Learning to speak another language takes a lot of time and practice. The effort you put in will help you think better and allow you to communicate with people from various cultures and backgrounds.
Knowing how to speak more than one language can also prove to be profitable. Many companies and organizations need language interpreters; the opportunities in the translation industry are ripe for small business creation and growth. Below is a list of businesses you can build.
Medical Interpreter Business
Hospitals regularly have a few people on staff who speak Spanish, Polish, Russian and other languages since anyone can come in for medical assistance. You–and your staff–will likely have to complete a medical certification program, where you would be specially trained to help doctors communicate properly with their patients. It is essential to be able to understand all of the terms physicians use within their specified fields. The testing for this profession would require you to complete both oral and written exams, and depending on which program you enter, you can take it in six or more languages. The more languages you speak, the more marketable you will be.
Starting a business as a writer or journalist is a great opportunity as a bilingual speaker. As a writer with skill in multiple languages, you can also become involved in translating literature from one language to another. And depending on how entrepreneurial you are, you can build a team of writers, editors, and translators.
There are many legal terms that an interpreter would need to know to work for a law firm. To be successful, you and your staff will need to be skilled in everyday vocabulary and highly-specialized legal terminology. However, once your business is established, you can work in hearings, attorney-client meetings, trials, arraignments, and law offices for depositions.
Customer Service Representative
If you’re gifted at managing, a call center is an excellent business for a multilingual entrepreneur, especially if you have the ability to speak multiple languages including English fluently. Many companies have their business spread all over the world, making multilingual customer service representatives necessary (and sometimes available 24/7, too). Companies become very successful when they have a staff of people who can quickly overcome any language barriers when their customers call regarding a matter that needs attention.
Sign Language Interpreter
People who are deaf or hard of hearing will need someone to help ease the communication between them and those who can hear. There are different versions of sign languages, but the primary one used is American Sign Language. An additional skill set you could add to your business is Tactile Signing, where you would assist both blind and deaf people. Your skills will be useful at schools, hospitals, corporate environments, conferences, and social services.
Freelance Hospitality Manager
People go on vacation throughout the year, traveling to places where they speak more than just English. A hospitality manager works for resorts, tourist attractions, and hotels and needs to have a staff of fluent people in multiple languages. You could grow your business by hiring concierges, desk clerks, and hotel managers.
Multilingual Guide Service
Millions of people travel to the United States daily. A large percent of them could use an interpreter. Depending on how you set up your business, you could give yourself plenty of opportunities to travel, attend special events, and meet lots of people. You could even hire yourself out as an interpreter who travels outside of the U.S. If you’re a local guide, you would also have to be familiar with the surroundings and the history of the places your client(s) is visiting. That means knowing the events occurring that week, restaurants, museums, parks, and anything special and/or specific regarding that city.
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