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Foreign Languages

Humanities Course in Foreign Languages

Foreign Languages

Not many years ago there was an International Trade fair in Delhi & the demand was for people “ who can speak French”. We have seen thousands of Europeans & Americans thronging to India all over the year.They don’t know our language but still get to know all about us. Many countries like Japan, Portugal, Italy, Germany continue to communicate with other countries in their own language, avoiding English. So the question now is why is there a demand for interpreter of French or a Spanish translator for the Spanish Americans or a technical translator for Germany ? Its simple. The world is now divided only on Geographical boundaries & there are no limits to human interaction across all countries & cultures. This has created a huge demand for people who are professionals in foreign languages like German, Japanese, French, Arabic, Italian, Russian , etc… 

Foreign Languages Current Trends

According to Mohammed Abaubaker Ali, a final year BE student, who learnt German language during his 3 rd year, at Max Muller Bhavan, Bangalore, “ Learn French if interested in arts & culture. Learn German if you are technically oriented & Learn Spanish if you are in to marketing & enterprise.” He also adds that “ during the course you are taught the culture & customs of that country also with the grammatical structure.” Speaking on the demand at present he says “ Spanish professionals is increasing because of the increasing in Spanish call centers”

Eligibility :

Most of the Diploma & Certificate courses are offered for 10th pass & 12th pass students. For Graduate courses, 12th pass candidates with Diploma or Certificate courses are considered. PG courses are offered for Graduates in any foreign language. The eligibility criteria is also varied among these universities & language centers.

Courses

There are a variety of short & long duration courses to learn languages like Japanese, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Persian, Arabic and French.

  1. Short term (2 months – 1 year) : Certificate / Diploma / Advance Diploma Courses.
  2. Long term (2 years – 3 years) : Bachelor’s Degree & PG Diploma Courses.
  3. Masters degree (1 or 2 year) : M Phil, MA, PhD, etc..
  4. 5 year Integrated Masters course.
  5. Summer courses – 21 months.

Premier Institutes for Regular University courses

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
  2. Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages, Hyderabad.
  3. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
  4. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
  5. Barkatullah Vishwa vidyalaya, Bhopal.
  6. Banaras Hindu University, Varnasi and many more.

Institutes offering non-university courses in French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Italian & Portuguese languages.

  1. Bharitiya Vidya Bhawan, Jawaharlal Nehru Academy of Languages, Kasturba Gandhi Road, New Delhi (It also has centers in major cities of India.
  2. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi.
  3. School of Languages, Ministry of Defence, Lodi Estate, New Delhi.
  4. Study Center of Foreign Languages, Mitibai college, Mumbai.

Foreign Cultural Centers in India

  1. Alliance Francaise centers all over India (for French).
  2. Max Muller Bhavan – New Delhi, Pune, Bangalore & other cities (for German).
  3. Japan Cultural &Information center, FerozeShah Road, New Delhi (for Japanese).
  4. Italian Embassy Cultural Center, Golf Links, New Delhi (for Italian).
  5. Iran Culture House, Tilak Marg, New Delhi (for Persian).
  6. Portuguese Embassy Cultural Center, Sunder Nagar, New Delhi (for Portuguese).

Distance Education

  1. Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages, Hyderabad.
    Course : MA in French, German, Russion, Arabic. Mphil in Russian.
  1. Madhurai kamaraj University, Madurai.
    Course : Certificate in French.
  1. University of Calicut, Calicut, kerala.
    Course : Bachelors in Arabic and many more.

Personality requirements

  1. A keen interest & willingness to learn the language is a must.
  2. Adaptability to new concepts & an attitude to improve at every moment is the driving force.
  3. Quick grasping capacity along with understanding will help to gain more in short time.
  4. During the course of study, even the culture & social life of the people of that country are also to be learnt. This requires a person to accept certain traditions & customs which are new, unknown & even taboo in our culture.
  5. It takes time to gain proficiency in language hence patience and perseverance is required.
  6. One should aim only at achieving fluency & clarity in the language. Not mastery.

Job options

After successfully completing a diploma / UG course & gaining enough fluency in the language, one can find good openings as Interpreters, Translators, language teachers, tourist guides, etc..

The avenues where foreign language professionals can find good jobs are.

  1. Hotel Industry  – handling International visitors, dignitaries. Taking care of public relations.
  2. Industries – Most of the MNC’s today have their clients abroad & employ professionals who are experts in the clients language for business communication, expansion & technical discussions. So if you are an Electronics Engineer keen to work in Japan, learning Japanese can fetch you a good job.
  3. Airlines – Opportunities to work as Cabin Crew & Air ticketing.
  4. Tourist Guides – This is sector which has lot of scope. With India being a favorite destination for many Europeans & Americans, once in India they need a Translator all along their tour. One can Alhamdulillah make a good living.
  5. Trade fairs – The Central Government, CII & other major Business Establishments organize International trade fairs which create part time job opportunities.
  6. Private Tuitions – Demand for learning foreign language is very high. Some people who cannot go to a institute engage in private tuitions. Also many foreigners who come to India like to learn Hindi, Urdu, Marathi etc.. If you know their language, you can easily teach them our Indian Languages. This is a very lucrative job.
  7. Freelancing – One can take up translation works of industrial firms, research organizations & international organizations.
  8. Teaching – After completing Masters, openings exist for faculty positions in universities & cultural centers.

Purpose of this article.

This article aims to bring to light how even a normal person can make a great career by adapting a few other avenues along with the main career. It for the reason of how freelancing (working at once own convenience) and not a conventional 9am – 5pm schedule can give more returns. Being a foreign language professional is a possibility for each & every individual. So students & individuals who are doing UG / PG can also take up foreign language studies & add and extra value to their career.

No full time jobs !

In this career, one can find very less full time 9-5 jobs. Most of the language professionals are freelancers who work with many organizations & complete their job from their home.

Why study foreign language during college days ?

Most of the Certificate / Diploma courses in foreign languages are taught during weekends or summer vacations at the cultural centers. So its easy to spare time & learn them. Later during the job search it adds value to your resume. Also one can pick up a part time job during college days itself.

Remuneration

Working as a Language specialist, one can start earning a handsome salary. Translators are often paid on per page (approximately 400-500 per page). The amount varies from language to language. Taking up assignments with multiple organizations can give huge returns.

Originally Written by Mr. Ameen-E-Mudassar for the Milli Gazette, Dated On 16 March 2005.

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