2019 is here, and with it there are thousands of new years’ resolutions just waiting to be put into practice! Besides all the weight loss plans, attempts to stop smoking, or the intention to simply live an overall healthier lifestyle, there are some very smart resolutions that might boost your mental health AND your CV. One particular resolution will even give you a little insight into the work of a translator and will help you understand why some language services might take a bit longer or cost a bit more than you initially expected: Learning a second language.
So many benefits!
Learning a foreign language not only makes you more attractive to potential future employers, it also stimulates your brain cells. According to researchers, speaking two or more languages can actually prevent illnesses like Alzheimer’s, as well as improve your cognitive abilities.
What are the options?
So, how do you get started? Nowadays we are lucky to have plenty of opportunities to learn languages, and you won’t even have to pay for some of them!
Language-learning apps like Duolingo offer a broad range of popular languages and are very informative given the fact that they’re available for free, but even though they might be really interesting and entertaining at the beginning, many users tend to lose their drive once the grammar and vocabulary lessons get harder.
Online language programs likewww.rosettastone.co.uk or www.babbel.uk are a bit more expensive, but they have a really good reputation and offer sophisticated language courses which can be of great value for future job applications. And just like it is the case with your new gym subscription: maybe it’s easier to keep up the work if you feel the urge to get your money’s worth!
Then there are some of us who might need even more of an incentive to keep their efforts up, so they might be better off with an actual language course, with a real teacher. Because what’s a better incentive than striving for positive feedback and being better than your classmates, or at least not wanting to embarrass yourself for not having done any homework? The disadvantage here: the quality of the course depends entirely on the teacher’s methods and expertise, so you might want to ask some colleagues and friends if they can recommend someone, or you ask for a free trial lesson before committing to a full-length course.
The most cost expensive, but perhaps also the most efficient way to build up your language skills (regardless if you’re at entry level or almost fluent) is travelling to a country where the language is actually spoken! If you’re a student, you can try to find an internship in another country or apply for a semester abroad, maybe you’re even eligible for a scholarship! As a professional, you can look out for offers that combine a vacation with a language course, and if you’re working in international business or as an entrepreneur you might receive some discounts for specific business language courses.
Why are we happy if our customers learn a foreign language?
Regardless of your age, interests, or career paths, learning a new language is always a good idea. Going through the struggles of learning a foreign language will also make you more aware of the challenges translators and interpreters have to face on a daily basis. Remember: such previously mentioned courses might bring you to Level A2 or B1 if they’re good and if you really put a lot of effort in them, whereas professional translators have to be on the level of a native speaker (C2) which usually takes years to achieve. They don’t only need to know their grammar and keep their vocabulary up to date, they also need to be able to transfer and adapt concepts like expressions, proverbs and cultural peculiarities that exist in the language of the source text, but not in the language it has to be translated to, without losing the meaning or changing the connotation. Translators always have to stay as close to the original text as possible while at the same time changing it as much as necessary in order to convey the same message in a different language.
All this makes working with languages a tedious profession, but also one that keeps you evolving constantly, just as languages constantly evolve as well. As Charlemagne already knew over a thousand years ago: “To have another language is to possess another soul.” So, did we awaken your interest? Great! Simply choose your preferred type of course, and let’s go!