Could regular translation enhance your career prospects?
If you are bilingual, there are plenty of reasons to practice your skills regularly. Knowing more than one language helps you view the world from a different perspective, enhance your understanding of your native language, and provide you with opportunities throughout your lifetime that people who are monolingual may not have.
Being bilingual and practicing your translation skills regularly has some less obvious benefits as well. People who regularly use more than one language can realize increased neuroprotection for the brain, along with higher than average cognitive abilities. Additionally, the career prospects for bilingual individuals are numerous. Getting a job as a translator, either at a translation agency or as a freelancer, is a natural way to enhance the brain-building skills that bilingualism provides.
Regular Translation Can Ward Off Neurological Disorders
Studies have shown that bilingual and multilingual people who regularly use their language skills through tasks such as translation are giving their brains a mental workout. Neuroscientists believe that this can help to protect against cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They have found that seniors who are bilingual have better executive functioning as they age. This is excellent news for individuals working in professional translation services. It means your job can actually help you maintain your health, and your career prospects as a professional translator could take you well into your golden years if you choose.
How Regular Translation Makes Your Brain Better
Being bilingual means that your mind is always translating two languages at once, even if it is done unconsciously. This activity seems to help develop better memory and focus. For example, one experiment has shown that people who are bilingual are better at performing spatial memory tasks than monolinguals.
The executive control system of the brain appears to work better in bilinguals and multilinguals as well. The capacity for multitasking, high-level thought, and the ability to sort through and discard irrelevant stimuli are better in bilinguals. And the regular practice of using their abilities in tasks like translation increases gray matter density and improves blood flow to the brain.
Regular Translation Leads To Success In the Workplace
It is no surprise that the experience of knowing a second language can enhance your career prospects. Translation companies are always looking for applicants with excellent problem solving and decision-making skills. For those who translate regularly, these skills come easier than they do with monolinguals. They are skills that can be useful not just in the field of professional translation, but in many workplaces around the world – after all, what company wouldn’t want employees who are good at solving problems?
What If You Only Know One Language?
Evidence suggests that learning a language at any stage of life is beneficial. You don’t need to have grown up in a bilingual home or have studied another language in college to reap the rewards of knowing more than one language. The internet has opened up a wide array of opportunities and modalities to learn other languages. Even if you aren’t planning to work for a translation agency, it can still be fun to learn to speak, write or read in another tongue. And the skills you gain, like mental clarity, deeper cognition, and better memory are valuable attributes that can enhance any career.
For those who are already bilingual, practicing these talents by performing language translation, either as a freelancer or through a translation agency, will ensure that you keep your brain in tip-top shape. It can be easier for bilinguals to learn other languages as well. Studying a third or fourth language will show initiative and intensify the benefits of language learning even further. What’s more, as the global economy changes, the need for people who speak more than one language is expected to continue growing, which is likely to result in increased earning potential for professional translators of all languages.
Louise Taylor works as head of English content for Tomedes, an international agency providing professional translation services. She is a freelance writer and a keen linguist, with qualifications in Spanish, French, German and Latin, and a working knowledge of Portuguese.