Language Skills Pump Up Your Pay Packet

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDA WHITNEY

LEARNING another language can boost your job prospects as never before. For as well as traditional careers such as teaching, interpreting and translating, there are plenty of jobs for language specialists in industry and commerce.

In fact, only one in ten careers with languages is in fields such as interpreting and translating.

Languages can boost your pay as well as your prospects: research shows that linguists' salaries are on average 8 per cent higher than workers without language skills.

Now that companies are going global, and the UK is increasingly tied to Europe, being able to speak another language can mean that UK and foreign employers are beating a path to your door.

'English speakers with other languages will find their market value rising fast,' says Mark Freebairn of Martin Ward Anderson, the specialist financial recruitment company with branches in the UK and mainland Europe.

'Many big companies now have subsidiaries or offices all over Europe and they want people who can communicate between them.

'People with several languages are relatively common in the rest of Europe but not here, so companies are desperately seeking people with English as a first language but who also speak others.' SIMPLY being able to converse in another language is no longer enough, says Bernadette Byrne of thebigword, a language management company in Leeds which provides interpreting and translation services.

'You have to have some other kind of expertise as well. For instance, translators are usually specialists in some other field such as medicine or finance.

'A company making prosthetics for use by surgeons internationally needs the instructions to be translated exactly right - getting it wrong could kill.

Financial translators are usually trained in finance, too. Skills like these command the highest pay rates.' Pascale Mourier of thebigword adds: 'If you want to use your languages in business, good sectors to aim for include customer services, sales, business development, import/export, financial and accountancy, and IT.

'The internet has opened up lots of new jobs for linguists designing or translating websites. …