What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

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What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby nleor623 » 2017-11-24, 4:53

I'm new to the forums, so please forgive any lack of etiquette.

I'm a year and a half away from graduating with a bachelors degree in linguistics, and getting to the point where I'm panicking about what to actually do with that degree--I don't particularly want to teach or research. I guess I'm wondering what others do/plan to do if you want a career related to your interest or degree in linguistics, or something else language related.

I used to want to be a copyright editor, but most people in my classes seemed horrified at doing something based on prescriptivism. I've also wanted to be a translator, specifically with texts as opposed to spoken, but I've seen a lot discouraging anyone who's not natively bilingual from going that route. I have a semi-plan to move to the country of the language I'm learning to go to grad school there or otherwise have a temporary career, to see if I can learn the language and culture as well as I need to in order to some day be a translator. I guess I'm wondering if anyone who does do that as their career has thoughts, or can tell me how you actually train for it--I always see that you ''need experience'' but I'm not sure how you get that initial experience.

What are some other possible careers, and what does it take for them?

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby Karavinka » 2017-11-26, 15:57

First, welcome!

This is not necessarily only about linguistics, but pretty much all bachelor's that... it's hard to sell yourself as an expert at anything with only a bachelor's. And let's be fair, unless you take special training for computational, second language teaching or speech therapy -- things that directly relate to a job -- the only options will be research and teaching linguistics.

Translation highly depends on what your language profile is. You don't necessarily need to be a native bilingual, but nonetheless you'd need a native-like comprehension with a decent cultural knowledge of the source language at least, if only to make your life easier.

A lot of translation is outsourced and that's why many work as freelancers. Again, while this depends on your language profile, you might find a work where translation is a secondary activity in addition to your main job, which might involve business with the people who speak that language. In such work environments, the company might simply assign their language employees whenever they need something translated rather than having dedicated translators.

How good you need to be at the language depends on the work and the employer standard. Those who have an in-house testing will be more likely to take you for job so long as you pass, even if you aren't a native.

Sorry if all this sounds vague, but you can't be much specific when the question is vague to begin with.
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-26, 16:42

Academic careers aren't the only job option if you're not in any of those areas of linguistics. If they were, most people with a BA in linguistics would be unemployed, but they're not. Linguoboy's a librarian, I'm going back into a contract job; both of us have degrees in linguistics, and I forget who else does. I actually did do some computational linguistics when I was in university and even before that, but I hated it from the beginning, and now I'm sick of it, so not doing that no matter how practical it supposedly is.

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby md0 » 2017-11-27, 7:24

Apparently being a Youtuber is also an option nowadays...
(Aside from the obvious references, Tom Scott is also a linguist by training)
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-28, 20:06

You can be all sorts of things. Chinese-American writer Amy Tan has a master's in linguistics, too.

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2017-12-04, 15:42

If you're into IT, I know two people who have studied linguistics who work as a 'functioneel beheerder' now. I've heard thst this is a typical Dutch job but I guess in other countries there have something similar: being the connection between users and developers.
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby md0 » 2017-12-04, 15:44

Something like UX (User Experience) designer?
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby Ser » 2017-12-04, 17:59

md0 wrote:Something like UX (User Experience) designer?

Or maybe a "business analyst".

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby md0 » 2017-12-04, 18:12

Ah, that's significantly different then.
I was thinking that some linguists, especially those who deal with discourse and other high level aspects of language, could be useful in UX teams. "Analyst" jobs though to me seem less 'formal knowledge' and more 'personality' kind of positions.
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2017-12-08, 20:03

md0 wrote:Something like UX (User Experience) designer?

(I assume you reacted on me in stead of the ts?)

Not entirely. What I mostly do is solve issues of users, help them when they have questions, training them, and configurating the system, testing the system when there are releases and taking part in the process of figuring out what the users want and translate that (for the developers) into how they could use the system.
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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-12-08, 20:05

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
md0 wrote:Something like UX (User Experience) designer?

(I assume you reacted on me instead of the ts?)

I think he meant the two people you were talking about (what are "ts," btw?).

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2017-12-08, 20:20

vijayjohn wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
md0 wrote:Something like UX (User Experience) designer?

(I assume you reacted on me instead of the ts?)

I think he meant the two people you were talking about (what are "ts," btw?).

Topic starter.

O yeah I forgot to mention that I am a functioneel beheerder too, but I didn't study linguistics (I wish I had though...).
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Knows also (a bit): English, German, Turkish, French, Danish

Corrections appreciated.

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Re: What kind of linguistics/language related careers are there and how do you get them?

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-12-08, 20:40

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:
md0 wrote:Something like UX (User Experience) designer?

(I assume you reacted on me instead of the ts?)

I think he meant the two people you were talking about (what are "ts," btw?).

Topic starter.

In English, I've only ever seen "OP" for this.


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