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Which Language should I choose?

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Which Language should I choose?

I do not know if the same has happened to you, but here is my story in a few lines. Whenever I said that I was going to do a degree in Interpreting and Translating, the next question people would ask was which language I would be studying. No idea why, but with the answer ‘English, German and French’ I often got comments such as ‘Chinese is the future, don’t bother with European languages!’ or ‘But German is only spoken in Germany and Austria (it’s not true, but never mind…), I think you should go for Spanish instead’.

I liked those languages at the time, and I still love them now, together with my native Italian of course. However, when I started university I wondered whether I had picked the ‘right’ languages, or at least those which would be useful later on. Now that I have almost finished my MA, I believe that whatever language I had picked would have been the ‘right’ choice. Each language is equally important. Although in translation it is well known that some languages are considered more expensive than others – Japanese and Scandinavian languages are quite expensive – but you can still find your own place, or even niche, in the big world out there.

English a must for CVs

It is true that there are trends. We all know that English has almost become a must for everyone’s CV, but learning Spanish instead of German will not have a huge impact on your chances to find a job or become a successful translator. I have understood that what really counts is your level of proficiency, time spent in the country and so on. So, even if you think that a less widely-spoken language might look funny on your CV, go for it! You will learn a language most people don’t know of and definitely gain a special insight into the culture, as every student of any language does.

Would you agree? It would be lovely to know what you think!

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Sharon StephensAuthor posts

Sharon Stephens is Operations Director of Lingua Translation. With a First Class Honours Degree in Translation and a University Lecturer in Translation (Masters), she is a self confessed language geek! Bringing the academic principles of translation and business together Sharon offers a quality-driven and needs centric translation and interpreting service - like no other.

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