Five decades ago, the American journalist Flora Lewis said something about learning new languages. According to her, it was not only learning new words in order to say the same thing, but above all learning other ways to think about things. In today’s globalised market, the statement still stands true.
Globalisation Brings Opportunities In India
In the framework of current markets globalisation, many foreign companies consider setting up their business in India. If this trend bring new opportunities in the trades these companies do their business in, the sector that is the most propelled is the spoken and written foreign languages.
Indeed, may the company be commercial, financial or run in any other sector, it will need translators and interpreters to keep up the good communication with all actors of the business. And it goes even further: if there are more foreign workers in India, foreign embassies and consulates need more skilled staff, that is more polyglot employees. In the same course of action, more foreign people in India leads to more foreign cultural events and tourism, which also brings new opportunities to people who can speak several languages.
Languages Are Extra Skills…
« Learn to speak French and the world will be yours! » Well, yes, but… Learning a foreign language opens up to almost any job prospects, that is true indeed. On the other hand, as travelling has become more and more accessible in the past decades, many people know one or more foreign languages naturally, without taking course, and can study another field of expertise concurrently.
In this context, having only several foreign languages on your curriculum vitae might not be enough. Of course, this depends on the language spoken. If you are fluent in English or French or Spanish or German or Russian, you will have to face many competitors. On the other hand, if you can speak Japanese or Finnish, you will probably have better chances.
… Which May Not Be Enough
Still, companies often look for additional skills when looking for polyglot workers. If you aim at the tourism sector, you will need allocution skills; if you are more interested in the commercial field, you will obviously need good sense of it; if you set up your sights on the financial branch, you will be asked to be born in it.
If one sector is not concerned by this logic, it is the translation and interpreting one, where the language itself is the core of the job. But don’t let yourself be fooled: in order to become translator or interpretor, you will need not only to write and speak the language fluently and know all its nuances of grammar, but also, as Flora Lewis said decades ago, to learn other ways to think and speak about things. You best bet then is to travel and spend a few months in the country in question.