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A bilingual secretary provides administrative support in two languages. Typically, the person speaks the dominant language of a region in addition to a useful secondary language; a secretary in Canada, for example, might be bilingual in English and French, while someone working in California might find English and Spanish more useful. Bilingual secretaries can find work at a variety of organizations, ranging from financial institutions to government agencies where people regularly encounter clients who speak different languages.
The bilingual secretary can communicate effectively in either language, interacting with clients, people in the workplace, and professional connections. When an office needs to translate material to send out, the secretary can do this, and he can also translate material a company receives so it can be understood. Bilingual secretaries may place phone calls and other communications on behalf of their employers, as well as being present at meetings where people need a translator to communicate.
In addition to knowing two languages, the bilingual secretary is also usually familiar with cultural differences. This can be useful when translating material in an accessible way or helping to bridge gaps in understanding that go beyond simply not sharing a language in common. Bilingual secretaries can provide etiquette advice and instruction for their employers so they can be more successful in business meetings and other formal settings.
To work as a bilingual secretary, someone usually needs to have basic secretarial qualifications like comfort with office equipment, good typing skills, and literacy with the area of business covered by an office. In addition, she will need to demonstrate bilingual language skills. Some hold certificates testifying to their abilities, while others may simply provide employers with evidence like school transcripts demonstrating competency in a second language.
People with bilingual language skills are very employable in many regions of the world, especially if they speak a second language in hot demand. A bilingual secretary usually makes more than a monolingual speaker in a similar position because he can be more useful to the company. More benefits may be available to people with extra skills, including opportunities for travel with the company, as they will be useful additions to traveling groups in foreign countries. People who speak more than two languages can also be highly useful, especially in urban and international settings where people from a wide variety of backgrounds expect to be able to communicate with a company, organization, or agency.