Monday, March 30, 2020

5 Alternative Careers to Professional Translation during the COVID-19 Pandemic by Ofer Tirosh

The global language services industry has grown from a value of US$23.5 billion in 2009 to $46.9 billion in 2019. Statista projects that it will reach a value of $56.18 billion by 2021. As such, there are plenty of opportunities to make money based on speaking more than one language. That doesn’t necessarily mean providing professional translation services; a wide range of jobs exist that allow you to use your language skills every day. Here are five examples to get you thinking. 

Medical translator and interpreter 

Medical translator jobs and medical interpreter jobs are another excellent choice for those looking to work with languages but in an alternative career to translation. And with the world currently in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, there is an unprecedented need for medical facts and discoveries to be shared between countries swiftly and accurately. This is important both for monitoring COVID-19 and in the race to find a vaccine. 

A medical translator converts documents of a medical nature from one language to another. These could be anything from research papers to individual medical histories. 

A medical interpreter interprets between medical professionals and their patients. A medical interpreter could also interpret

between one healthcare professional and another, for example as a means of sharing medical best practice between countries. 

Medical interpretation is a highly skilled job, requiring the interpreter to have an in-depth knowledge of a huge range of medical terminology. It’s a role that can be incredibly emotionally demanding as well. Could you face delivering the news to a patient that they have a life-limiting illness? 

On the flip side, working as a medical interpreter can also be immensely rewarding, as your work can contribute both to individual patients’ experience of the healthcare system and to the ‘greater good.’

Video game tester

A video game tester career is an interesting choice for those who speak multiple languages. What does a video game tester do? Tests video games! Beta testing allows game developers to identify bugs and to ensure that games are appropriately localized for all of the countries/regions at which they are aimed. 

Let’s say you work as a Spanish translator. If you already undertake Spanish to English translation or English to Spanish translation, then you’re well-positioned to work with game developers who are looking to publish their game in both of these languages. Of course, a natural aptitude for and enjoyment of video games will also be a major plus point if you’re aiming for this kind of work! 

Multilingual content writer

If you’re looking for something less emotionally taxing than medical interpretation, then working as a multilingual content writer could be the role for you. You’ll need top-notch writing skills, of course, as well as the flexibility to turn your hand to everything from social media campaigns and blog posts to websites and white papers. 

Content marketing is big business. Statista reports that 12% of industry professionals publish six or more items of marketing content every week, while a further 24% published two to three pieces of content each week. Finding reliable clients with long-term content marketing strategies, therefore, presents a wealth of opportunities. 


How good are your typing skills? If you have an eye for detail and can work efficiently, then transcription is an excellent alternative career to professional translation. You can transcribe in your native language or your second language. 

One of the key benefits of working as a transcriptionist is that the setup costs are fairly minimal. Once you have a foot pedal and a laptop set up, you’re ready to start marketing your services – simple! 


If you speak two or more languages and want to share your passion for them as part of your career, then becoming a language teacher makes sense. You can teach online or offline, to children or adults, part-time or fulltime. This makes teaching a particularly flexible career choice, as you can fit it around any other commitments that you already have. 

If you’re planning to teach in schools, then you will need to undertake appropriate training. In many countries seeking to drive up teaching standards or struggling to deal with an understaffed education system, a ‘golden handshake’ means that you can receive payment for training, as well as learning the skills you need for your future career. 

Final thought: don’t forget about translation!

Many of the careers above can be considered either instead of working for a translation company or alongside such work. If you decide to stick with translation as well as adding an alternative career path to your CV, then go for a specialism. These vary enormously – as the examples below show. 

Legal translator

A legal translator converts legal documents from one language to another. Accuracy is of paramount importance. 

Literary translator

Literary translators spend their time converting novels, poetry, plays and the suchlike into other languages. 

Both of these translation disciplines include working with language but in quite different ways. As such, if you’re already working in translation and considering alternatives, remember to think about different kinds of translation too. Finding out how to become a certified Spanish translator, for example, could provide just the kind of new focus that you need, without a complete change of career. Just a thought! 

Ofer Tirosh is the CEO of Tomedes. He is an author who focuses on linguistics and the importance of foreign language in globalization and localization.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Benefits of Becoming a Polyglot by Alex Larsen

It today's multi-cultural world, everyone should be able to speak two or more languages. Learning a second (or even a third) language can improve your professional and private life.

As everyone's online in the digital era and talking to each other, you should consider learning another language and it's never been easier to do it online. There are plenty of free language learning platforms can help you do just that.

Knowing more than several languages comes with a few benefits.

More Job Opportunities

Plenty of businesses have gone global, meaning that they take care of the needs of people from countries all over the world. This means that they need to speak the same language as their customers.

International businesses are always looking for employees that know more than one language and this could be your chance for a new experience on a professional level.

If you're a translator, for example, you can find work with many multinational companies. Online casinos are one such field that has a huge demand for multilingual employees. For example, Casimba Casino's site includes several languages (English, Finnish, German, and Norwegian), which is something a translator or language service provider could help them with.

It's Good for Your Brain

Learning a new language can have several positive effects on your brain. The mental gymnastics required for learning a foreign language can keep your brain healthy and since there's no age limit for learning a new language, anyone of any age can enjoy the benefits.

