Languages at MI5

The UK’s Intelligence Services – made up of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – work together to protect Britain’s people, interests and businesses from threats at home, overseas and online. And to help support that mission, we need people who can speak, listen to and understand a wide range of languages and dialects.

As a Language Specialist at MI5, you’ll listen to and read, then contextualise and translate a wide range of audio and written materials. But this role goes beyond translation and transcription. Your expert insight will help build an intelligence picture, drive investigations forward and even shape government policy. You’ll also play a huge role in our operational work, which includes training and planning.

We’re looking for people with an in-depth understanding of a country’s culture, ideology, and politics. A formal qualification isn’t necessary, you just need to be a proficient user of the language. So, whether you’ve grown up in a multi-lingual household, studied to degree-level, or have been trained in the military, your language expertise could be a significant asset to safeguarding the UK.

Russian and Mandarin Language Talent Programme – Internships

Are you in your final year studying for a Russian or Mandarin language degree and have an interest in using those language skills to help provide intelligence insights and deliver clear analysis which assist in driving forward investigations?

You could help us by seeking out vital clues in foreign language material and making it accessible and understandable to others.

Linguists/ Translators

As a flexible hours linguist you will use your language skills to provide audio transcription and translation to support investigations across all three security and intelligence agencies.

Russian Language Intelligence Analysts

Our Russian Language Intelligence Analysts work in support of our investigations. Using their language skills they provide intelligence insights working at the core of our operational teams.

Foreign Language Analysts

Our Foreign Language Analysts use their language skills to provide intelligence insights to deliver clear analysis which assists in driving forward investigations. They do this by seeking out vital clues in foreign language material and making it accessible and understandable to others.

Speech Technologist

Our Speech Technicians identify, plan and conduct research on cutting-edge technology projects relating to speech processing and analysis. They work at the forefront of a fast-evolving field alongside our partners developing new capabilities to support the work of our audio analysis and investigations.

Mandarin Language Intelligence Analysts

Our Mandarin Language Intelligence Analysts work in support of our investigations. Using their language skills they provide intelligence insights working at the core of our operational teams. Along with other key skills, candidates for the Mandarin Language Intelligence Analyst role need to be able to demonstrate judgment, language proficiency and cultural knowledge. We assess these skills at various stages of the recruitment process, including the language test.

I can’t imagine another role where I would use my language in such an interesting, fulfilling and unique way

Why Join MI5?

A career at MI5 is like no other.  Not only is it rewarding and unique but the variety here is like no-where else.  It is this variety that means most people stay at MI5 as they are able to fulfil all their career ambitions here without ever having to leave.  We are also committed to rewarding the people who work for us and demonstrating our appreciation for their vital contribution by offering an excellent range of benefits.  And due to the nature of our work it means you can’t take it home with you, so when you leave the office you really do leave your work behind you, providing you with an excellent work-life balance. Whatever role you perform, you will be directly contributing to keeping the country safe.

Listening Quiz

English Language Analysts

There are few jobs more rewarding – or important – than these front-line intelligence roles. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, our team of English Language Analysts listen to lawfully intercepted telephone conversations and eavesdropping product, picking out essential information that will help us counter terrorism across the UK.

They come from a wide range of backgrounds – but they all have the ability to process information quickly and the adaptability to work in an operational environment where things change rapidly. They’re the kind of people who don’t miss a thing, who can listen for hours on end without losing concentration and stay calm under pressure.

Take this quiz, which reflects the nature of the work of our English Language Analysts, to check your listening skills and ability to recall detail, and to assess your suitability for the role.

Listening Quiz

Take this quiz, which reflects the nature of the work of our English Language Analysts, to check your listening skills and ability to recall detail, and to assess your suitability for the role.

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