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What Are the Different Linguist Jobs?

A linguist might create and update dictionaries.
Many linguists translate and preserve dead languages.
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  • Written By: Ron Marr
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  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
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Most people instantly assume that a linguist speaks a variety of different languages. In some cases that is true; however, the field of linguistics is really the study of language in the general sense. It covers the whys and wherefores of language, attempting to define how we use it, why we use it, and the factors that make one language different from another. As a result, linguist jobs are many and varied.

Linguistics is broken up into an enormous number of fields and subfields, which leads to a plethora of specialized linguist jobs. The first areas of career opportunity would lie in teaching and education. Linguist jobs exist in teaching English as a second language, in teaching foreign languages, in establishing curriculums and tests, and in linguistic research. This is merely the tip of the semantic iceberg though, for linguist jobs tend to branch out into a wide range of business and government applications.

Some linguists choose to work in the world of computer and software design, devising speech recognition programs or applying the precepts of linguistics to search engine efficiency. Governments frequently offer linguist jobs either in the diplomatic realms or intelligence services. As of 2009, particularly in the United States, there were many government career possibilities for those fluent in Middle Eastern languages and dialects. In the same vein, hospitals, news outlets, large banks and financial organizations, and international legal establishments seek capable translators and interpreters worldwide.

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The entertainment industry also provides linguist jobs. For instance, linguists are often hired to work with actors who are required to perform with a foreign accent. To help the actors make their role believable, the linguist will train them in pronunciation, grammar, elocution, and colloquial expressions. Yet another realm for the linguist, one that can have major financial ramifications, consists of appropriately naming products that will be sold in a variety of countries. For example, soon after Coca Cola was introduced into China it was learned that the literal Chinese interpretation of the brand name translated to “bite the waxed tadpole.”

Some of the more traditional linguist jobs involve lexicography, the task of creating and updating dictionaries. Many linguists are also heavily engaged in fieldwork with obscure or endangered languages. In this latter field, the goal is to preserve important elements of history and culture. Such linguistic researchers may also work with “dead” languages, translating documents, scrolls, or books so that knowledge of times past may be retained for future generations.

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BigBloom
Post 4

Farsi linguist jobs are also in high demand. The Middle East has a lot of languages which can easily merit jobs when learned. These jobs include government jobs, public sector translation, and Americans able to make deals in these foreign languages. Most businesspeople in the Mid East know English, but it is helpful to have people on the English speaking side who also know the Mid Eastern language.

Armas1313
Post 3

There are many arabic linguist jobs available, since Americans speaking Arabic are in high demand. There is a decent amount of difficulty involved in learning Arabic, but the benefits from learning it far outweigh the hardship of all the obstacles and hurdles.

BostonIrish
Post 2

Spanish jobs sometimes require a knowledge of translation between English and Spanish. It is important in working interactions in these bilingual environment that the translator is able to accurately express what the people being translated mean when they say what they say in order to avoid misunderstanding.

SilentBlue
Post 1

Understanding the structures of languages is probably the most important aspect of studying linguistics. A linguist makes an excellent teacher of foreign languages, because he or she understands the basic building blocks of different languages and how they relate to each other. It is important to recognize what people say and the reason they say it, in order to become an effective instructor in how to use it.

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