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5 Jobs that Need Bilinguals

It could be argued that in today’s globally connected world that all jobs need bilingual workers. If you can help just one customer per day feel more comfortable, then being bilingual will be worth it. Your future boss will thank her lucky stars that she found you and no longer needs and interpreter or Google Translate to communicate with high stakes clients. Here are 5 jobs that need bilinguals for you to consider.

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Ah, yes. The most obvious of all bilingual jobs. The job of an interpreter is to do what bilinguals do every day in their daily lives: exchange meaning between two different languages. Interpreters act as go-betweens for speakers of two different languages to help the two parties understand each other. Interpreting can be done consecutively or simultaneously. Consecutive interpreting is likely the kind you are imagining. One party speaks. The interpreter takes the message and relays it in the language of the other person. That person responds, and the interpreter relays back their response. With simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter relays the speaker’s message while the speaker talks. 

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The term translator has often been mistaken as a description of what an interpreter does. Whereas interpreters verbally exchange meaning between speakers of two different languages, translators exchange meaning in written form. Any sort of documents that need to be translated from one language to another is done by translators. A digital example of a translator is Google translate. You simply type in or speak in the written message you wish to change to another language, and the translator will spit out the translation in the language you want to change it to. The difficulty with online translators comes because it is a computer and does not always do well with cultural contexts, words out of context, or slang. This is why you should leave any business translations to bilinguals.

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Medical Personnel

Bilinguals are needed as doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and any other type of medical specialist jobs. Services related to people’s health can be some of the most stressful for any patient, let alone someone whose first language is not English. Many times, even the most fluent of English learners prefer to have someone who speaks their native language to help them during health- related visits. Being a bilingual medical professional eliminates the necessity of having a go-between for your patients. This will set the patient more at ease as well as shorten time needed for visits. It additionally cuts out the cost of paying an interpreter. 

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International Company Representative

Many international companies have locations in the United States. Some examples of French companies with the locations in the US are Michelin, Louis Vuitton, and L’Oréal. Some German companies with locations in the US are BMW, Volkswagen, Bosch, Aldi, Lidl, Bayer, Puma, and Adidas. As you climb up the ladder in international companies, bilingualism will become essential for communication with headquarters, colleagues, and clients. As you climb the ladder, your job will likely require you to travel to the company’s global headquarters which will require international travel.  International travel is much easier when you speak the language of the country you will be visiting.

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Speaking a customer’s language is crucial for successful marketing. You cannot sell anything people without being able to communicate to them about what you are selling. Bilinguals are able to communicate with two sets of customers, one of which would not originally have been available to the company without the bilingual worker. In addition to knowing the customer’s language, a bilingual is also competent culturally. This allows them to market to the customers in a way that will be acceptable culturally and not turn them off due to committing a cultural faux pas. Major manufacturers need marketing specialists that are fluent in the company’s originating country. 

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