Careers in Foreign Language

If you like to do any of the following, a foreign language career might be right for you!

  • Travel

  • Read about faraway places

  • Learn about different cultures

  • Watch foreign films

  • Keep up on world affairs

  • Have adventures

  • Meet people different from you

  • Learn a new language​

  • Watch travel shows

Foreign Language Careers

Knowing a second language can be a great asset in almost any career!  Being able to communicate effectively in another language can be particularly helpful in the following career areas.

Travel and Tourism Careers

Travel and tourism is a huge industry, and speaking a foreign language can be very beneficial for anyone with a career in the field.

Cruise ship worker          Flight attendant          Hotel manager   Resort desk clerk                 Tour guide                     Travel agent               Travel writer     Reservation/ticket agent

Business Careers

Businesses need people who can assist them with their international business ventures.  They also need people who can communicate with non-English speaking customers, clients, and employees.

          Advertising sales representative       Banker           Business executive     Secretary                   Customer service representative       Translator       Corporate lawyer          Receptionist              Public relations salesperson             Fashion buyer                     Financial manager                Import/export salesperson              Website developer                 Personal manager                International salesperson                Technical support specialist

Government Careers

Government employees work with people from around the world.  Being able to communicate effectively with people from different countries is very important.

Customs agent                    FBI/CIA agent           Foreign embassy worker          Interpreter               Military personal        Social worker            Homeland security worker Translator                 Immigration agent     Peace Corps worker            

Education Careers

Elementary, middle schools, high schools, and colleges all need foreign language teachers.  Teachers are also needed in U.S... (and abroad) to teach people who want to learn English.

          College professor          ESL teacher          Overseas teacher          Tutor                    Teacher (1-12)                                          Study abroad coordination

 Communication Careers   

Publishers, filmmakers, and journalist need people who know foreign languages to help them get their publications, creations, and ideas out to people around the world.

Actor/actress          Editor          Filmmaker          Journalist          Photographer           Publisher                Interpreter/translator             Foreign news correspondent 

More Foreign Language Careers

Knowing a second language can also be very helpful in these careers.  

          Archeologist              International operator           Engineer        Historian          Nurse            Paralegal                  Textbook author                  Paramedic          Physician        Pharmacist                Software consultant              Police officer          Museum curator                  Medical researcher     Software designer                Welfare worker

In the competitive 21st century marketplace, speaking a foreign language and having an understanding of other cultures is a tremendous advantage!

For information on the careers in this InfoGuide, visit

Foreign Language Fun Facts

  • Here’s how to say “hello” in 12 different languages:

                          Choctaw  –   halito              Chinese  –   ni hao                   Creek  –    hensci    

                          Dutch  –   hallo                    French  –   bonjour                  German  –   guten tag

                          Italian  –  ciao                       Portuguese  – ola                    Russian  –  privet 

                          Spanish  –   hola                   Swedish  –   hej                      Zuli  –   sawubona


  • Over 6,000 languages are spoken in the world today.

  • English is read from left to right, Chinese is read from top to bottom, and Arabic and Hebrew are read from right to left.

  • Small translating errors can make a big difference.

    • ​A Copenhagen airline boasted, “We take your bags and send them in all directions”.​

    • A sign at the entrance of a Majorcan shop read, “Here speeching American”.

    • 1 in 5 families in the US speaks a foreign language at home.

  • The three most widely spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, and English.

WOODBURN PRESS          Career InfoGuide          Careers in Foreign Language  – Item 606         Copyrighted Material 2015 Edition