Modern Language degree reputation... Watch

cactussed
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
OK this might sound weird, but are Modern Languages degrees respected generally? I know that all the department staff make it known that they have the lowest rate of unemployment, but when talking to lots of my friends about which degree I intend to do they always say "what?!" as if it's something strange. Admittedly it's not medicine, or law, but surely it must be quite good and better than Advanced Golf Course Management?
0
quote
reply
Fillette
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
Modern Languages is a highly respected degree which opens avenues to many forms of employment - so I don't know what kind of people you've been talking to :confused:
0
quote
reply
Ciel Noir
Badges: 0
#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
I have talked to a couple of people who have been like "Whoa" or "Why would you want to do that?" when I say I'm doing French, but generally I get the sense it's pretty well respected. =)
0
quote
reply
TheMeister
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#4
Report 9 years ago
#4
Oxbridge do it, so yeah, it's a reputable degree. Besides, I think I'll probably end up studying Spanish and some other language and I don't want to opt for 'easy' or thus 'less-respected' degrees.
0
quote
reply
rockrunride
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 9 years ago
#5
It's a well-respected degree, and opens the way for you to work in almost any field.
0
quote
reply
cactussed
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#6
(Original post by Ciel Noir)
I have talked to a couple of people who have been like "Whoa" or "Why would you want to do that?" when I say I'm doing French, but generally I get the sense it's pretty well respected. =)
Same reaction for me! But if it was something like History, or Geography or English for example, it would just be "Oh, OK". Languages seem to be particularly frownedon for some reason. :confused:
0
quote
reply
xJessx
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#7
Report 9 years ago
#7
Modern Languages is a well respected degree, I always get a 'whoa!' when I tell people what I'm doing, I find it strange someone would say that they weren't well respected.

Were the people you were talking to students or had they no idea about languages because some people imagine it to be like a holiday language course lol. I've never known anyone to 'frown on' languages
0
quote
reply
Daniel4389
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#8
Report 9 years ago
#8
I think lots of people see languages as really really difficult, hence the "Whoah!"-type reactions...not sure why as personally I'd say it was 48484393489 times easier than any kind of Science, but there you go...
1
quote
reply
Anatheme
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 9 years ago
#9
(Original post by Daniel4389)
I think lots of people see languages as really really difficult, hence the "Whoah!"-type reactions...not sure why as personally I'd say it was 48484393489 times easier than any kind of Science, but there you go...
Agreed :holmes:. I do raise a lot of eyebrows with my weird combo (Russian-Arabic), so people assume I'm trying to get in the army of some kind of MI-5 thing, haha. But yeah, I'd rather do syntax, declensions, grammar and vocab than… Maths, or what is the role of the marrow or something like that.
0
quote
reply
Ciel Noir
Badges: 0
#10
Report 9 years ago
#10
(Original post by Anatheme)
Agreed :holmes:. I do raise a lot of eyebrows with my weird combo (Russian-Arabic), so people assume I'm trying to get in the army of some kind of MI-5 thing, haha. But yeah, I'd rather do syntax, declensions, grammar and vocab than… Maths, or what is the role of the marrow or something like that.
I couldn't agree more! Although some people just don't seem to get languages.

I get the impression that language courses at uni are often undersubscribed, and there don't seem to be that many multilingual British people, which is all good for those who do it!
0
quote
reply
wes
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#11
Report 9 years ago
#11
The English education system actively discourages polyglotism.

I think the reaction splits two ways :
  • Wow that's so hard, I was **** at French in school
  • But couldn't you just go to {insert country} for a few weeks and come back fluent
Neither of them is a particularly good response, but the latter shows a delightful naïvété.
0
quote
reply
Ciel Noir
Badges: 0
#12
Report 9 years ago
#12
(Original post by wes)
The English education system actively discourages polyglotism.

I think the reaction splits two ways :
  • Wow that's so hard, I was **** at French in school
  • But couldn't you just go to {insert country} for a few weeks and come back fluent
Neither of them is a particularly good response, but the latter shows a delightful naïvété.
Hehe, yeah. I can't count the amount of times I've been asked "Are you fluent yet?" After two years of French A level? I don't think so!

But beyond our education system, I think it's fair to say in our culture there's a sort of "Everyone speaks a bit of English, why bother learning other languages?" attitude that isn't shared by the rest of Europe.
0
quote
reply
wes
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#13
Report 9 years ago
#13
(Original post by Ciel Noir)
Hehe, yeah. I can't count the amount of times I've been asked "Are you fluent yet?" After two years of French A level? I don't think so!

