Almost five decades ago when American journalist Flora Lewis said that learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things, she might have been talking about the emotional quotient of learning a language. But the statement still stands true in today’s globalized market.
Due to globalization, companies from foreign lands are keen on setting up their business in India. Not just the commercial sector, cultural symposiums and foreign embassies in our country need translators and interpreters all the time, people who are fluent in spoken as well as writing languages. This creates a plethora of job opportunities for language enthusiasts or people who have a flair for it.
After learning a foreign language, there are different job prospects for people based on the field of their expertise. If you are good at writing and know the nuances of grammar, you can be a translator working for a multinational company, whereas if you excel at speaking the lingo, you can work as an interpreter for brands and work in marketing sector with a lucrative pay package.
“With French and German languages getting introduced in mainstream education in schools today, the scope of building a career in has widened multiple folds. We as Indians live in a multilingual society, so it’s easier for us to learn a new language,” says Shyamla Nair, coordinator of Justice ML Pendse School of Language studies.
Foreign language teacher Kalyani Tatke Dindokar says, “More than the liking for these languages, a student must possess a flair for it. Languages cannot be learnt by heart, but they have to be understood deeply for you to be able to apply it. If you know a foreign dialect and have secured even an A1 level certificate in it, you can start your own teaching business or work as a teacher in central schools. You could also freelance and work from home.”
However, almost all the experts and academicians backed the notion that there is no scope for growth for linguistics in Nagpur and for a full-fledged career, one must be willing to venture out into tier-1 and metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.
Sidestepping the lucrative job opportunities, learning a language from scratch is easier said than done and one must be thorough with at least one language and its grammar before beginning, says German language teacher Widula Shanware.
“Other than having a capacity of grasping the grammar, one must be ready to toil through the hours and understand the build of a language. A teacher can only teach you the rules, but you must be ready to follow them and learn it on the go,” she adds.
Why opt for it
Chance to travel around the world and meet new people
A high-end paying job in the nexus of commerce
Great opportunities for people seeking part-time job as freelancers and working from home
Added advantage on your resume
Language learning passion can empower you
Learning a foreign language needs a lot of passion and dedication. It brings you closer to the culture of the country and helps explore a completely different world. Be it your mother tongue or any other foreign language, passion comes first. If you have seriously decided to pursue a career, you have a plethora of job opportunities.
Just like in any other off-beat field, linguistics also require a lot of struggle initially since there is no rule book on what and how it should be done. For all other branches, you have study guides, books, and renowned personalities for you to look up to. But when you choose linguistics, you are on your own and self-study is the only resort.
Predominantly, the career options readily available if you pursue linguistics are teaching, translation & interpretation, technical writing, lexicographer and forensic linguist. A lot of metro cities have good options for translation and interpretation, where you get paid per word and that tells us the magnitude and requirement of language studies in India. Career opportunities are even greater if you have learnt multiple languages and sky becomes the limit.
If you are learning German or French language, you should complete certain levels in order to gain reputation in the industry. The European Commission for Language Studies has set up levels from A1 to C2 which are standardized for learning all European languages. One should have completed at least 5 to 6 levels to enter this field, only then you will be eligible to set up a career on your own in linguistics.
Apart from self-study and classes, one thing that all the budding talents should keep in mind is that you should shun all inferiority complex regarding own language and capability. And to nourish that, you must cultivate a reading habit.
Another great facet about languages is that there is no saturation point. Even the fields of maximum scope like engineering and medical have saturation level at some point in time. But when you opt for a language, all you need is the passion to accomplish your goals.
The writer is a Linguistic Expert. He is a senior German, Dutch language translator and interpreter working as assistant manager for Behr-Hella Thermocontrol India
List of colleges
Justice ML Pendse School of Languages & Media Studies
Courses: Certificate courses in Spanish, Japanese, French, and German
Intake: 15 students for certificate courses
Admission process: Direct
Duration: 3 months
* Nagpur University also conducts certificate courses
I learned German because I wanted to do something unconventional. I thought of becoming a translator but as time passed and I looked at all the opportunities, I decided to do management course from Germany. Learning German will help me pursue my goal
I joined college to learn something new during my free time, but over a period, my interest in the language increased tremendously. So, I thought to turn my passion into a profession. Therefore I’m preparing for DELF and DALF which are organized by French Ministry of Education. After clearing this examination, I can be a translator, a professor or can join a French company also
I started to learn German because I thought that it is a very interesting language. After learning German, I’ll be learning Arabic as well. Earlier, I wanted to join European colleges for further education, but now I want to become a professor and teach these languages which would be more interesting
Literature as a topic of study is very enriching — academically, spiritually and emotionally. Interest in various languages is promoted by taking admission in arts. Nowadays, German companies are coming to India. They need employees who understand German. This is a very good opportunity for literature graduates
After graduation, one can also become a soft skill trainer which involves training graduates for interviews. The training involves improving communication skills, counselling sessions, grooming their personality, professional development etc. There are many opportunities for a literature graduate; they just need to know how to avail them
Interviews by Anjali Dhananjayan & Vaidehi Kolhe
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