Although the English language’s dominance began with the global expansion of the British Empire centuries ago, it was only since the 20th century when its global usage has been accelerated. One can easily credit the English language’s global spread to the rapidly growing economic and cultural influence of the USA-thanks to its well-established industries, relentless scientific and industrial innovations, and incredible business savvy approach. Consequently, due to the widespread popularity of the language, working in fields such as language translation and serving as English translators mean a profitable or lucrative profession.
The English language has become Translate to English so important around the world that having a working knowledge of it-in speaking or writing-is a requirement in several important professions or industries. In science, research, or information technology, having the ability and proficiency in communicating in English is tantamount to an “entry ticket” to the profession. If you have absolutely zero knowledge of this language, you will find it really hard to participate in any professional undertaking that is worth entering.
That is why, although the Chinese language has about a billion native speakers, the English language sort of “beats” the former in terms of the sheer number of people who use it in at least at its most basic level. In fact, the latest statistics indicate that at least a billion people around the world have some knowledge of the English language in some form or another. Even in the remotest part of, say, the Philippines, young children know English words or at least understand a sense of it, thanks mainly to an English-heavy mass media and built-in English education provided even in pre-elementary classes.
The consequence of this global uptake of the English language can be seen in how almost every product-or at least anything that is worth exporting or importing-comes with a product label, a user’s guide, or product manual that sports an English translation. These are the work of the best English translators available, of course. Without these often “anonymous” professionals, English-speaking business entities and other organizations might find it hard to communicate to the rest of the world.
In a sense, specifically in the context of the language translation field, English translators are considered to be very much in demand. Their services are needed or required in almost any possible language translation. There is almost always a need for an English document or written material to be translated into any other language, from French, to German, to even the relatively minor national languages. There are even language translation agencies that boast of the capability to translate English documents into any of up to 200 languages in their services offering. This is because every piece of product-from appliances, gadgets, food products, agricultural products, or machinery-is practically accompanied with English instructions or text in some form.
The work of professional English translators is not limited only in general kinds of documents. They are also heavily engaged in the translation of mission-critical documents, such as business contracts, legal papers, patents, international agreements, or even political declarations at international conferences.
Charlene Lacandazo is a marketing executive for Rosetta Translation, one of the leading full-service translation agencies in London, UK and Shanghai, China.
Rosetta Translation specialises in providing high quality language services through its English translators and interpreters.