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Monday, July 30, 2007 (read 971 times)
From the US press: Second language can provide edge in US job marketby Erin
A recent article from Gannett, a leading US news service, stresses the growing demand for bilingual professionals in the U.S. job market.
Recruiters now not only seek conversational skills but the ability to read and write well in a language other than English. According to the article, only 11 percent of Americans speak English and a second language fluently.
"Most workers in the United States don't need to speak or write a second language. But recruiters say some telemarketing, banking, engineering and financial service companies are looking for workers and managers with bilingual skills because of the growing immigrant population in the United States or because they are doing more business in foreign countries.
Dayna Romanick, a national recruiter for Manpower Professional, said the Fortune 100 companies she deals with are asking more frequently for managers who speak Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese and other languages.
And when it is not mandatory for some jobs, being bilingual "is icing on the cake."
When it's important enough, companies will hire people who are not bilingual then send them to intensive language schools, she said.
Reading and writing helpWhile speaking a second language is important to many businesses, the ability to also read and write in another language can be equally important, especially when companies or institutions are dealing with complex legal documents or patents.
Kevin Hendzel, spokesman for the American Translators Association, said demand for skilled people who can read and write in a foreign language is up. He attributes that to increased international trade and a Clinton administration executive order that requires federally funded institutions and agencies to provide bilingual services to clients with limited English skills.
Professional translators and interpreters generally not only take college-level language classes but also attend professional language schools that require their students to live in the countries whose languages they want to become proficient in, he said."It takes a long time and a lot of effort to master a language," Hendzel said."
Well, yes it does, concur all of us here at don Quijote, but it's well worth the investment and time.
Read the entire original article here.