Language Practitioner

Language practitioners render specialised language and communication services over a broad spectrum of fields, for example, interpreting, translating, language training, copywriting, creative writing, language research, publicity, development of literary and language programmes, developing computer assisted language packages and providing organisations with language-related advice.

South Africa has 11 official languages, which means language practitioners are needed at all levels in the public and private sectors. Institutions such as Parliament, the State Language Services, the National Terminology Services, provincial governments, the CSIR, HSRC, SABC, universities and universities of technology all make extensive use of language practitioners, as do private institutions such as banks, insurance companies and the media.

Language practitioners in African languages, English and Afrikaans are usually in high demand, but those with other languages such as French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, Russian and Spanish are also needed.


  • any sector where language and general communication services are rendered

  • schools and universities

  • non-governmental organisations

  • banks and insurance companies

  • international political organisations

  • embassies and consulates

  • parliament and other government departments

  • tour agencies and the tourism industry

  • self-employment, if qualified and experienced enough, can start own enterprise

Getting Started

  • hone your language skills and practise interpreting and translating by listening to radio programmes in other languages

  • arrange to speak to language practitioners about this career and do holiday or part-time work


Accra Polytechnic, Bindura University of Science Education, Centre for Training and Projects Development (CTPD), Chinhoyi University of Technology, College of Intergrated Healthcare, Durban University of Technology , Egerton University, Evangelical Presbyterian University College, Gideon Roberts University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gretsa University, International Leadership University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kibogora Polytechnic, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Lesotho College of Education, Lukenya University, Machakos University College, Marian University College, Marist International University College, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Methodist University College Ghana, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Presbyterian University College, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Pwani University College, Riara University, Rongo University College, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Solusi University, South Eastern Kenya University, St Paul's University, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Tangaza University College, Tumaini University Makumira, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Education Winneba, University of Ghana, University of Johannesburg, University of Malawi (Chancellor College), University of Malawi (The Polytechnic), University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of the Western Cape

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