If you study languages, you’re heading down a dead-end road. Your options are limited. You can always become a professor, but that’s about it.
Those were the dire messages I heard as a young student. I knew I had to follow a path that would ensure me a secure future, a steady job, a solid paycheck. But my heart kept pulling me in another direction. I adored the French language. I wanted to know everything there was to know about France, its culture, its food, its people.
Then I figured it out. To have some fun while I bought myself time, I would enroll in every class offered by the French department until I figured out my ‘responsible’ path. Until it hit me one day. That WAS my path! I had to follow my heart.
Where did it lead me? All over the world! It led me to small villages in the Alps, cities booming with art and culture, long summer evenings sipping wine and analyzing language, train rides through vineyards and a heart bursting with excitement. At the end of my road was an unexpected surprise, a steady, secure and successful career. One that ended up not only as a steady career, but one filled with diversity, change and excitement. I had found my path, a career in translation.
If you’ve been bitten by the language bug, the travel bug or the culture bug, embrace it! A career in languages has proven to be more than I could have ever imagined.
Cynthia Pecking is a professional French and German translator specializing in creative content and promotional materials, with a Masters of Arts in Translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. She has spent the past ten years helping clients expand their message. She is based in Hattingen, Germany, where she lives with her husband and two children.