Language is one of the most powerful communication tools available to an individual. With emerging globalization, an individual who has knowledge of more than one language has a number of advantages to his/her credit. Careers nowadays not only ask for languages as a primary skill, but occasionally as a secondary skill as well.
Apart from having the knowledge of various regional languages and the national language of his/her own country the individual gets extra benefits if he/she knows few foreign languages. The most important foreign languages are English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Persian and Chinese. These languages are important in the sense that they provide better career opportunities to the professionals.
It is very much interesting to note that, in recent scenario, Indian national language Hindi is also becoming popular in many foreign countries and more and more students are opting for a course in Hindi owing to the increase in business cooperation of India with many foreign countries.
The aspiring candidates should have few exceptional qualities within them – sense of responsibility, pleasing personality, presence of mind, initiative, good physique, patience to work long hours, systematic approach towards duty, good appearance, communication and interactive skills, language proficiency, pleasant voice, team spirit, positive attitude, sense of humour and so on.
There is no formal educational qualification required for pursuing a course in any foreign languages which are of short-term in nature. However, someone who wants to pursue degree course in any foreign language should have appropriate educational qualification. The one who is having slight formal training would definitely prove to be a great advantage in pursuing a particular degree or diploma course.
No specific qualification is required in order to study at cultural centres such as Max Mueller Bhavan or Alliance Francaise etc. Some institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru University require a candidate to take an entrance exam on the basis of which they would be selected for the BA, MA and M. Phil courses in a particular language.
A career in foreign language has always been an attractive proposition, especially for those who have a flair for languages. Translator and interpreter are the best options available with this field for the aspiring individuals. Individuals may choose to be either freelancers or be associated with a particular organisation. Business interpreters find prospective employment in business firms, travel agencies, etc. One could also opt for a career in teaching. Working as a translator or interpreter either full-time or part-time proves to be a very good career option. Learning additional languages also helps one become familiar with the life styles and culture of other people.
There are large numbers of international organizations and embassies available which employ language specialists for secretarial, executive and public relation assignments as well as for translations and interpretations. Translators are also employed with industries, publishing houses, government and research organizations. Other job opportunities available with travel and tourism sector, hotel industry, exhibitions and fairs, airlines offices, export agencies, radio stations and trade organizations.
Remunerations vary with the kind and the place of work. For instance, a career in teaching can earn anything from Rs.10000/- p.m to Rs. 20000/- p.m. A Lecturer's pay scale is between Rs. 10000/- p.m. to Rs. 13000/- p.m. and professors can expect over Rs. 18000/- p.m. Those working as translators get paid between Rs. 50/- to Rs.100/- per page. An interpreter gets paid on hourly basis and at present the rate varies from Rs. 300/- to Rs. 500/- per hour. For those working with embassies can get paid between Rs. 8000/- p.m. to Rs. 10000/- p.m.
Institutes & Training
In India there are large number of institutes and universities offering short-term and long-term (degree/diploma) courses in foreign languages. The courses range from certificate level to master’s and even PhD level. You can find few private institutes and foreign embassies are also offering courses in foreign languages in major cities of the country including Delhi and Mumbai. The prominent universities and institutes for foreign languages are: