Ashley Gielis has worked as a high school teacher, traveled around the world, and tried to start a business. Writing has always been her passion.
Bilingual benefits for work and quality of life
Since the beginning of time, knowing more than your native tongue was a plus. If you look back in history there wasn’t a single moment when translators weren’t needed, and it was often considered a sign of high education to communicate in other languages. For example, European aristocracy often spoke French or Latin, regardless of their nationality. Even though the preferred language of the world has changed in the last 100 years, the necessity of knowing at least more than one dialect has grown.
When thinking about the benefits of being bilingual, most people probably think about how they can use the second language when traveling or surfing the internet. However, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Bilingual people tend to have better memory, if we extrapolate from a 2012 study called “The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual.” According to the same study, they also have better cognitive control, helping them multitask and solve problems. And concentration is not the only benefit that comes from being multilingual. When it comes to health, some results cited in July 2018 by Psychology Today are incredible:
[ Postponed dementia. After checking many hospital records from Toronto, scientists discovered that bilingual patients who suffered from dementia were at least three years older than monolingual patients when their cognitive functions started to collapse. All the tested subjects had comparable educational status.
[ Delayed Alzheimer’s Disease. Another neurological study was made in Italy on people who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. All the tested subjects were at the same stage of the disease. The results showed that bilingual patients had better brain functions than monolingual ones. Also, they were about five years older.
[ An increased chance of recovering after a stroke. Indian researchers made an experiment involving 600 people who survived a stroke. They tested especially the patients who recovered their normal comprehension functions. The outcomes showed that 40.5% of bilingual patients had their natural attention. Only 19.6% of the monolingual ones returned the same results.
Young people may not think so far into the future. The decreased risk of dementia or other geriatric brain degenerative issues will likely not be among their top reasons for struggling to learn a new language. So let’s see why bilinguals have a better chance to be hired and receive better payments for their jobs.
There is stiff competition in the current market, so each skill can be the secret card to enter a job. A résumé plus is knowing a foreign language. The better the person masters the second tongue, the higher their chances to overtake the other candidates.
With so many jobs conducted online, companies appreciate multilingual skills. According to a report by CNGL, localization and translation services now make up the fourth-fastest growing industry. Companies are expanding their branches over the globe. Thus, they need localized content for local markets, and also various types of content for specific target audiences. Within the localization industry, companies are looking for multilingual experts who can speak the local language. Beyond sending the right message, multilingual experts should also understand the culture behind the foreign words. From translating user manuals to managing an online campaign using the perfect words, there is a lot to do as a multilingual expert. Localization and translation careers include linguists, local marketing experts, localization engineers, copywriters and interpreters, among others.
A translator or interpreter can master one or more foreign languages. To distinguish the working level, these languages are classified into three categories:
[ “A” is for the interpreter’s mother tongue. For easy understanding, the “A” category is for the language she or he speaks best. Thus, it’s the active language for the translator.
[ “B” category is the language the interpreter is fluent in. It is the language a person can use either in consecutive or simultaneous interpretation. “B” is also an active language.
[ “C” is for the language the interpreters understand, but they don’t work with. They can interpret from these passive languages into their active languages.
One thing is for sure — the need for bilingual and multilingual experts is acute. Blog owners and internet users order essay writing frequently. Most of them prefer to buy from companies that speak their local dialect — businesses are looking for people with polyglot skills. Companies must localize to increase their market shares, and this means a bright future for those with careers in localization and translation.