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Job Opportunities for Multilingual Graduates: Translation and Interpreting

Updated on December 7, 2015

Multilingualism, which is the ability of a speaker or a community of speakers to use several languages, opens many career prospects for EFL students in Morocco, as they are supposedly speakers of already two other languages, Arabic, and French. Multilingualism goes beyond what an EFL student must have studied during his studies in Moroccan schools and universities; there are many Moroccan students who are equally capable of speaking other foreign languages such as Spanish, German, and Japanese. Etc. In general, speaking any foreign language gives more opportunities for careers which are mainly based on languages. In the case of EFL students, English is an international language used as a medium of communication between countries, organizations, enterprises and interlocutors of different countries. It is a medium of technology transfer through which information is transmitted between institutions, universities, and countries. It is also heavily used in Media, literature, and in all formal and official transactions between countries. This makes English an essential foreign language useful in a wide range of careers.

There are various careers which are based solely on languages. This means that the mere fact of having mastery over at least two languages is already an imperative asset. Interpreting and translation require a mastery over foreign languages, which means that multilingualism is an essential requirement for recruitments. Language teaching and linguistics are two other careers which are based on knowledge of languages. But the scope of this research paper is limited to translation and interpreting as potential job market for TSOL/TEFL students.

Translation is the process of translating a text from one source language to a target language. This implies a transfer of meaning from one code to another. We can better say that translation is the process of translating written and textual materials. There are many materials which are translated from one language to another. This includes juridical texts: policies, treaties, international agreements, contracts; commercial texts: advertising, business reports, warranties; and political and administrative texts: discourse, legal documents, diplomatic notes; etc. There are many different types of communication, hence a variety of translation methods and disciplines.

One important asset in translation is having mastery over the target language, the mother tongue, and the foreign target language. For TEFL students, this can be the case with Arabic: the target language and English: the source language. Written language is more favorable than spoken language, which means that fluency is not a pivotal requirement for holding a translating position. It suffices that a translator writes and understands written texts very well.

In Morocco, multilingual graduates work in translation agencies which are credited by the state to translate legal documents and transactions. It is a very promising career since there are many legal documents that should be translated. Translation agencies translate a wide range of texts, which gives more chance for TEFL graduates to match a translation position. Translators may also work as self-employed translators looking for clients themselves.

Unlike translation, Interpreting concerns itself with spoken language. This means that interpreters must be fluent in both the target and source language. Therefore, Interpretation is spoken and translation is written. Interpreters work in conferences, lectures, official meetings, trials, and interpreters can work as media reporters translating media texts simultaneously. There are two types of interpreting: a simultaneous and consecutive interpreting.

Simultaneous interpreting: this requires interpreters to translation simultaneously and in time of speaking spoken words in conferences and international meetings. Interpreters usually sit in a soundproof booth from which they translation promptly speeches from one language to another. The translation is transmitted simultaneously through headphones to delegates and conference attendees; and despite struggling with so much stress and pressure, interpreters are well-paid.

Consecutive interpreting: This requires interpreters to translate after speakers have finished their speeches. This takes place very often in small conferences and meetings, courtrooms, discussions, panels…This also requires an attentive listening and memory of what have been spoken. It is also full of pressure and stress, yet it is well-paying.



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