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Should I choose linguistics as a major?

 Language Learning Forum : Languages & Work Post Reply
21 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
Zerzura
Groupie
Australia
Joined 2700 days ago

45 posts - 53 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 1 of 21
21 January 2014 at 5:58am | IP Logged 
Hello!

I'm about to choose my other Bachelor of arts major (yes I know queue flipping burgers joke). I'm majoring in Russian and my other major will be Linguistics, Economics or Journalism. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any knowledge or personal experience on the Linguistics major.

So far what I am reading is that it is a very specific field that is only useful if you plan on studying a foreign language (which I am). Translating and teaching are the first careers that come to mind - that will benefit from this major. But really my impression of the infortmation on the internet is that it's only about as better as not having a major!

There is bound to be someone here that knows a thing or two about this major... if you're reading this, I want to sponge your brain for advice!

Thanks in advance!


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lichtrausch
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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Studies: Korean, Mandarin

 
 Message 2 of 21
21 January 2014 at 7:03am | IP Logged 
I would only recommend it if you are absolutely set on going down the academia track. For other jobs like translating and teaching there are much more useful things to major in.
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Zerzura
Groupie
Australia
Joined 2700 days ago

45 posts - 53 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 3 of 21
21 January 2014 at 7:44am | IP Logged 
lichtrausch wrote:
I would only recommend it if you are absolutely set on going down the academia track. For other jobs like translating and teaching there are much more useful things to major in.


This is what I think so far, I don't think it's worth it. On the other hand I would find it fascinating. What are useful majors that would compliment a foreign language?
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Henkkles
Triglot
Senior Member
Finland
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 Message 4 of 21
21 January 2014 at 8:20am | IP Logged 
What branch of linguistics? It's a huuuuge area. Areal linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, minority language study, etc. etc. I don't know whether "linguistics" is a major there but in Helsinki university there are probably at least two dozen majors that classify as linguistics.
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Zerzura
Groupie
Australia
Joined 2700 days ago

45 posts - 53 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 5 of 21
21 January 2014 at 8:38am | IP Logged 
Henkkles wrote:
What branch of linguistics? It's a huuuuge area. Areal linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, minority language study, etc. etc. I don't know whether "linguistics" is a major there but in Helsinki university there are probably at least two dozen majors that classify as linguistics.


Here is the course list: http://www.uq.edu.au/study/plan_display.html?acad_plan=LINGU X2000
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Henkkles
Triglot
Senior Member
Finland
Joined 2438 days ago

544 posts - 1141 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Swedish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 6 of 21
21 January 2014 at 9:03am | IP Logged 
I didn't understand most of that but I didn't find anything I saw there to be very compelling. It looks like it has a bit of everything without going too deep into anything. I would rather just study a huge bunch of languages (which I'm doing).
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Ogrim
Heptaglot
Senior Member
France
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Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 7 of 21
21 January 2014 at 9:53am | IP Logged 
I had a quick look at the programme, it does seem to be a generalist theoretical linguistics degree. As I am not too familiar with the education system in Australia to say the least, I do not know how much time you would spend on each Unit or how much time it will take to complete a Single Major.

Linguistics is a very different thing from studying a lot of languages. After all, linguistics is the theory of languages, not the practical learning of languages. Think Chomsky rather than Prof. Arguelles. As lichtrausch says, you should go for it only if you are determined to aim for a career in academia. I do not think linguistics is particularly useful in order to become a translator, for that you should rather focus on perfectioning you languages, including your native language. And I guess there are also specific trainings/courses/diplomas in translation in Australia as well.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2718 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 8 of 21
21 January 2014 at 10:10am | IP Logged 
Zerzura wrote:
Hello!

I'm about to choose my other Bachelor of arts major (yes I know queue flipping burgers joke). I'm majoring in Russian and my other major will be Linguistics, Economics or Journalism. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any knowledge or personal experience on the Linguistics major.

So far what I am reading is that it is a very specific field that is only useful if you plan on studying a foreign language (which I am). Translating and teaching are the first careers that come to mind - that will benefit from this major. But really my impression of the infortmation on the internet is that it's only about as better as not having a major!


I studied at Melbourne Uni and did a BSc (but for a while dabbled in BA) as well.

From what little you've said I would recommend either journalism or economics, rather than linguistics. As others have said linguistics is really going to lead you towards an academic career. On other hand I see how you could get some interesting jobs with Russian plus journalism or Russian plus economics. Don't just assume that Russian will lead you to translator jobs.

By coincidence I rent my apartment from a German journalist, who learnt Russian and now works in Central Asia with his wife, and writes pieces for Spiegel etc and makes documentaries for German TV.

I assume Russian plus economics would also lead to some interesting career paths.

Having a foreign language, in particular a difficult and important foreign language, will open up a lot of doors.

Edited by patrickwilken on 21 January 2014 at 10:12am



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