There are many motivations one may have to pick up a new language. For Chinese, the sheer number of speakers in the world is usually enough of a reason to make one convinced to learn Chinese. Just think about it: When you learn the Chinese language, you open the doors of communication to more than a billion people worldwide!
Being able to communicate with one of the largest population of speakers brings about many of its own advantages. One thing that many people think of is the plethora of career opportunities that this offers. Indeed, when you reach a certain level of fluency and confidence in the Chinese language, it becomes a skill you can pitch to potential employers, and even allow you to try for jobs that you could never have without knowing Chinese.
Are you wondering what kind of jobs being a bilingual with a knowledge of Chinese can get you? Here are some of them:
1. Language teacher
One day, when you’ve reached a master level of proficiency in Chinese, you can take on the role of a Chinese language instructor and pass on the knowledge. This is a job that will be well in demand due to the popularity of Chinese language.
To teach formally at institutions, you would likely need to equip yourself with some certifications in Chinese before you are considered qualified. However, if you are just starting out, you can also earn your keep as a private home tutor – this is also relevant if you are in an area where Chinese language schools are few and far between.
Alternatively, you can be an instructor for your first language, and teach Chinese-speaking people. This arrangement will be feasible if you live in an area with a large population of Chinese-speaking people.
2. Translator or interpreter
Now that you have knowledge of at least two languages under your belt, you can work your way towards becoming a translator or interpreter. Translation jobs typically refer to the conversion of text from one language to another, while interpretation is the conversion of speech from one language to another.
Translation jobs may include tasks like translating books, creating subtitles, or preparing language data for research. Interpretation usually involves on-the-spot work, and are often required at events like conference speeches, global-scale meetings, or court proceedings.
For casual translation or interpretation jobs, some employers don’t require employees to have any special qualifications. But if you are looking at higher level jobs, a further certification in translation or interpretation may be necessary.
3. Global marketing specialist
For multinational corporations, one difficulty they face is how their products come across to people in different countries. Sometimes, simply translating their product name or marketing slogans can prove a huge challenge. All these words need to be understandable, bring out the brand image, and also be sensitive to the cultural context of the target region.
Thus, if you have a good grasp of two languages (and cultures!), you can be the bridge to ensure that these marketing efforts translate well across countries. With mastery in the Chinese language, you have the chance to work with scores of Chinese companies, or companies looking to establish a presence in Chinese-speaking nations.
If you are not just a language lover, but also passionate about international relations, this is a career you may want to consider. Leaders of countries around the world meet frequently to discuss matters of politics and global issues, and diplomats are often the ones who represent nations at these meetings.
To get your foot in the door of this role, you need a strong knowledge of how international relations work. A degree in international relations or a similar field will go a long way in helping you land the career you aim for.
The truth is, there is no shortage of job options out there for those who want to put their Chinese skills to good use. Even if you are currently stably employed, gaining a new language skill can put you in good stead to contribute more to the company, for example, by being the point of liaison for foreign business partners.
With all these opportunities right in front of you, what are you waiting for? Begin your Chinese learning journey today!