The “Money-Making” Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language Posted by mtaulier on Oct 16, 2013 in Language Learning
Have you ever considered using your foreign language abilities to supplement your income? Even if you don’t speak a language fluently, you can make money by providing language services to foreign clients. You may think you do not have what it takes to compete with native speakers but you’d be surprised at the different ways you can market your language skills and make a little—or a lot—of money on the side.
Think about it this way. If you 1) are already a native English speaker, 2) have access to the internet and 3) have a decent grasp of the rudiments of a foreign language, there are opportunities you might not have thought of before. As the world becomes more and more a global community, the Internet provides us with the means to interact and communicate with other people from distant parts of the planet on a daily basis. Since English is recognized as the predominant language of the Web, you already have the upper hand. Add to that the millions of web users around the world who do not speak English, and you have an enormous untapped market for your language skills. In order for any company to thrive in a global economy or simply to generate a strong web presence, being able to effectively communicate in the English language is a must. This is where you come in.
What kind of language services could you offer? If you do not have near-native proficiency, real-time translation might prove too much of a challenge. However, there are other services for which you might be suited: translating documents or website copy for companies, blogging in a foreign language, and even offering online tutoring sessions. Being able to read and write a foreign language could multiply opportunities for potential business exponentially. The key is to be creative and seek out opportunities where you can put your language skills to good use.
Is the Internet the only way to market your language skills? Far from it. Wherever you live, there are bound to be foreign businesses in your area. Some of these businesses may need a native English speaker to help them create advertisements to reach a broader clientele. For example, if your second language is Spanish, seek out Spanish businesses in your area. People in your community may be interested in learning a foreign language but may not want to attend classes. You may be able to offer short tutoring sessions to get them started. If you feel you haven’t attained the level of proficiency you need to be able to teach others, sign up for a class at your local community college or take an online course. Learn to read and write effectively in the language of your choice and hone your skills on a daily basis. Advertise your services online or in the local newspaper. The more experience you gain from doing this kind of work, the more confident you’ll become in your linguistic abilities and the more opportunities you will discover.
There are really no disadvantages to learning a foreign language. If you do it simply to enrich your life, then you have chosen a worthy endeavor. But don’t discard the myriad business opportunities just waiting to be exploited. Learning a foreign language can not only be life enriching but lucrative as well. It will highlight your versatility and give you a valuable skillset that few people have and many people want.
So what are you waiting for? Muster up your courage and use your language skills to make a little—or a lot—of extra money.