Linguist solider vs Int Officer

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by wishfulthinking, Jun 28, 2012.

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  1. Hello all,

    Basically I've been a very good girl, and have been studying very hard at achieving fluency in a variety of languages (French, Spanish, Italian etc), but our European neighbours aren't posing much other than an economic threat actuellement, thus I'm pondering whether I'd get more out of a career as a soldier as opposed to an officer. As far as I can tell from the official literature, the Army would prefer to herd linguists down the soldier route, translating intercepted comms, but I'm sure I read about Officer Linguists somewhere. Then again I could be totally wrong!

    I feel permanently torn between officer and soldier, worrying that I'm not good enough to lead servicemen, but also worrying that I wouldn't be pushing myself enough as a soldier (I'm not suggesting that serving as a soldier isn't hard work, merely proposing that serving as an officer demands more administrative/leadership skills). I'm sorely tempted to attempt joining as a linguist and see where things take me, but I'm not sure 'seeing where things take me' is really the ethos of the Army!

    Many thanks :)
  2. But not English.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Nope, still working at the English, one hopes I'll crack it one day, but they do say its amongst the hardest to learn!
  4. Learn English first.
  5. Ignore the chimps, go civvy and get the money that you deserve. I'm not Int Corps, so take this with a pinch of salt, but as I understand it, the Army isn't too fussed about French/Spanish/Swahili and would likely make you learn another more operationally relevant language anyway. They have a thing for Pashtu and Dari, which is fine if you're committed to a forces career, useless otherwise.

    I've met a few officers (not all Int Corps either) who have been loaded onto long language courses, so don't feel too limited by that aspect of things. That said, don't expect a career as an officer to revolve around your language skills, a language course/posting will be just one of many career postings, which, as an officer, will end up in a non-linguist desk job sooner rather than later.
  6. Joining as a linguist not being a challenge? Speaking to the guys and girls currently going through some of the lanugage courses this could not be further from the truth. They are a mental lick out by the sounds of it, read the sticky on this forum for more details.

  7. FAIL.

    Shame you crapped out on the spelling of soldier in your thread title, eh?

    Attention to detail...

    You also have some very odd ideas about what an officer and an OR actually do, especially if they are linguists. You really need to get a dose of reality by attending a weekend visit with a TA Int Corps unit, to see what they actually DO get up to, within reason.

  8. **** the army
    get into translations for the courts and legal services
    for asylum seekers. whitehall has deep pockets
  9. Forget making serious money as a civilian interpreter or linguist. Seriously, forget it. Court interpreters get a poxy hourly rate and translators make pin money turning deeply turgid technical writing or biznisspik into another language. Have occasionally dabbled in this and if you're prepared to work insane hours and can work really, really quickly, you can make a living, but generally I'd rather drive red hot needles into my eyes.

    Op MI (L) - cracking trade, highly demanding, hugely satisfying. Read Sheepay's excellent sticky in this forum. Generally you get to do language- and language-related work, although you can turn aside now and then for a career-break tour doing something else in the Corps.

    Officer linguist - no such animal, really. If you're an Army officer, you're paid to lead soldiers and do staff officer style stuff. You may occasionally get a tour where a language is required and will usually get one of these if you apply and are selected for a long language course - and pass.

    Intellectual and academic standards for the Corps as a soldier and for officers are generally similar, which can sometimes be challenging for direct entry officers from outside the Corps, who can come over all funny occasionally when they realise they're the least-academically-qualified person in the group and everyone else is a lance jack.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. As Gladys says
    Officer linguist - no such job.

    As an OPMI(L) you will be required to undertake an 18 month language course.
    As an Officer, there is very limited opportunity to study long language courses,
    AGC (ETS) officers are most likely to undertake such training.
  11. Plus think outside the box.

    Look at who else speaks the languages you say you do.

    French? Francophone Africa. There's no trouble there is there?

    Spanish? Yes I know there is a difference between dialects but come on! There are loads of trouble spots that can assist in.

    Huge fun potential in the Corps for languages. What's the alternative right now, anyway?

    Don't suggest "other ranks" aren't leaders though, that doesn't sound too good. The question becomes is it the "social status" of the concept of being an 'officer' that has got you hung up?

    Anyway Glad has cracked it:

  12. What's the betting that the British get involved in the effort to contain al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the not so distant future, alongside the US and France (and possibly China, given that some of their fishy assets might be threatened)? Not so long ago, that little baldy fellow (the Foreign Minister, name escapes) was in Nouakchott promising the usual wodge of taxpayers' hard-earned to the locals for this purpose.

    With our Government's record of flinging the Armed Forces out to whichever shithole looks likely to add a line to the incumbent Prime Minister's CV, French seem like a good bet to me.
  13. That's 100% true of freelance work in the UK, and of the very few staff translator or interpreter jobs available in the UK.

    I'm a translator and interpreter with only "non-exotic" languages (German, Dutch, French, dodgy Norwegian and even dodgier Spanish) and it was clear to me right back at uni that I'd have to go abroad to find a decent job in my field. Which I did. The European institutions, the UN and related bodies, and a few others in Geneva all pay quite decently (in Geneva, translators start on around £60k p.a., and salaries rise to almost twice that with seniority).

    I'd say that if the OP wants to join the army, then do it for reasons other than using languages as the core of the job -- they may well be handy tools, but that's it.
  14. Odd how speeches have been drumming up Somolia and Libya as a threat to us.

    The argument appears to be at a time when we are arguably less able and willing to conduct expeditionary operations, that enemy:
    *has the "safe havens" to prepare,
    *has the successful ideology to appeal to a minority ready to support operations in our country or travel to their bases.
    *has survived the killing of various members of the senior

    We should listen to this speech, Mr Evans has been publically outed as having being the AQ expert within the Security Service. The speech does also draw attention to the other threats to the UK from dissident Irish Republican terrorist groups, Hostile cyber-mounted threats, single issue and violent anti-capitlist, and good old Espionage.

    Perhaps arguably we have created this problem for ourselves; we created the doctrine that in "ungoverned space" badness occurs. Well there is a swathe of "ungoverned" (and arguably un-governerable space) from which a threat may come in the North Africa and Sub-Saharan area.

    Yes, I think we will all to do well to work about the difference between a Mullah and a Marabout!
  15. It's terribly cute when someone comes on here and asks questions followed by explaining how desperate they are to join as if

    a) we care
    b) we're the President of the AOSB.

    Besides, most of the people I know either in or out of Sandhurst were only interested either at uni or shortly afterwards: not many "just feel like all I've ever wanted is to join". Thank God.