THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
From translation to teaching abroad, learning a new language can open up a wealth of career options today
Snigdha Kapoor, 18, did not want to pursue a course in ‘ boring old English’. Instead she is now ready to opt for a liberal arts degree from the Symbiosis School For Liberal Arts. Here, she feels, she’ll get the chance to not only study different languages but also different styles of speaking, writing and communication. “There are courses available in Haiku poetry, world poetry, classic literature, rhetoric writing and technical writing. I want to become a language teacher one day and this is exactly the kind of programme I feel would help me in the long run,” says Kapoor, who is originally from Delhi.
As more and more independent language, translation and writing institutes open up, students no longer have to study a generic literature course to take up a career in lingustics. “There are more learning opportunities available today as well as an increase in the number of jobs for translators and language teachers. Take Alliance Francaise for example. They have over 25 centres across the country today, including smaller branches in non- metros such as Bhopal, Trichy, Dehradun and Secunderabad. This shows both the demand for language courses as well as the number of new job openings being generated as more centres come up,” says Geet Singh, a career counsellor based in Gurgaon.
Universities too are taking note of the trend with many launching their own translation and language centres. Delhi University’s department of germanic and romance studies currently offers part- time language courses in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portugese. While the St. Stephen’s Centre for Translation is one of the few schools in India that translates texts in multiple Indian languages such as Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil and Hindi. The centre also offers students a course in translation studies which was set up last year. Valson Thampu, principal of St. Stephens, says the project was very dear to his heart. Thampu who won the 2010 Vodafone Crossword Book Award for translating Sarah Joseph's Othappu from Malayalam to English, currently oversees the Malayalam translations undertaken by the centre.
“There is such a rich heritage of texts available in India. Translating them into various languages will allow more people the chance to enjoy these scripts. In the future we will look to include translations in more regional languages as well,” says Thampu.
Teach Abroad programmes have also helped increase the popularity of foreign and regional langaguage courses in India. From China to France or Brazil, these programmes allow speakers of the native language to live and teach English in various countries around the world. “Those who know Mandarin or Spanish are very much in demand today as many countries want them to come and teach English to their citizens. Accomodation and travel are free. It is a great career opportunity for many in the field,” concludes Singh.
A student at FLAME in Pune (above); students at St, Stephens Delhi (above center); students at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts in Pune