Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling, triathlon & fitness apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,468

    Foreign language fluencies on resume

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Well, do you state any foreign language fluenceis on your work resume?

    I haven't done that in past 20 years. I've learned not to --even though my mother tongue is Chinese.. I am not in the position at work to interpret /translate for anyone (outside my family) to assist for health care/emergency situations, counselling, etc. ..though I have been approached for on-spot intrepetation in the workplace.


    And over the years, when I have reviewed resumes for hiring staff, when I see multiple language fluencies on a resume..it makes me wonder..seriously. I honestly have not met that many people with good language fluencies beyond 2 languages. Meaning the capability to hold and understand a sustained conversation with some decent grammar, with another person for over an hr.

    And those whom I've known, who genuinely can speak, read and write more than 2 languages, are impressive.

    ANd I'm curious do many employees in your workplace speak non-English language often on the job? My current workplace is quite different, even English is official language...we have alot of ex-pats (workers with work visas) who talk alot in Filipino, German, Serbian, Spanish and Polish amongst themselves. In some cases, they don't understand English, so there has to be a primary translator for safety training, etc.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-24-2008 at 07:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    I honestly have not met that many people with good language fluencies beyond 2 languages. Meaning the capability to hold and understand a sustained conversation with some decent grammar, with another person for over an hr.
    In Canada neither have I, but I know euros who are completely fluent in half a dozen languages. I have Swedish friends who speak English better than I do, and also speak a few other languages. Every Swiss person I've met spoke at least three languages. I once shared a house with a friend who was fluent in English, French, Vietnamese, Polish, German, and Spanish. She works for the UN now.

    I don't honestly consider myself fluent in any language. I grew up in French schools so I still find it awkward to write in English even though it is technically my first language. I think I will be fluent in German someday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    I guess you have to define fluency. Is it when you can think and respond in another language? I have known people who were fluent in 3 or 4 languages (while I have enough trouble keeping just my second language from withering away)
    A lot of people know romance languages which have some basic similarities. When they are in a position to use one of them, it improves with use.
    Where I work, everyone speaks English except when they are talking to their spouse on the phone. THEN I hear a lot of other languages.
    If you're fluent in Chinese but rusty; put it on your resume! If you ended up in China for a month I bet you'd do better than someone without that fluency!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally Posted by kat_h View Post
    I once shared a house with a friend who was fluent in English, French, Vietnamese, Polish, German, and Spanish. She works for the UN now.

    I don't honestly consider myself fluent in any language. I grew up in French schools so I still find it awkward to write in English even though it is technically my first language. I think I will be fluent in German someday.
    Wow, that friend. At a former workplace, there was a staff person in my dept. who was genuinely fluent in English, French and German. Born in Canada of German-Czech parents. Lived in Switzerland for 7 years and worked for Canadian embassy as a receptionist. I had to be REAL careful that she didn't get overly used for informal translation work in our dept...for French language translation since her salary /nor job required it. But I know she enjoyed doing it if it was just occcasional for 1/2 hr. or so. And it became REAL useful since working in a library we had to get info. pronto fast from Quebec government or...from one of the European countries.

    Mimitabby, no I won't be writing my language on resume. But before kindergarten, I did dream, think and speak only Chinese. I'm not an immigrant (born in Hamilton, Ontario), but early ESL learning in primary school, sensitizes a person to other people's coping problems in a new country.
    2 of my sisters have been burnt figuratively speaking on the claimed 2nd language fluency. They both work in health care (one is a doctor, other is a hospital pharmacist at teaching hospitals) and they each, embarrassed themselves unable to help a patient. It actually could be dangerous if a person does not translate correctly in such situations.

    I also worked for a provincial legal aid organization where part of the service was multilingual legal information/legal advice by phone. It is critical that the staff person genuinely can accurately interpret the language to understand and assist the client's legal/information problem.

    One of the lawyers had her office next to mine. One day I suddenly heard her speak Mandarin on the phone with a client. She is Caucasian..and I had no previous knowledge of her knowing any Chinese.

