General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Will learning Arabic be enough to get me a high paying job?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10277points) March 24th, 2010

I have decided to learn a language other than English. I want to become as fluent as possible in it. There are many languages I already have a firm grip on. Arabic is not one of them.

I know American Arabic translators are in demand. Will knowing the language be enough to wrangle a great job, with or without travel?

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14 Answers

Fausnaught's avatar

Not unless you have a still to go with it. Millions of people speak Arabic, but they aren’t all being paid big bucks.

squirbel's avatar

Yes, it will.

The government is looking for Arabic-English translators to fill the gaps, and paying exceptionally well.

“International corporations, such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Kodak, and Radio Shack, have expanded their presence in the Middle East over the past few decades. Translators can be asked to facilitate relations with Arab governments or to negotiate with workers, or even to manage certain aspects of a business.”

jaytkay's avatar

It can’t hurt. It’s no guarantee, you have to work hard, too. But it can’t hurt.

zophu's avatar

From what I understand Arabic is very difficult to learn, so it would make sense that it is a desired skill.

Snarp's avatar

On the other hand, you might want to try a less widely spoken language like Farsi or Pashto, particularly if you can get a security clearance and are interested in working for the military or intelligence services.

njnyjobs's avatar

There’s a lot of people who are mult-lingual with english and arabic…but with the lack of skills and personality, high paying jobs are left to be much desired. Your language skills should go hand-in-hand with other work related skills/knowledge/expertise.

CMaz's avatar

I am sure Blackwater would hire you.

TheBot's avatar

Arabic is a great choice if you want to increase your professional attractiveness, because it is still relatively rare among non-natives, whereas Spanish, French, or German are pretty commonplace…

Arabic is also a great choice because it is a very idea-oriented language, with a structure that is fairly simple to understand. If you have already studied a Mediterranean language like Italian, Spanish, French, or better yet Greek, learning Arabic should be relatively easy. Not that it is extremely similar to these languages (although they have all influenced each other a lot), but Arabic is just much more straightforward.

I have studied it for one year and a half and am extremely surprised and pleased by how much I have learned during this short time.

TexasDude's avatar

Learn Pashto. There is a HUGE demand for Pashto speakers.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard No thanks! I am thinking MSA, and a dialect of Arabic, probably whatever is spoken in Abu Dhabi.

JLeslie's avatar

Like others have said Arabic is in demand in the military and CIA. But, most likely they do an extensive background check, so you have to be squeaky clean, and no close relations that could be suspicious characters. Of course you have the option of private multi-national companies as well, but you would need more than just language most likely, you would need a specialty of some sort, business degree, management, logistics, construction, lots of possibilities, the language would be the plus. I think it is a great idea if you are interested in it.

thriftymaid's avatar

It will help, but not guarantee anything. Certain government jobs (which I suppose is what you are talking about) require clearance, so if you have a sparkling past, go for it.

Ltryptophan's avatar

well, i’d rather work for the oil industry.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ltryptophan Are you in the industry now? We buy a lot of oil from Canada and Mexico also. Just in case you didn’t know. Spanish could be very useful in other industries and in general in the US. Not that I am trying to talk you out of Arabic. Arabic you would have less competition I would think. I don’t know if American’s who speak Arabic are in demand in the oil industry? Do you want to live in an Arab country? I also know almost nothing about the oil industry, just throwing stuff out there.

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