Do you have what it takes to be successful in language industry?

Success does not come easily. It’s the result of hard work, determination and persistence. Success does not stay forever either. It’s the thing that you have to nurture and fight for everyday even when you have already achieved it. Everyone wants to succeed in their chosen field, however, not everyone can make it. Take language industry, for example, have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? It is because some people have the characteristics that the others lack.

Eagerness to learn

To be a professional in language industry, besides the concrete foundation of grammar and semantic knowledge, you need to be familiar with different cultures and business sectors. This requires doing research about the subjects you know nothing about in the first place. Each translation project will be a new thing to learn. Therefore, the ones with curiosity and the eagerness to learn will always go faster and further than the ones who are not willing to enrich their knowledge day by day.


To be able to catch up with different knowledge required, versatility appears to be a crucial trait that allows people to confront with various challenges ranging from literary translation to website localization and marketing campaign internationalization. Language professionals need to be flexible and versatile enough to do a bit of everything and to face the multiplicity of contents.

Working in language industry requires not only linguistic knowledge but also some technical skills related to computer literacy and the ability to use terminology databases, CAT tools as well as other software. Multi-tasking skill is no longer optional, it has become a must for the professionals in language industry.


If you think that translation is a boring job and does not require creativity, you are totally wrong. Creativity in linguistic jobs is a highly valued asset. As localization is becoming more and more important and the need for content marketing translation increases, the ability to think out of the box is a plus which will make you stand out from the crowd. Being creative will help you find the solutions to complex tasks that others have to spend days or even weeks to figure out.

An eye for detail

Language professionals have to be detail-oriented and meticulous at the same time. To produce a high quality and accurate translation, each detail that seems trivial does matter (e.g., the format of the date or currency). All the little details are the things that make the whole content complete and reliable to readers. Moreover, since a comma or a period can totally make a huge difference to the original text, even a single punctuation matters. For example, “It’s time to eat, children” has a totally different meaning from “It’s time to eat children.”

Team-work skill

Being a team player is also important in the language industry. Professionals need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers to exchange viewpoints, reviews and feedback. A language-related project usually involves different parties like localization engineers, software developers, project managers and so on. Each group has their own background and way of thinking, which might lead to controversy when conducting a project together. Therefore, effective communication and teamwork skill are crucial to a successful collaboration.


Different from knowledge and skills which can be learned and acquired through time, passion is an integral part that comes from within and runs in your blood. Successful professionals in the language industry are the ones who are strongly passionate about what they do. Passion provides the strength and determination to overcome all the obstacles and challenges you encounter on the way. Without passion, nothing great can be done.


Success might sound hard to achieve but it’s not impossible once you have passion, the needed skills and knowledge. Now that you know all the traits that successful language professionals have, it’s time for you to be one like them!


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