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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!


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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