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Off topic: Work with languages in tourism
Thread poster: Julian Wood

Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:31
Czech to English
+ ...
Mar 15, 2007

Hello there
I enjoy work with languages, but translating and interpreting are both serious issues.
So I'm looking for opportunities to use my languages for travel companies, where you take a group of Americans on a whistle-stop European tour, a group of Brits on a tour down the Rhine on a boat, or anything else like that!
I have good German, Russian and Czech, decent French, some Dutch and a smattering of other bits of European languages!
I briefly did some tour guiding in Prague, but came back to the UK. It was great fun! I am quite an extrovert.

Thanks for ideas/ companies to contact, etc.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-03-15 17:44]

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Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:31
Danish to English
+ ...
Suggestions Mar 15, 2007

In another life a few I worked with were:

Contiki - 18-35s (lots of Ozzies and Kiwis)

Top Deck - also 18-35s

Trafalgar Tours - older generation Americans (quite seasoned tour directors though)



I forget them all, but there are plenty of them out there. On top of your languages you need to know a lot of history, geography and general European facts. You need to be a bit of an actor. You need not only conventional 'people skills', but a genuine interest in all sorts of practical problems (from exploding taps to visas and hospitals in awkward places). You need to be streetwise and avoid those Russian tarts spiking your drink. You need to get on with the drivers. You need to like being on the road for up to 3-4 weeks at a time. You need to be able to cover up for the fact that one old dude died on the coach in Russia, get everyone over the border and deal with it in Finland - because the red tape is so much easier there. The season runs from April (at the earliest) to October (at the latest) so you need to earn your money in those months and do something else the rest of the year.

Golly gosh, I wonder why I ended up snuggled up in front of my computer in London...

And I wasn't even a tour director...


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Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:31
Czech to English
+ ...
Dutch tips? Mar 16, 2007

I once did 2 tours of Bath for middle-aged Dutch. Their English was almost perfect, and they quite enjoyed having the tour in English- a chance to practice their English.
So I wonder if it would work to be an Englishman doing tours for a Dutch travel comapny? They seem quite keen on things English

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forums Mar 16, 2007

Hi Julian,

You might do well posting your question on Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forums - they are specifically about travel and include a couple of boards on working abroad. Those forums include the usual assortment of odd characters found on the Net, but also some valuable information.

Good luck!

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