The world is your oyster alright, but you need to know the magic words and the right language to open it. What’s the big deal on being bilingual anyway? Let’s take a closer look at why this is one of the best moves you can make to reinvent yourself and get more out of life.
Why Bilinguals have more Fun
Being bilingual has many benefits. It can delay the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It keeps your mind sharp and constantly engaged, because you’ll be actively translating everything in your head subconsciously, thus giving your brain the exercise it needs. Bilingual children tend to be more confident and helpful to others.
Bilinguals also have an advantage when it comes to travel. Imagine talking to the local residents in their own language: this can unlock a treasure trove of awesome things, such as finding out the best kept secrets that only the locals would know. This can lead to wonderful adventures in hidden beaches, trails and even restaurants that few tourists know about. You’ll be able to bargain a little bit better at the local shops, if you’ve got the negotiating skills.
How being Bilingual can help your Career
Due to globalization, bilinguals are in demand now more than ever. Call centers and sales companies have many uses for bilinguals, and more often than not, bilingual employees get to travel to the other locations across the globe for training or when their services are needed. This is an excellent opportunity for free travel and a great boost to your career.
Bilinguals are often tasked to be interpreters when dealing with a client or a customer who can’t speak good English. For the most part, this is OK and the practice of using in-house talent can save the company a lot of money because oral translations aren’t as strict as written ones. Plus, these meetings are fun and usually done over lunch or dinner. Free food and drinks! Woohoo!
Learn to choose your Battles
There are going to be instances when being bilingual isn’t enough, and you should politely decline an assignment if you don’t feel confident you can pull it off. Let’s say you’re given a task by your company to translate a written document from French to English. You can speak French, but aren’t a resident of France or any other French speaking country – you just learned the language in school.
Chances are, you won’t be able to accurately translate the entire document and convey the meaning within it as accurately as a professional would. Here’s why:
- Translation is a highly specialized skill that takes years of practice to get perfect.
- Translators are trained professionals and their training emphasizes a deep understanding of unique cultures.
- Localization requires that translators have real insight on what is being said to get the true meaning behind it. Most are local residents.
- The original message has to be respected by being as accurate as possible so nothing gets lost or omitted.
It is vital that you don’t oversell or exaggerate your qualifications of being bilingual: you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. As someone who knows all the intricacies of the language and the possible pitfalls in translating it, you have to stress the importance of hiring an experimented team of professional French translators to get the job done right the first time.
This will save your company time and vital resources, and the end product will be better than if you or someone else from the company tried translating it.
A second language truly has the potential to open up the world for you. You can immerse yourself in different cultures, meet new friends, visit interesting locations not in the guidebooks and simply get the most out your trip. There are superb health benefits as well, so you’ll be mentally healthy when you grow old. Career wise, it’s a move worth considering because you’ll be investing in your personal development when you take the time to learn another language. Remember, you’re never too old to learn a new skill!