By Sean Kim
Knowing a foreign language can help you in many aspects of your life, including travel, family connection, and even mental health. But did you know that you can find some of the coolest jobs just by knowing another language?
Before we talk about the 10 top language jobs you can get, let’s talk about the most useful languages to learn.
Which foreign languages helps you find the top language jobs?
a. Spanish. As third most spoken language in the world, knowing how to speak Spanish will enable you to reach over 500M+ people globally. In the United States and Europe, Spanish is recognized as the second official language other than English, and is the official language in over four continents.
b. French. Not only is France the fifth biggest economy and top three locations for foreign investments, some of the top universities like HEC exist in France. Learning French opens the doors to French companies in not only France, but other French-speaking parts of the world such as Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa.
c. German. According to The Economist, German has been shown to earn you the biggest bucks if you work for a corporation:
- Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
- French — 2.3 percent bonus
- German — 3.8 percent bonus
While German won’t give you the wide reach that a language like Spanish provides, Germany is the home to some of the top corporations in the world, particularly the top automobile brands like BMW.
d. Mandarin. It’s no surprise that Mandarin is on this list. As the most widely spoken language in the world, Mandarin is the official language of China, one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
e. Arabic. The Arab world is recognized as one of the wealthiest regions in the world, with over $600B in GDP. Due to the abundance of market opportunities in the Middle East, Western Arabic speakers are in very high demand, but in very low supply. If you have the ability to speak Arabic, don’t be surprised if people are throwing their offer letters at your desk!
What industries are these top language jobs from?
While you can benefit from knowing a foreign language with nearly every industry, here are the main highlights:
- Media (journalism) and film
- Tourism and travel services, including airlines and hotels
- Banks and insurance
- Local, state and federal government
- International non-profit organizations
- Publishing companies
- Departments of defense and international embassies
- Health services
- Social services
- Immigration services
- Elementary, high schools, universities and colleges
Here are 10 Cool Jobs You Can Get By Learning a Foreign Language.
The 10 Top Language Jobs You Can Get With a Foreign Language
1. Game Translator
Did you grow up playing Nintendo? Now you can make money playing it. Companies like Nintendo are always looking for in-game translators that can translate from English to Japanese or other languages. Here’s an example job posting.
2. Brand Specialist
Recognized as one of the best companies to work for, Google is hiring Brand Specialists that can communicate in foreign markets. In short, brand specialists work with customers to serve the ongoing product improvements of Google.
3. Community Representative
Blizzard, who produces well-known video games like WoW and Diablo, is looking for a bilingual Spanish/English speaker to engage with their Latin American player communities. The job includes helping with game development and supporting the company at events, including BlizzCon.
4. Flight Attendant
Industry: Travel and Tourism
If the idea of getting paid to travel sounds exciting to you, flight attendant maybe something to look into. Depending on which airline you work for, many of these top airlines will look for flight attendants that can speak a foreign language. For example, if an airline frequently flies from the US to Spain, they’re going to prefer someone that can speak Spanish.
5. Lead Coordinator
Industry: International Non-profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations, like Pencils of Promise, are focused on helping developing nations around the world. In many of these nations, English is not the official language. Understanding a foreign language like Spanish will help advance your position in the organization because you have the ability to communicate with the people you’re trying to help.
6. Analyst or Associate
Industry: International Banking and Finance
Banking is done all around the world, and this involves doing business with people from different cultures and countries globally. Knowing a foreign language can give you an upper hand when it comes to negotiating or deal making.
Industry: Film & Media
Photography is an art that goes beyond languages, but if you want to shoot around the world, you should certainly learn a foreign language. For travel photographers, you can decide to learn the language that you would most like to travel to.
8. Fashion Buyer
Whether it’s Milan, Barcelona, or São Paulo, fashion is a global industry, and you’ll be working with people all around the world, who speak multiple languages. It’s safe to say that Spanish, Italian, or French are great languages to learn if you’re into fashion.
Industry: Human Resources
As businesses become more global by the day, they’re also looking for employees all around the world. Companies are always building new offices in South America, Europe, and Asia. The recruiter’s role is to be able to communicate with these employees and recruit the best person for the job.
10. Foreign Correspondents
Love telling stories? Do you dream about traveling the world and helping people share their message?
Journalism may be your calling. If you want to find the best stories, you’re going to need to know how to communicate in a language other than English, especially if you want to speak with the locals.
About the Author
Sean Kim is the founder of rypeapp.com, a language learning platform helping people speak fluently in any language faster. He’s also a blogger at http://thegrowthlist.com and a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, The Next Web, TIME, and more.