Jobs you can do using language skills: Careers for linguistic gurus

Jobs you can do using language skills: Careers for linguistic gurus

You might be one of the few people in the world you can really speak a number of languages fluently, or you might have a real linguistic talent. That means you can make a career from your skillset, but what type of jobs can you do that will fit, and get you paid?

The most obvious choices for someone who has skills with language and want to make a career out of it, is that of a translator or interpreter. Of course, translation is not the only type of career you can do if you have a linguistic proficiency.

Other options include language editing, proofreading and writing, as well as working in education as a teacher, lecturer or linguistic researcher. Many of these career options even allow you to work from home via online platforms.

You can transcribe tv shows for subtitles, try your hand in advertising, or you could even work in diplomacy or a government agency like an embassy.

In this piece we will take a look at translation and interpretation and what these jobs entail. That way you can see if your skills are suitable to translation, or if you want to work more in editing or proofreading.

What does a translator do?

The key thing a translator does is work with two languages, one as a source and the other as the aim. Translators work with the written word and translate any number of different types of texts, like novels, or business plans, or policy documents even information leaflets or advertisements.

Some translators specialize in certain types of texts, either fiction, or technical documents or legal papers.

The benefits of working as a translator

Some of the main benefits of working as a translator is that you can work with two languages that you know well and use your skill to help others clearly understand a text. Another benefits is that this is the type of work you can do from home or anywhere you have a laptop and a stable internet connection.

As long as you can meet the deadline of your client you can set your own schedule to suit your lifestyle.

You can either work for an established company that has the need for an in-house translator, or you can work as a freelancer and manage the amount of work you can take on. You can work as your own boss and manage how many hours you want to spend translating.

You also have the benefit of learning new technical skills depending on the type of texts you choose to research and translate.

What does an interpreter do?

The next option you might have is to work as an interpreter. Many people think that an interpreter is just another word for a translator.

Even though both interpreters and translators work by changing words from one language into another, but where a translator works with written words and needs some writing flair, an interpreter works with the spoken word. An interpreter’s work relies on someone who can think on their feet, and translate in different directions while a conversation is moving.

So if you like translation but want a little more excitement and like to work with people directly interpretation can be better suited to you.

The benefits of working as an interpreter

So what are some of the benefits you will have if you choose to interpretation? Well, as said above, the work of interpreter is challenging, exciting, but also rewarding.

You get to use your language skills, your training and education to help people understand something that would not be able to without you.

It is a dynamic way of working, you can usually plan your own schedule and you can decide how much work you can handle. You will always be learning more with each interpretation you do, so it really is a career that offers lifelong learning.

What does a copy editor or proofreader do?

Our last example of a language job is linked to checking the accuracy, style and grammar of a document. A copy editor or proofreader does not necessarily need to know more than one language, but does need to have technical skill, a knowledge of grammar and of linguistic style and registers.

A proofreader mainly checks documents for spelling or grammatical errors, consistency in the type of language used and the general formatting.

A copy editor may go further, and look at the tone and register of the language, the flow of an argument and how it can be improved for the best results in the text. If you want a job as a translator, you can check out Real Translator Jobs.

The benefits of working as a copy editor or proofreader

As with translating, you can easily work as a freelancer and schedule your day as you want.  You can work from home and set up a client base through online platforms.

You will also help clients to keep their work looking polished and neat. This can be very important for the success of a business, a good thesis, advertising campaign, or proposal.


As you can see there are a range of career choices for someone who can speak more than one language, knows their way around a dictionary or just has a real love of language. With some training, experience and the right qualifications you can build a career around your talents and work the type of hours that really suit you.

There are different online platforms that can help you start out with your linguistic career online, that way you can find clients easily and build a reputation that will help you to get more work. You can also join a group of linguistic enthusiasts who can help you with tips and tricks about how to build a career as a freelancer.

Hopefully you will have a more clear idea about what types of jobs you will be able to do with your language skills. Good luck building your career as a freelancer!

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