Better Experiences when You Travel

Travelling abroad is a great way to meet new people and an even better way to practise your conversational skills in your foreign language. When travelling, there's a high chance that you can use your foreign languages skills with the locals or with other travellers who've also learnt the local language.

Similarly, in some cases, you'll find that you have your second language in common and can communicate with people through that.

You'll Learn Your First Language Better

As you learn another language, you'll begin to understand your first language more. Sometimes, you'll think of a word in your second or third language and in finding the equivalent in your mother tongue, you'll improve your vocabulary in both languages.

You'll Feel Better About Yourself

Grammar and pronunciation are sometimes hard to master but when you get the hang of it, you'll have a great feeling of pride. After all that practice, once you're able to speak with confidence, you'll also be more confident in yourself.

Alex is an article writer that covers a wide variety of topics including general interest, gambling, and technology news.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Which Foreign Language Should I Learn? by Vanessa Anderson

The world has become so connected that learning a foreign language has never been more important. With the advancement of technology, we can communicate with anyone anywhere. Foreign languages allow is to communicate with other cultures. So which foreign language should you learn?
Everyone will have their own reasons for learning a foreign language
and generally, being able to speak one or two foreign languages can help you get ahead.

Choosing which foreign language to speak might be decided by the number of native speakers throughout the world or how important it is in economic and political contexts. In the book “Ethnologist” by M. Paul Lewis, the ten most spoken native languages in the world are Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and German.


Spanish is the second most spoken language around the globe with 400 million native speakers across 44 countries. It's the only language that is spoken natively across all the inhabited continents which makes it the most beneficial language to learn. If you want to do global business, Spanish is particularly useful in Spain and across Latin America. Similarly, there's the potential in other emerging Spanish-speaking markets. For example, 13% of the US speak Spanish as a first language and by 2050, it's set to become home to the largest number of Spanish speakers in the world.

Americans wanting to work in law, social services, and business could benefit from learning Spanish. In Europe and the US, Spanish is the most spoken language after English. It's also the third-most-common language online.

It's regularly considered a pretty good language to learn as it's easier to read and pronounce than French, for example. You can learn Spanish in places like Spain, Argentina, and Guatemala.

With around 600 hours of classroom time (less than six months) most learners can achieve a good level in Spanish.

You can use this language in developing markets in Argentina, Chile, Columbia as well as other markets in Central and South America.


If you're looking to give your career a boost, French could help. With over 290 million speakers, it's the fifth most spoken language worldwide.

French has become a global language over time and is the official language of 29 countries including France, Canada, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, and many nations in Africa. French is also the official language of NATO, the United Nations, the Olympics Games, the Red Cross, and many other global organizations.

According to a survey by, there will be around 750 million French speakers in the world by 2050 which could lead to it overtaking English and Mandarin.

Learning French can lead to opportunities in fields such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, aeronautics, energy production, and more.

French can be very beneficial for international careers as it can open business opportunities all over the francophonie.

With Spanish being the most commonly taught language in the US, learning French as a foreign language could give you an edge over other job seekers.

French is also often considered one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn.


China has a rapidly growing population and plays a huge role in the global economy, making learning the Chinese language incredibly helpful.

Chinese is not one language but it is a group of dialects, and this the official language of China and Taiwan, where it's called Standard Chinese. The most common of these dialects is Mandarin.

With 995 million native speakers, Chinese can open many doors in the world of business. Similarly, diplomatic and military professions tend to find a knowledge of Mandarin Chinese very useful.

Knowledge of Mandarin can give you an advantage over monolingual job candidates, too. Those who have competency in Mandarin have a competitive advantage over their monolingual corresponding fellows.

While Mandarin might seem quite difficult, the grammar, conjugation, and tenses tend to be simpler than some other common languages.

It's expected that China will take over the United States in terms of GDP by 2028. The best places to learn Chinese languages are China, Taiwan, and Singapore.


In terms of native speakers, German is the most common language in Europe. It is mostly spoken in Germany, Austria and the large parts of Switzerland. Germany is an academic, political, and economic hub, making German a great language to learn if you're interested in any of these fields.

Furthermore, Germany is an important trade partner for many countries so if you're looking a career in trade, you should start learning German immediately.

To be proficient in the German language, you'll probably need to spend around 900 classroom hours studying. The most popular places to learn German are Germany and Austria.


According to the British Council, Arabic is the 5th most important language in the world. Arabic can provide opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

Arabic is a macrolanguage that's made up several related dialects. Speaking the Arabic language can provide plenty of opportunities for work and travel and across several different businesses and industries.

Since the Arab-speaking region is considered to be the richest linguistic region with a GDP of $600B, learning Arabic is a great way to gain access to many markets. A survey by the US Foreign Service Institute shows that Arabic is one of the most difficult foreign languages for English speakers to learn and you will need around 88 weeks of class time to become competent speaker of it.

Learning a new language is a great investment and speaking a foreign language can do wonders for your career. This is why many big businesses get professional translation services, particularly into Chinese, in order to expand into different global markets.

Vanessa Anderson is an enthusiastic creative writer. In addition to writing for multiple foreign corporations, she enjoys writing poems on current social issues.