Four steps to becoming a professional language learner.

May 9, 2016 12:45:00 PM / by Melanie Moore

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Have you ever dreamed about doing what you love as a career? It’s a dream of many in our generation. If you’ve read a couple of blogs on the subject, you’ll already know that there are steps you can take to reach this goal in your life. 

Below are four ways to achieve your dream career as a professional language learner, as told by Benny Lewis and other professional polyglots.

Learn a language.

If you haven’t started learning a language, why haven’t you? If you want to reach your goal of professional language learning, you must learn a language. At Mango Languages, we know that language learning can definitely be intimidating. That’s why taking baby steps - even one word at a time - can really move you forward. One word may turn into another word and then another word, and then another word, and - you get the picture. You can even jumpstart your professional language-learning career by documenting your progress on social media and better yet, in the new language you’re learning.

Find your niche.

Now that you’re learning a language, you’ll have to share or document your language-learning methods/routines to get your name out there. You can go the usual route of language blogging and develop your own unique voice. You could go down the path of Benny Lewis and other language learners by creating a blog filled with interesting language-related content. If you are familiar with Tim Doner, you can post a video of yourself speaking 20 different languages. In addition, other polyglots and language learners even host workshops and meetups (online and IRL). However, if none of these options appeal to you, try discovering something with your languages that no one has even thought of yet! With our technology age, there are tons of opportunities and possibilities. Of course, there’s no harm in going the more traditional route by becoming a translator or a language consultant. Even some of the most recognized polyglots have “day jobs” that are related to language.

Develop a learning strategy.

Of course, in order to become a professional language learner, you’ll need to find out how best you learn, so that you can share this advice with others. However, before you can begin monetizing your content, you’ll need to make sure that you enjoy what you are writing. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to make sure that you’re on the right track towards your goal: Is this the kind of advice, entertainment, etc. that I would want to read? Will this help me to achieve my goal? Am I being truthful about how I learn best?  Many professional language learners have their own mantra, or methodology for how to best learn a language. As you grow your personal brand, you can also start to develop your personal language-learning ideology.

Love what you do.

Although these tips will get you started, there’s one tip that will keep you going even when the motivation and the drive wavers — you must love what you do. Loving what you do does not mean that it’s the easiest or most fun thing you do, it means that you are willing to keep striving for success, even when you feel like giving up. As long as you have a passion for learning languages, you should be able to persevere and have the tenacity to achieve your dream of professional language learning.

For me, working at Mango Languages is pretty close to being a professional language learner. In fact, if you’d like to work at a company that works with languages, why not give our careers page a gander?

Viel Glück! Bonne chance! ご幸運を祈ります! Buona fortuna! Good luck! :)

Topics: Language Learning and Culture

Melanie Moore

Written by Melanie Moore

Melanie speaks German, Lithuanian, and Japanese and has dabbled in several others. She is an aspiring polyglot and enjoys sharing her passions for language learning and music with anyone she meets.

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