    I am unable to effectively transfer alot of Chinese to my partner...except for less than 10 words. I'm lucky enough..that my parents are still alive...to understand my badly eroded language. Of course, haven't picked up much German. The only thing I've learned is that he speaks a softer German (from the south) vs. from the north.

    Am pretty impractical...taking 3 years of high school Latin...got me where...hmmmmm. Yea and the mandatory French..honest, shameful....after relearning that language...twice.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-24-2008 at 09:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    What I have on my resume is something like: "Languages: French and English, spoken and written. Functional Spanish skills [I actually can understand if the speaker is mindful or if it's news and stuff, and can speak somewhat fluently after a few days of immersion, albeit without much vocabulary and now my verbs get a bit mixed up]. Interest for other modern languages." which means that I have learned bits of Arabic, Croatian and German, (enough to grab the purpose of a simple document - although not Arabic anymore!!) and like learning new languages. That's as far as I go...

    I find that my French gets a bit dull as my English becomes more sophisticated. I really value excellent language skills, both written and spoken. It's really hard to keep many languages extremely sharp, but I easily believe one can be fluent - i.e. entertain decent conversation about more than just the weather and understand most non-specialized documents - in five or six languages - possibly more - if one gets to practice them a few times a month each.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,468
    Well something happened at work,which I thought was abit questionable in terms of the ethics of ..translation/interpretation.

    A bunch of construction workers ....originally from Panama approached the receptionist. Receptionist had to phone to get a staff person who did speak some Spanish to translate. From what I could see, it must have been a question(s) concerning the worker's pay or at least his benefits, because he had an opened business envelope in his hand. Spanish speaking staff person tried to troubleshoot and answer questions. becuase sesveral of the workers were all talking at him in Spanish. conversation ended. He walked away and workers left.

    The receptionist (english-speaking only but she has a sharply balanced and sensitive heart/head), a secretary (native Indian who probably lost her tribal tongue already) and I were abit aghast. It just seemed at least the situation deserved, the Spanish speaker to fetch someone from Human REsources for the official personnel policy matters.... By the way, the Spanish speaker himself is a British ex-pat, direct from U.K., only here to work for a few years, so he wouldn't know much about Canadian govn't structures/assistance..compared to an experienced Canadian Human Resources Manager.

    Maybe I'm reading this all wrong....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Welsh but living in Munich, Germany
    Posts
    324
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Well, do you state any foreign language fluenceis on your work resume?
    Yes, but my job requires fluency in English, French and German (my French is a bit sketchy). I wouldn't put languages where I only know a bit (e.g. Welsh, Czech) - would hate to be expected to really understand anything in either of those.

    I have colleagues here who are fluent in at least five languages simply because of where they grew up. It's like the tower of Babel here at lunchtimes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    13,707
    I think it's fine to put it on your work resume as long as you're not misleading in your interview as to your level of fluency. (If it's that critical, your interview would be partially conducted in the other language, anyhow.)

    Just to have someone able to have a basic conversation would be a huge benefit to most firms, if they don't have the volume to support a professional translator full-time. If the person on the other end of the phone sounds like a serious prospect, then you call a contract translator.

    My mom - whose primary language was Mandarin from early childhood through her early teens - is re-learning the language in part through teaching it to children adopted from China. Everyone involved is aware of her level of fluency, everyone's okay that she's not qualified to be a UN translator, and everyone's benefiting from the process.

    I just wish I could get back the French I used to dream in, in high school and college A few years ago I started reading the French newspapers, but without anyone to converse with, I couldn't speak French to save my life.


    ETA: Star, I hear ya re the incident at your job. But I can see that both ways, too. If everybody was speaking the same language, would you need a lawyer there to explain whatever it was? Technically yes for the company's protection and the most accurate explanation, but in practice the receptionist probably would've explained it herself, right?
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 04-25-2008 at 02:48 AM.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,216
    There's a huge difference between being fluent in a language and being on the level of a simultaneous interpreter or translator. My ex was born in France and lived there until he was 4. He still speaks French fluently, as well as English, and he doesn't have an accent in either one! He is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. I think when you grow up speaking more than one language, others come pretty easily.

