There are an estimated 6,500 languages spoken around the world today.
Just because you speak more than one language doesn’t mean you should be content to only translate to and from languages that you know well. If you are bilingual, or multilingual you will have an easier time than a monolingual person in learning a new language. It is in your subconscious.
Your brain recognizes and hears patterns and pronunciations in a new language, especially if it is similar to a language that you already speak.
Learn a Language Similar to Yours
For example, if you speak Italian, your subconscious will recognize patterns in Spanish that are very similar, because they are both considered Romance Languages (or Romanic or Latin languages), along with French, Portuguese and Romanian. They all have similar patterns of verb conjugation and pronunciation. Combined with some lesser known Romance languages, there are close to an estimated 1 billion people speaking these languages today.
Native Language Rule
The best language to translate INTO is your native tongue (target language) and the “source” language can be any language that you feel comfortable reading at…the high school level.
Learn More Languages…Earn More Money
Many people learn several languages as adults.
I think it is best to choose one that you love, or at least like, to make the studying part more fun.
It is also helpful if you are able to begin speaking it with native speakers as you learn.
Don’t know any? Look in the phone book, or the Internet for groups in your area. I think you would be surprised how diverse the world is today.
I used to listen to church services on the radio when I was learning Spanish. Why? Not because I was worried about my soul, but because they spoke….very….slowly. I also picked up some vocabulary that helped later in translating.
What are The Highest Paying Languages?
Nordic Languages are at the top of my list-Swedish, Danish and Norwegian – in that order.
These countries are industrialized and therefore produce a ton of documents to be translated. Their economies are strong, so you can charge at the top end of your scale.
You might be thinking that they are highly educated and therefore many people speak English. You would be right.
But, you see, that is the problem as well. Many speak English, but few know how to write it correctly.
The same holds true for other languages besides English. Additionally, the population of these Northern European countries is not large.
Next Highest Paying?
Right behind Nordic languages, I would suggest Mandarin, Arabic/Farsi, Japanese or Korean.
How to Find High Paying Languages?
Look for countries that are industrialized. They are the best bet for finding high paying work.
What’s Hot Right Now?
African languages are also very pricey. There is currently a great shortage of African translators in the world market.
Understand Your Value
Remember, the companies you will be working with require precise translations.
Only native speakers can provide that precision.
Sometimes, you will be given some text to translate that was not written by a native speaker. In this case you would be more of a proof reader and editor.
But, you also must be a detective and try to decipher what the person who wrote this in your native language was trying to say.
I have seen this often in manufacturing that comes from the Far East, China and Korea mostly.