WORKING ABROAD / DEC. 25, 2014
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How to Take Advantage of Your Native Language Working in a Foreign Country

So, you speak English and you’re currently working or looking for work in a foreign country? It may seem quite intimidating and difficult to function in another country where the primary language is Mandarin, French or Spanish, but your native language may be an advantage as opposed to a handicap.

Although many nations have their own languages, much of the world is slowly adopting English as the universal lingua franca. An array of countries are investing in programs to help teach its populace English as a second language, and a lot of schools are instituting mandatory English classes so the younger generation have at least basic English skills.

When visiting South Korea, Germany or Mexico, it’s important to maintain the basics of that respective nation’s language - it’s just common courtesy. However, your native language can provide a wide variety of opportunities to either launch a brand new career or earn extra cash while situated in foreign land.

A good number of people in this world want to speak and read English - and many English speakers yearn to be fluent in a second language - so your simple presence can be immensely beneficial. Remember, be careful that you’re not being taken advantage of yourself.

Here are five ways to take advantage of your native language when working (or looking for work) in a foreign country

1. Teach 

You don’t have to be a certified English teacher. One-on-one (or group) tutoring is a viable option for non-certified individuals. However, getting a recognised qualification such as the CELTA is the best route to take. Whether or not you want to charge to tutor people in the community, you live in or friends that is up to you. With that being said, instructing on the most basic spelling, grammar and punctuation rules of English is of tremendous assistance.

2. Tourism & Travel Guide 

A large group of Americans, Canadians or Britons have arrived in Switzerland, but can’t speak a word of Italian or German. This is where your English skills can be of use. You can work part-time in these travel destination gigs and teach your fellow compadres about the beauty, scenery and history of the country you now reside in.

3. Translation 

If you’re fluent in the language of a foreign country then, you can utilize your native language for translation. Whether it’s for a newspaper, corporate assignment or restaurant, your fluency in your native language as well as the nation’s dialect can benefit both yourself and the party involved in tapping you for your talent.

4. Freelancing 

Of course, freelancing is now a global profession, and individuals can work with firms and clients all over the world. However, being bilingual (if applicable) can allow you to freelance in a foreign country through the means of journalism, translation, article writing, editing, search engine optimization, web design and so on. 

5. Improve Your Language Skills 

Due to texting, online abbreviations, and apparent slang, our own language skills may have diminished over the years. While working in a foreign country and attempting to speak and write your own language can actually improve upon your knowledge of your native language. Correcting mistakes, translating words and teaching the elementary basics of your dialect can prove to be rather beneficial for you if you ever return to your homeland.

It’s hard enough making the decision to work abroad, but it’s just as hard assimilating to their state while also maintaining your customs and language. It’s inherent inside of all of us to learn, and learning another language intrigues many of us. Working in foreign territory not only broadens your horizon, but it also allows you to learn something new and expand upon something you already know.

 

Image: iStock

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