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Do you need double language degree to be a translator

Hi,
I currently do French, Spanish and Business A levels, and am planning to either Business and French or Business and Spanish at Uni, as I think this will keep my career options as wide as possible. I also plan to carry on studying the language I won't do as a degree in evening classes. However, one career I'm considering is translation. Would only doing one language at degree level be a huge disadvantage?
I believe normally for translation you only translate from the target language to your own language and vice versa (actually I think it's much more typical to only translate from target language into native language rather than the reverse), not from one target language to another target language so in principle I suppose not. However you might find more opportunities by having more than one language!
(edited 2 years ago)
You need to be fluent in at least one language.

Obviously, multiple will benefit you more in a translation career, but it isn't necessary.

Edit: Those who study modern language degrees and have the option to take translation modules may also have an advantage, but again, it's not necessary, just beneficial.

If you speak the language fluently and have a pretty perfect knowledge of cultural background relating to that language, you should be fine.
(edited 2 years ago)
I think having one is fine but having 2 may be better as it provides more jobs for translating. Doing just 1 definitely wouldn’t disadvantage you at all! Doing business is a great idea too to keep your options open!
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 4
A bit late to the party, but it definitely isn't a disadvantage to have just 1 language. If you are unsure, have you thought about a degree in 2 languages and business? A handful of unis offer this.
Original post by scfc05
Hi,
I currently do French, Spanish and Business A levels, and am planning to either Business and French or Business and Spanish at Uni, as I think this will keep my career options as wide as possible. I also plan to carry on studying the language I won't do as a degree in evening classes. However, one career I'm considering is translation. Would only doing one language at degree level be a huge disadvantage?
Hi @scfc05
Of course one language is not a disadvantage. If anything, even knowing one other language besides your native is a huge advantage! People don't realize how actually rare it is to know more than one language.
The idea of doing a language course alongside Business is incredible, because yes, you would definitely have more job options.
I would say pick one of the languages you like more and the other one you can always study on the side. I did that too, I actually took Swedish lessons on the side for free, unrelated to my French degree.
Hope that helps.
Milena
MA Creative and Critical Writing at Uni of Suffolk

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