The housing market is coming back, but those buying houses are more and more likely to be millenials and minorities. This means that Notaries who speak the languages of the borrowers will increasingly be in demand.
Many companies will give preference to a bilingual Notary if they have a choice in a situation where the borrower speaks another language. If the borrower is completely incompetent in English, then it is absolutely necessary to hire a bilingual Notary.
Bilingual Notaries often get paid more for signings. I met several Vietnamese ladies who get paid $300 per signing and won’t work for a penny less. That is an extreme case, but it happens. What is more common is for bilingual Notaries to get paid about the same as monolingual signers, but to get a better market share of work.
Unfortunately in America, native speakers of English very rarely develop proficiency in another language. Less than 1% of Americans born here to English speaking parents speak another language well. That vast majority of bilingual speakers in the United States were either born in another country or their parents were.
People who claim to be bilingual are not always as bilingual as they think they are. To be bilingual for the purpose of doing a loan signing, you need to be able to conduct the loan purely in your second language without using a dictionary more than once or twice during the signing. For Americans who learn Spanish or German as a second language, we normally are weak in our second language and need to look a lot of things up. Many people put, “some Spanish” in their language field. Our language field has room for names of languages, and not names of quantities like “some” or “limited.”
As people living in California, many of us feel compelled to learn some Spanish. We are surrounded wherever we go with Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other foreigners. The Persians and Arabs normally know good English while Chinese and Korean is too difficult for most of us to even consider learning. However, many of us take Spanish in school and find it an “approachable” language since it is a sister language to English with similar vocabulary, grammar and though processes. To be a teacher, hire a maid, or just to have a meal in certain neighborhoods you need Spanish.
I ordered pasta at an Italian place where the workers are all Central American. I said: 80% tomato and 20% meat sauce. She translated this to her co-worker as 80% carne y 20% tomate — and I said NOOOOOO!!!!!!! Ochenta percento tomate y veinte percento carne, dios mio! Thank God I was a teacher in an all Hispanic area for two years otherwise I would have gotten the wrong pasta!
Is it worth it to learn another language perfectly for Notary purposes? Learning another language is a lot of work. Notaries are not normally the most motivated of people considering that less than 25% can pass my easy Notary test. However, if you love languages and want to augment your career and make your life more interesting, it can be very rewarding. I remember doing signings where I had to give Oaths in Chinese, and then in Spanish. It made me feel competent even though I didn’t know that much simply because nobody else I know could do that!
Learning a language also changes your brain. Bilingual people think differently than our monolingual counterparts. Your brain develops new channels and faster reaction time to changing external environments. Monolingual folks tend to be inflexible in many circumstances.
You can read about the bilingual brain with this article
Video about the bilingual brain