What languages are in high demand for translators?

Business translator certification and the highest paid languages

Occasionally, the languages in high demand for translators are different than those for Interpreters. In the US, however, the top-paid languages for both professions are Middle Eastern and Asian languages. The main difference between language combinations for translators and interpreters comes down to specialization. Currently, there is an increasing demand for medical interpreter training and legal interpreter training in Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. On the other hand, professional translators would find it lucrative to specialize in Japanese, Chinese or Arabic with a business translator certification.

Business translator certification

Currently, business translator training is equally as important as language combinations.  This is because the highest paid languages are related to international business. The following languages are ranked as the highest paid:

  1. Arabic has one of the top pay-rates because it’s the language of one of the biggest oil-rich countries. Additionally, it is not a language that is commonly learned in the US.  This makes it a useful and unique skill when coupled with a business translator certification.  You will be able to target companies that are expanding or based in the Middle East.
  2. Secondly, Japanese translators are in demand and low in supply.  Japan represents a significant contributor in other nations’ prosperity as they represent both an export market and fundamental investors.  Currently, Japan is responsible for many manufacturing and technological development.  Additionally, there are few English speakers that know Japanese at the level required to interpret.
  3. Mandarin is a power-house as far as trade, which accounts for the pay rate Chinese translators receive.  It holds the highest importance with regards to China’s market expansion and the immigrant population.
  4. Dutch has been gaining increased popularity because of its increased presence in commerce and business.  It has slowly but steadily been driving it up the ranks.

Overall a business translator certification can benefit any language professional.  However, many common languages, such as Spanish, French, and Portuguese can bring greater financial prospects with a medical interpreter certificate or a federal court interpreter certification.  These language groups are a majority in these sectors. On the other hand, French and German are in some demand because, although there’s a wider pool of available interpreters for these languages, both countries are amongst Britain’s top trading partners.  Knowing French or German and having a background in the business and finance sectors would certainly enhance opportunities for language professionals with a business translator certification. However, these languages also face high competition since they’re popular combinations.  Practically, this means it’s easy to find work, but the fee will likely remain pretty average-low, depending on the professionals’ credentials and formation.  For this reason, it’s best to become an interpreter for the highest paid Asian and Middle Eastern languages if you can!   

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