide synchronized captions
in the target language for the film or television dialogue.
Voice over artist: Here
language specialists voice is not replaced by that of the actors, but a
revoicing like that of a narration or commentary or a simple reading of the
sounds and words of a spoken message and converts it into written translation.
Language Engineer: A
combination of foreign language and software skills is essential
publication houses are always in need of language experts. Language
specialists can work as copywriters, editors, editorial assistants in the
Lexicographer: A bilingual
or multilingual can work on developing entry or definition of a word, term or
concept to be added to the dictionary.
specialists who deal with oral communication. Interpreters can be employed by
Governments, International Agencies, Conferences, Publishers and other
business organizations. Language for an interpreter is like the Reflex Action
in the human body. They have to take quick and apt decision in the source
language and render it simultaneously in the target language. Simultaneous
Interpreter should never be short of ideas or words since the speaker
continues to talk even when the Interpreter Interprets. In Consecutive
Interpretation, the speaker and the Interpreter takes turn to speak. Sharp
memory is another key asset of the Interpreter.
Some other kinds of
serve at meetings, seminars and discussions
Escort Interpreters- escort
visitors or delegates and interprets usually in a informal situation. They are
quite a many in number
usually happens in the court room. They usually implements consecutive
interpreting, but sometimes they have to implement simultaneous interpretation
or sight translation
Translators usually are
specialized for translation in the technical or literary fields. Similar to
that of the Interpreter, the translator can also work as staff in Governments,
International Agencies, Conferences, Publishers and other business
5. International e.g.
The UN is the largest
employer of language specialists which includes translators, editors and
interpreters. Bilinguals have an edge here and can also work as economists,
education specialists, financial analysts, public information officers,
librarians, technical specialists in the fields of agriculture and industries,
engineers and statisticians. The United Nations conducts a yearly competive
examination followed by an interview for the recruitment of Foreign Language
6. Secretarial and
Bilinguals or Multilingual
(like Indians) have an edge here. Many employment agencies advertise every now
and then for the posts of Bilingual or Multilingual secretaries and typists.
Stenography, Translation and correspondence services include Secretaries. This
should give an insight into the matter that the duties are vast and only a
very competent language professional can fit the bill.
Foreign Language teachers
are always in a great demand. If you specialize in languages such as French,
Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, you will never be short of teaching
offers. There are a lot of people who teach English as a foreign language.
8. Travel and Tourism
Transportation, Hotels and
Motels, Tours Conductors need the service of Foreign language experts to interact with
their Plum Customers. This industry fetches the language expert well enough.
9. Government and
Federal Bureau of
Linguists and Foreign
Language experts can work as an agent with the FBI to conduct foreign
counterintelligence investigations within the country and also to coordinate
the domestic counterintelligence activities of other agencies in the
National Security Agency (NSA):
Communication experts and translators who are versed in foreign languages can
work with NSA which is under the Department of Defense.
especially Natural therapists would need the assistance of a language
specialist to reach their voice to the foreign patients.
Library Science: The
librarian may use language specialists to know what a foreign language book is
Learning a new language is
like setting out for a new discovery which is more like an adventure. You will
hardly be aware of what lies in store for you at the finishing point. But yes,
there is much more to learning a language than learning its phonology,
morphology, syntax and semantics, and definitely, its literature. Learning a
language also means learning its socio-cultural background and also studying
and accepting the culture of the other. It also means knowing or learning ones
own culture from a new perspective.
2.R Oxford, J
Shearin - The Modern Language Journal, 1994 JSTOR
3.The Role of Language
Skills and Foreign Country Experiences in the Development of European Identity
; Sociology - Slovak Sociological Review (3/2004)
Shreya K. Varma, Applabs Pvt.