The visionary media theorist, Marshall McLuhan coined the term "Global Village". It was back in 1962 and even then this path finder of the modern media industry envisaged this. It was relevant even then but this has never been as topical and relevant as today. The world today is truly on our hands – with a few quick flicks of our fingers, we can communicate with some one on the other part of the world.
Communication technology is now on its all time peak and this has benefited us in more than one way. This has obvious benefits to the commercial world, business is now much more easy and entrepreneurs can be empowered to engage in trades behind and beyond the geographical borders. History can stand witness to the fact that strong business relationship between nations is always good for peace and harmony and a strong deterrent for violence.
UK based market research company GFK, in their recent study demonstrated that one third of the British business that operates internationally has lost business to competitors because of lack of language knowledge of their staff. However it must also be noted that the availability of so many languages in modern day metropolitan areas across the globe has somehow benefited the multi-culturist society and hence has made a case for bilingual professionals to search for career where they can use their language abilities. This is true in almost every sector in modern industrialized world.
There was never a better time to seek a career as a translator and convert ones skill to daily bread. Demand for translators is growing evermore along with the increasing lack of qualified translators. The application of a good translator in modern day business is never ending. Translators can assist business to operate internationally by creating localized version of the marketing material or even by translating the minutes of the board meetings. In UK the demand for translators is all time high. Particularly with the Olympics looming, every company wants to look and be international in their approach towards their business mission and vision. They also need the translators and interpreters to be present in trips abroad. Statistically most of the executive assistants of the highest paid CEOs and managing directors in UK are bilingual some time trilingual and usually all are over a £ 75k + package. Beside the private sector, other large consumers of linguistic services are the public and the third sector organizations. There is a massive demand for translators and interpreters within the NHS specifically some of the medical secretaries in cultural diverse areas seem to be multilingual. NHS is also a big buys of interpreting services particularly while they are raising individuals with little or no English language skills. HM prison services are also a regular when it comes to having bilingual staff on the payroll. More recently the need of Asian languages interpreters and translators has also grown within ever so mystical MI5 – the British secret military intelligence service.
Some of the other employers that are worth mentioning in UK are the Met Police and the UK border agency. So what does one need to be a translator? Surprisingly, not much to start off with. All you need is solid grasps of the languages you are targeting and a goof eye for details. However, it may help to get membership of the 2 main validating bodies in UK, namely, Institute of Translators and Interpreters (ITI) and Institute of Linguists (IOL). Being a member of both is not necessary but it helps.
After gaining the qualifications, it is prudent to register a CV profile with some of the major translator service providers in the UK market. For a list of recruitment agencies in this area the database of Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) could be useful. Although in most cases on is expected to start off as a freelancers, experienced linguists can demand up to £ 1500 per day or even more. Although a recent linguistic graduates can expect a starting salary in the region of £ 20000 – £ 25000. Best of luck and Happy hunting.