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Is there a career in Languages?

The short answer to this article title is yes. The longer answer is yes, and a lot of job opportunities are available when you start exploring the wonderful world of modern language and professional translating. Language jobs abound!

To start, let's take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture.

Globalisation is not going anywhere. Despite the recent setbacks to international business, investment and trading due to Brexit, COVID-19 and the Russian conflict in Ukraine, it's still slowly but steadily on the rise. This is thanks to rapid progression in technology, communication, and transportation. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, we quickly realised that business could continue as usual or even be more efficient as we conduct it virtually, widening our borders and increasing opportunities.

Globalisation is often used in an economic context, but it also affects and is affected by politics and culture.

According to Velocity Global, globalisation gives access to new cultures, including food, movies, music and art. It increases the spread of technology and innovation, lower costs for products, grants higher standards of living across the globe, opens new markets and gives access to new talent.

And the one thing that ties all this together… language.

This why you have read up to here and started wondering why a translation company is talking about globalisation? Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to language and being able to have clear communication and understanding between foreign parties. Language and being able to offer translation services is one of the most fruitful and flexible career paths to take in the modern world.

Language jobs are available in multiple sectors and certainly doesn’t mean you will be stuck in an office translating text for hours on end. It means the opposite: from running a restaurant to helping countries agree on peace treaties or enhance trade policies, to sharing the love and joy of another culture through language tutoring or translating literature or subtitles for a foreign film.

The sky is the limit when it comes to full time jobs, side hustles or even experimenting in a new avenue within your field of work, if you have a translator certificate in the languages you are passionate about, the stage is set.

What are the top language jobs when you are multilingual?

Intrigued to explore the vast options of language jobs? Here are examples of work opportunities would benefit from a future English linguistic professional, like you.


A translator can specialise in literary translation for fiction and non-fiction books. This includes everything from poetry to field guides and general academic books, business, mind, body & soul to philosophical and historical books. Whatever book you can imagine at your local Exclusive or Bargain Books, there is the probability of that book being translated, dependent on the demand for it.

Legal or judicial translators are also in high demand as globalisation brings people and businesses together. Legal translation is any sort of conversion that consists of transforming legal documents from one source language into a different language – as accurate and respectable as possible. One simple mistake on a translation can lead to contract disputes or even lawsuits. This can range from translating contracts, court documents, wills and trusts and company policies.

Academic translators are required for any translation of educational documents such as textbooks, guides, thesis', infographics & scientific illustrations, journals and so forth. This is also a job that requires the utmost diligence and high-quality output. Inaccuracies in educational texts can lead to major disagreement or discourse when two or more professionals from different backgrounds, have diverse ideas for the same topic due to the quality of their resources and study materials.

The role of a corporate translator is to convert any business-related communication in the desired language. This usually occurs when a company expands or sells abroad and there is a need to translate all the necessary business material. Legal translators often do work within the corporate space as well.


People often mix up the two job titles, Interpreter and Translator. These two professions are different with one key factor separating the two: interpreters translate spoken language orally, while translators translate the written word.

Interpreters work in places where the immediate oral communication between multiple parties are required. This tends to be under formal circumstances in social, legal and political environments.

Interpreters can work in the court of law, parliament or at their local embassy or take the position in another country to represent their own country as a foreign embassy.

Services are also required at international events, conferences, or seminars, where there may be a requirement for public speaking interpreters, or one can be a private interpreter for an individual or a team to conduct business and improve their networking size.

On the more social services side, interpreters are in high demand at hospitals, libraries, schools and at local city service facilities.

Blogger & Content Creator

We all have our favourite bloggers, vloggers and content writers who we keep a look out for on our social feeds. A Blogger or Content creator is a writer who creates content for a specific audience.

This content production usually happens on a regular basis. They will research, write, and edit their work before sharing it with an audience. Content creators will share their content on owned social platforms and build their social following to increase engagement with their blog readers.

Professionals may also translate their blog content into the language they know to increase their reach to consumers and grow their audience by making the blog more accessible. Alternatively, they hire a translator to convert their content into a language where they are growing an audience.

People who study a foreign language can benefit from having a travel blog that may enable them to travel so they can review destinations and explore and share insights and experiences on their platforms.


Talk about traveling; translators in the tourism industry are also in high demand because of the language barriers between people who are short-term visitors in places where businesses need to communicate at the best of their ability, to create a great customer experience.

Language jobs in travel and tourism include Tour Guides and Museum Hosts, Flight Stewards and Hotel Managers. These are jobs where emotional intelligence, quick problem solving and proactive thinking can earn a tourist destination a star on the board, and as a result, increase visitors, which leads to contribution to the local economy.


As mentioned earlier, translators can play a very important role in the educational sector. Jobs available for language professionals include academic researcher and article or thesis translator, editor or proof-reader. One can also follow a career as lecturer, teacher, or professor of language studies. There is also often a requirement for language professionals translate, edit, and proofread academic content.


According to Zippia, an Import-Export Specialist is responsible for managing and organising international shipments and providing clients and companies guidance throughout the processes. It is important for an Agent of this sort to understand current import and export regulations and laws.

Having proficiency in a foreign language is also especially useful for Human Resources Specialist because it may allow the company to diversify its workforce. Knowing multiple languages can also increase their ability to communicate, which is an important skill for HR team members who manage communications in the workplace.

Customer Service Representatives stand out from the talent pool if they have a multilingual qualification under the belt too. This is because when a successful business expands, the audience range does too, and customer services need to be prioritised to drive sales and build a customer loyalty.

Benefits of language careers

The keyword here is freedom. Having a job as a translator or interpreter allows you to work in diverse work environments, could entail traveling and provide opportunities for remote working as well as building a freelancing career.

The best part of it all, it is a lifelong learning journey. Boredom will never be on your agenda when working as a language specialist.

What should I do to get a language job?

As a first step, consider how you can combine your language qualification with a core subject or current line of work. According to The Guardian writer, Georgie Bradley, "If you want to be able to use a language within a specific field, it’s essential to combine language subjects with industry related modules, as a straight language degree may not command a big enough premium on the job market."

Plan your career building blocks as soon as you can to establish goals to work towards. Look at what field you want to work in, type of work and environment, etc.

If you already have a qualification in your field but would like to enhance your skills or move into using your language as the core service offering, you can do a language course post-graduation to add onto your cv.

Translation certification from DMME

Introducing Fifth House Training. We have partnered with them to bring a variety of courses to the South African market.

This partnership has yielded a first to market course that equips bilingual English-speaking individuals with a foundational level of practical translation skills.

Their Flagship Program is an introductory course on practical translation studies. It has been designed for the bilingual individual with no previous experience in translating written content. The course will expose you to various practical assignments in your language combination.

They aim to equip as many individuals as possible with marketable skills that can stimulate the economy. Skills that can either translate into new careers or supplemental income streams.

Distance learning makes this course extremely affordable and marked assignments with model answers all included in one course fee.

Now that you’ve reached the end of a very long blog post, we are optimistic that there is a sparkle of inspiration, a new hope for study opportunities or the start of what could be a full 180-degree career pivot. There is an abundance of language jobs to explore, and you can start your journey by following this link: https://www.fifthhouse.co.za/ or contact us if you have any questions.


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