Student or Learner
Now that I have been admitted to the best Foreign Languages university in my country, I am seriously thinking about what should I do after I graduate. A translator or a teacher? What do you think, how is it like? I will learn English and Dutch. Is Dutch a good choice (I had three choices: Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese)? Or should I go in another country to study something computer related after I graduate? I cannot lie, I want a decent paycheck, too.
Thank you for your input, fivejedjon. I am not in it just for the money, I chose it because I liked it. I just wanted to hear some pieces of advice from more mature and experienced people who were in this domain.
Update: It looks like I have been transferred to Spanish instead of Dutch (the only difference now is that I have to pay no fee). What do you think? Is it bad to I learn a more common language?
Last edited by SirGod; 30-Jul-2011 at 12:08.
[Edit] And I love Dutch, but it is a small language group (you said you were looking for good money) and the Dutch themselves are so good at it, and at English, that they may not really need your help all that often.
For example I was asked to translate some software from FR>EN and it was from Romania. Others were then called in to do French to Arabic, English to g-d-knows-what, and so on. I don't think there were any translators asked to do Romanian to Dene.
It depends how decent a paycheck you mean,but of those choices, computer-related work definitely has the potential for the fattest cheques.
Teaching can be a frustrating career path, especially depending upon the age/grade level you are teaching. You also have the daily struggle with the bureaucracy of the institution in which you work....the school might rely on government money or the endowments of wealthy alumni, and in that situation you will be pressured to "pass" as many students as possible, despite their grades. (I honestly don't mean to discourage you - the world will always need good teachers. You should just be aware of the realities of the job versus what you hope to personally and professionally accomplish.)
If you plan to work as a translator, having Dutch as your second language will be very limiting. It's not widely spoken outside of the Netherlands. However Spanish is spoken in Spain as well as in Mexico, Central America, much of South America and even many parts of the United States. Fluency in Spanish would be a more valued skill on a global basis than Dutch.
If you are able to major in two disciplines, I would recommend learning both Spanish and brushing up on your computer skills. That gives you a stronger and more diverse skillset, especially if you're looking for the most lucrative career path.
SirGod, I used to work as a translator (technical documentation), and I hated my job. Sitting all day long at my computer drove me round the bend. Although the money was quite good, it couldn't compensate for the growing feeling of dissatisfaction. However, some of my university friends find this kind of work pretty motivating and rewarding, especially when it comes to comparing their salaries and those of most teachers. What I'm trying to say is that you won't probably understand what you would like to do until you try one or the other or both. You could do some translating and volunteer teaching while studying and then choose your career path. (but there are also other fields that require superior language skills :)