You may not have heard of people pursuing a degree in linguistics before this as we may be a rare breed who choose to major in this field, but yes, we do exist! As with any other major, there will be certain stereotypical questions that you will get
sick bored of hearing from your friends and family.
Now, if you are someone who is currently studying linguistics or know someone who does, you would definitely relate to some of these things that linguistics majors out there encounter on a daily basis!
1. You always come across people who have never heard of your degree
One of the most common questions you hear when you say that you’re majoring in linguistics is, “What’s that, ah?”
Well, to put it simply, linguistics is the scientific study of language. Us linguistics majors study the structure of language, which includes the sound system, grammar, and meaning of a language.
2. People think that you’re only studying literature
Actually, literature and linguistics are two very different studies! Literature looks into a range of literary works like prose, poetry, and plays. Linguistics, on the other hand, does not focus solely on literary works but the overall structure of a language. Remember that ah!
3. People automatically assume you want to become a teacher
Well, isn’t this typical?
Why do people always relate linguistics, or language for a matter of fact, to teaching? Linguistics majors are not restricted only to the education field. There are many other fields we can venture into like banking, journalism, and media. Don’t worry mum, got many job opportunities one!
Besides, becoming a language teacher usually requires a teaching qualification which is not something we learn in our degree.
4. People often wonder what can you do with your linguistics degree
Well, here’s the secret…the career path for linguistics degree is surprisingly wide!
Linguistics majors can pursue careers in various fields like advertising, journalism, lexicography, marketing, banking, translating, diplomatic relations and many more! But shh, don’t tell anyone else about this, we’re trying to lessen the competition here.
5. They think that you are fluent in multiple languages
As cool as it may seem, linguistics isn’t about mastering many languages. Although it’d be awesome if we can be polyglots!
One usually goes into a linguistics degree specialising only in ONE language. Hence, you’d see universities offering linguistics degrees in various languages like English Linguistics and Malay Linguistics.
6. They assume that it must be an “easy” degree
Are you kidding me?
You may be scoffing at our degree which looks “easy”, but on a daily basis, we grapple with things like morphology, semantics, syntax, and phonology, which is hardly a cakewalk!
Our degree is just like any other degree out there. There are no easy A’s, we have to do lots of studying too!
7. People think that you study grammar throughout your degree
A common misconception people have towards linguistics study is that we just spend all our time studying grammar or something similar.
No, we don’t JUST study grammar throughout our three or four years in university, believe it or not.
Grammar is just one of the many aspects of linguistics. There are other aspects of language we need to learn as well, such as language production, discourse analysis, and semantics.
8. People will approach you asking for help to proofread their assignments
Every linguistics student has been asked this question at least once throughout their university years, especially during assignment submission week.
People tend to assume that we’ve got all the time in the world to proofread your work, but in reality, we’ve loads of assignments to do too!
So unless you’re willing to pay us to check your work, please don’t kacau us with this request ok?
Well, that’s it! To fellow linguistics majors out there, have you ever encountered annoying moments like these? Share with us in the comments below!
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