    My ex does translate documents for his work, but is more comfortable going from French/Spanish/Portuguese towards English. He does NOT do simultaneous interpretation. That takes formal training and just the right brain wiring. I do have a friend who was an intrepreter for the US State Department. He was born in Mississippi and lived in France for a few years. He just had a knack. He could do it French-English and English-French. He once had me try it English-English by watching the news and just repeating what the newscaster said in the same language. It was very difficult.

    English is my first language, but I am fluent in French. On my resume I put "Fluent in French" no problem. But I'm not in the interpretation or translation business. I did have to use French from time to time at my old job because we had projects in Africa. I got by just fine even though the accent was sometimes challenging. I also put that I'm a dual national (US-France) because that might open some opportunities. So far it hasn't, but it might.

    The next level down from fluency is "conversant." I used to put that down for Spanish, but it's gotten rusty, so I took it off. Gotta get back to my Rosetta Stone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    Here, you'd put it on no matter what.


    I am actually just posting for those who read french:

    a cool site about mishaps in life:
    http://www.viedemerde.fr

    and here's a choice one...

    Aujourd'hui, j'avais rendez-vous avec un responsable de ma boite. N'étant pas physionomiste et peu soucieux du nom de famille des gens, j'étais fier d'avoir retenu son nom et son visage: "Bonjour, Monsieur Le Hideux." lui dis-je, "Monsieur Le Vilain suffira..." me retorqua-t-il...VDM
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
    2009 Cube Axial WLS - Selle SMP Glider
    2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Plus - Specialized Alias

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,349
    If you feel comfortable and don't mind the translation/iterpreter work go for it. Otherwise, don't put it there.

    My first language is Japanese: Hai, nihongo wa yoku wakrimasu. Demo atshi wa tsu-yaku a iya desu. Sumimasen.

    So I don't put it on my resume. Even then I got dragged into a meeting full of Japanese engineers and our engineers. Yuck. When I was younger well now I'm just too old. I no date Japanese men. heh my Japanese is getting rusty.

    Smilingcat

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    what a wonderful Thread!

    maybe the spanish speaking guy easily answered the question. That's why they all walked away.. ?

    and I agree, there are seriously different levels of fluency. And medical translation is an entirely different subject.

    I have it on my resume, (for the job I have) but so far, I've never had to use it, and don't expect to.

    I envy those of you living in Europe, where people who know only one language are the exception, not the rule.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,743
    I notice that the resumes my husband gets from the EU applicants lists their language capabilities as described above; fluent, conversant, and a couple of other levels.
    My son minored in Italian in college. He did 2 years of study in a one year intensive course and lived in the dorm for foreign students at U Mass. Then he went and lived in Siena for a year. When he came back, he was taking literature classes in Italian and he said it was really hard to write research papers in Italian, but he did it and got good grades.
    Now he is a project manager for a language translation company. He is in charge of overseeing the progress of whatever the clients want and he says the translators are really a different breed. He does some free lance translation work on the side, too, from Italian to English. You really have to become expert in the "language" of whatever field you are translating in.
    Our funniest story is last year my husband bought a pair of Giordana shorts. The tags were all in Italian, so we asked Josh to translate. It said the shorts would give you"better spatial relations" when riding. So now, every time he wears the shorts, I ask how his spatial relations are.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,577
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Our funniest story is last year my husband bought a pair of Giordana shorts. The tags were all in Italian, so we asked Josh to translate. It said the shorts would give you"better spatial relations" when riding. So now, every time he wears the shorts, I ask how his spatial relations are.
    LOL. That's a good one.

    I include language skills on my resume because I think it says something about a person that they have bothered to learn another language. It says something about their flexibility, creativity and self confidence. But I also make it very clear what my language skills are. For eg:

    Advanced intermediate conversational and written French
    Andvanced conversation Spanish in medical vocabulary, Intermediate vocabulary otherwise.


    I'll also include something like "interest in Mandarin, Italian and Portuguese."
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    4,001
    I've always wanted to be in some kind've covert operations... you know, the romantic version of the spy-industry as portrayed in movies.

    If I had lots of languages, I wouldn't let anyone know unless it was necessary...

    Therefore I'd only pop it on my CV if it was important to the job


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •