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Cambridge Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) Students and Applicants

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    One thing I found (for the German AEA) was that, whilst the language on the listening was harder, it was actually far slower than the A2.

    The main thing, apart from having a decent vocabulary, is knowledge of complex grammar. I scored 0 on the grammar section!!

    A lot of it requires you to guess, as well. There will be phrases you need to translate which you will probably not be familiar with, but you can get a certain way through looking at the context, etc...
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    (Original post by city_chic)
    [ set texts]
    city chic- about reading the set texts for cambridge- I dont think there would be anything wrong with mentioning that youd read their set texts- as long as you only mention it if you have something to say. they'll only hold it against you if they think your trying to blag your way through something you know nothing about and think just the fact you read their reading list is enough.

    Yes- talk about the books you like- but if you want to maximise your chances then while reading a 'good' book you like is fine, being able to talk about the really get works, or showing proficient understanding of texts which are considered very difficult to understand I would think would help you more
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    Quick question.. who were applicants interviewed by?
    is it only the director of studies for their subject?
    This is confusing because I thought there is one academic/literature interview and one 'general' interview. The college I am thinking about applying to, for example, Trinity, has a director of studies in MML specialising in French. I am thinking of applying for German and Russian, so how would the interview usually be organised?.

    I was rejected from Oxford this year (German sole). it was painful to take, simply because I wasn't given the opportunity to shine at interview- all 3 of my interviews were spent entirely on analysing a piece of literature in the original. I'm hoping that this won't the case at Cambridge.

    I'm also having doubts about applying to Trinity for a number of reasons that may or may not be silly. First, I'm under the impression that it is 'harder to get into' regardless of the pooling system. Second, the fact that the director of studies is a French speialist might suggest that French students will make up the majority of those accepted.

    Thanks everyone
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    I had two interviews - one for German, one for French.

    The German one was with a German fellow from a different college and a Spanish one from my college, and it was mostly subject specific but had general elements too it, and we looked at a passage in German as well. French was a very similar layout, only with my current French supervisor, and the native French language assistante. Neither was with my DoS though, although other people's interviews were...I guess it depends on the language as well!

    I don't think any MMLers I know had one that was solely general, I think that's more for other subjects where one subject interview would suffice
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    Actually, I had one subject interview and one general interview and I applied for German and Russian. Although, I haven't heard of many others who had that, so it may have just been Caius....
    My subject interview lasted 50 minutes though and I was able to talk in and about German and talk about Russian literature and history. I was interviewed by two DoS's in the first and then a History lecturer for the second.

    As Duck and Cover has said, I would assume it depends on the languages and the college.
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    Actually, I had one subject interview and one general interview and I applied for German and Russian. Although, I haven't heard of many others who had that, so it may have just been Caius....
    Yes, it must be a Caius thing! I had one subject interview with one of the DOS' (French) and a Spanish tutor and then a general interview with the other DOS, who is a German lecturer.
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    I had two interviews; one for French and one Spanish. Neither were general, although I did receive a few general Qs. The languages sort of 'overlapped' too; for example in my Spanish interview I was questioned on my interest in linguistics and whether I'd read any medieval French. Basically be prepared for anything, although I'm sure it would mostly be to test your academic ability and competence in the languages; by use of oral and texts in the language.
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    I had two subject interviews, one with the DoS who does Russin and one with a Fellow in French.
    even being in the 1st year already, i have found everything that butterfly_girl_5 has said completely terrifying.
    just read a few things that interest you, get some general cultural info and current affairs, and if anything comes up along the way that you think is fascinating just go for it, enthusiams and love for the subject is what they are looking for, not an encyclopedic knowledge of history literature and philosophy.
    and don't bother reading the french texts - they're hard the Moliere plays are ok if you have to go down that route but the others.....
    if you're looking for a not so well known book to read that is interesting, then i would recommend Stupeur et Tremblements by Amélie Nothomb - its really good.
    i didn't have any AEA or extra tuition or anything else like was discussed above ^^ either, don't worry
    sorry that's so random!!
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    (Original post by elin89)
    I had two subject interviews, one with the DoS who does Russin and one with a Fellow in French.
    even being in the 1st year already, i have found everything that butterfly_girl_5 has said completely terrifying.
    just read a few things that interest you, get some general cultural info and current affairs, and if anything comes up along the way that you think is fascinating just go for it, enthusiams and love for the subject is what they are looking for, not an encyclopedic knowledge of history literature and philosophy.
    and don't bother reading the french texts - they're hard the Moliere plays are ok if you have to go down that route but the others.....
    if you're looking for a not so well known book to read that is interesting, then i would recommend Stupeur et Tremblements by Amélie Nothomb - its really good.
    i didn't have any AEA or extra tuition or anything else like was discussed above ^^ either, don't worry
    sorry that's so random!!
    Ha, I'm glad not everyone does preparation to that extent then :p:

    I'm still unsure about doing an AEA; in some ways I know it won't harm my application whether I fail it or not (as I can simply choose not to state it) but eh, I don't know. Every little helps I guess
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    I had 1 for each of french and german- that was it
    they were about 25mins and all in english apart from 2-3mins chatting in the language
    for the german I discussed a poem, for the french, a passage by maupassant which i had to prepare
    it def depends on the college- some ppl had half their interviews in the language eg.
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    (Original post by city_chic)
    Ha, I'm glad not everyone does preparation to that extent then :p:
    I have an offer for Spanish post A Level and Russian ab initio from Emma, and I didn't do half the preparation that people on here did... (feeling unworthy now!). For Spanish, I'd read my A level text (La Casa de Bernarda Alba) and Como Agua Para Chocolate, and had just started a book by Marquez, but had literally read about 50 pages and still managed to talk about it at interview. For Russian I'd read Anna Karenina twice. I didn't mention anything that I'd specifically read on my personal statement, because I knew that they'd just haul me up on it at interview and I wanted to be able to talk about things that I actually wanted to talk about.

    In terms of other preparation, I'd done literally nothing other than a bit of history and politics research on Russia, like following the Duma election that was luckily happening the weekend before my interview. Spanishwise I've kind of been amassing things for a good few years - I went on loads of extra courses, including a Linguistics one at Villiers Park, and I did work experience for a week last year. I also watch a lot of films: that could be a good way to prepare for ab initio especially as it teaches you about the culture and sound of the language without actually having to know the language
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    Oh, did you like Anna Karenina?
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    (Original post by NickEM)
    Oh, did you like Anna Karenina?
    Very much It took up most of my interview as I think my interviewer liked it as well!
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    city_chic - if you have the opportunity to do an AEA then do one, languages aren't about short-term stuff, you are working your way to fluency, so everything you can do will help
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    (Original post by elin89)
    city_chic - if you have the opportunity to do an AEA then do one, languages aren't about short-term stuff, you are working your way to fluency, so everything you can do will help
    Hopefully I'll do one; I definitely want to. I'm going to speak to the examinations officer about it.
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    I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but I was wondering how often people transfer from subjects other than MML to part II linguistics. It seems that it's not that uncommon - on the website it says

    "Linguistics is a Part II subject, taken over one or two years after Part I in another subject. Many linguistics undergraduates will have done Part I in a language-related subject (such as Modern and Medieval Languages (MML), Oriental Studies, Classics or English) but this is not essential. You do need an interest in the workings of language, and some knowledge of one or more languages other than English is an advantage."

    So, I'm currently doing 1a bio Natsci, but I love linguistics and have read several books about it... I have no formal qualifications in any languages past GCSE, but have learnt a lot of Japanese in my spare time, and read a textbook on Japanese linguistics. So, do you think Linguistics is a feasible option for me in the third year?
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    (Original post by Supergrunch)
    I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but I was wondering how often people transfer from subjects other than MML to part II linguistics. It seems that it's not that uncommon - on the website it says

    "Linguistics is a Part II subject, taken over one or two years after Part I in another subject. Many linguistics undergraduates will have done Part I in a language-related subject (such as Modern and Medieval Languages (MML), Oriental Studies, Classics or English) but this is not essential. You do need an interest in the workings of language, and some knowledge of one or more languages other than English is an advantage."

    So, I'm currently doing 1a bio Natsci, but I love linguistics and have read several books about it... I have no formal qualifications in any languages past GCSE, but have learnt a lot of Japanese in my spare time, and read a textbook on Japanese linguistics. So, do you think Linguistics is a feasible option for me in the third year?
    I think linguistics is much more related to science subjects than languages. learning languages just might help you a bit to have experience on linguistics in practice if you like- so learning japanese would help. thb you'll just have to ask cambridge if its possible-as a scientist youre certainly suited to it

    let me know if you do switch to it- I absolutely love linguistics (and I was lucky enough to chat to Dr. Vaux after my interviews so I can tell you first hand hes fascinating) and I def want to seek out other linguists at cambridge (2009)
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    Dr Vaux is great lol, he'll talk to anyone about linguistics for hours, he seems to know everything!!
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    I didn't get to chat about Linguistics at my interviews, which is a shame considering it's all I've talked about since I came back from my course in the summer I honestly don't know which way I'm going to jump on the ling/lit option, I love them both!
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I didn't get to chat about Linguistics at my interviews, which is a shame considering it's all I've talked about since I came back from my course in the summer I honestly don't know which way I'm going to jump on the ling/lit option, I love them both!
    Same! I was distraught when I found out you have to chose between them!

    which course was that?? sounds intriguing..
    well I guess it was just my particular professor- and he's in the same college as Dr. Vaux that might be why

    Are you going to study languages at cambridge? if so which year and which languages?
    Im forever looking for contacts:p:

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Updated: August 21, 2014
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