But beyond our education system, I think it's fair to say in our culture there's a sort of "Everyone speaks a bit of English, why bother learning other languages?" attitude that isn't shared by the rest of Europe.
It's true, but you get the same attitude to a large extent in the more influential Romance countries - the French (especially), Italians and Spanish aren't really any better. I don't know about Italy and Spain, but the French education system is still far more pro-language than the British ones (I believe there are now towns in the UK where you *can't* do a language GCSE/A level :s:).
0
quote
reply
Anatheme
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#14
Report 9 years ago
#14
(Original post by wes)
It's true, but you get the same attitude to a large extent in the more influential Romance countries - the French (especially), Italians and Spanish aren't really any better. I don't know about Italy and Spain, but the French education system is still far more pro-language than the British ones (I believe there are now towns in the UK where you *can't* do a language GCSE/A level :s:).
I'm pretty confident in saying that Italian are worse than us at learning languages. Spanish aren't much better either, at least, we have two compulsory languages in our syllabus, and if you make efforts, you can end up being at least quite good at them (or so I like to think)
0
quote
reply
wes
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#15
Report 9 years ago
#15
(Original post by Anatheme)
I'm pretty confident in saying that Italian are worse than us at learning languages. Spanish aren't much better either, at least, we have two compulsory languages in our syllabus, and if you make efforts, you can end up being at least quite good at them (or so I like to think)
Yeah, I don't know enough Italians to make the judgement really :p: but I don't think there's a huge amount in it. The main problem in France is the attitude to it, really, which is pretty similar to that of the English (certainly from what I've seen teaching here...most people just don't make that effort).
0
quote
reply
Anatheme
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#16
Report 9 years ago
#16
(Original post by wes)
Yeah, I don't know enough Italians to make the judgement really :p: but I don't think there's a huge amount in it. The main problem in France is the attitude to it, really, which is pretty similar to that of the English (certainly from what I've seen teaching here...most people just don't make that effort).
I think that's down to the fact that we have a stupid number of compulsory subjects and no-one really bothers with languages because it's not the kind of subject for which you can't just learn anything by heart so they'll think that if they're not good, why bother making efforts, nothing's gonna change quickly. And I also think most people doing Spanish will end up being better at it than English because the language is closer to French and I think they prefer the country in general. The thing is they don't make any efforts in English, but they'll have to put up with it until the very end of their studies (I'm pretty sure you have English in most degrees), and eventually, they'll realise how important for them it is to speak English (since not everyone will speak French) and they start making efforts for it. I had the chance to study 5 languages and I kind of regret I didn't make much efforts for most of them, but I had other subjects more important at the time and I needed my time for these subjects.
0
quote
reply
wes
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#17
Report 9 years ago
#17
(Original post by Anatheme)
I think that's down to the fact that we have a stupid number of compulsory subjects and no-one really bothers with languages because it's not the kind of subject for which you can't just learn anything by heart so they'll think that if they're not good, why bother making efforts, nothing's gonna change quickly. And I also think most people doing Spanish will end up being better at it than English because the language is closer to French and I think they prefer the country in general. The thing is they don't make any efforts in English, but they'll have to put up with it until the very end of their studies (I'm pretty sure you have English in most degrees), and eventually, they'll realise how important for them it is to speak English (since not everyone will speak French) and they start making efforts for it. I had the chance to study 5 languages and I kind of regret I didn't make much efforts for most of them, but I had other subjects more important at the time and I needed my time for these subjects.
Hmm, maybe. I'd be inclined to say they probably wouldn't care anyway...

I think you're a terrible example, though, because you're a linguist and whatever you say, you're a very good one. i think it's more a complete lack of caring than about finding time to do anything.
0
quote
reply
Ciel Noir
Badges: 0
#18
Report 9 years ago
#18
(Original post by wes)
Hmm, maybe. I'd be inclined to say they probably wouldn't care anyway...

I think you're a terrible example, though, because you're a linguist and whatever you say, you're a very good one. i think it's more a complete lack of caring than about finding time to do anything.
All of which means language degrees aren't all that popular, so if you do one it's likely to be respected, right? =)
0
quote
reply
wes
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#19
Report 9 years ago
#19
I dunno, I've become more and more disenchanted about it all over the last two years, really. But I'm in a different environment which probably explains it.
0
quote
reply
yellowwdaisy
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#20
Report 9 years ago
#20
(Original post by wes)
The English education system actively discourages polyglotism.

I think the reaction splits two ways :
  • Wow that's so hard, I was **** at French in school[*]But couldn't you just go to {insert country} for a few weeks and come back fluent
Neither of them is a particularly good response, but the latter shows a delightful naïvété.
could I please pick you up on this- I would like to know your opinion- bc I've always wanted to do mml at uni and thought I *understood* 'languages' as an academic subject- but since I've spent some months learning french and german in france and germany, I've started to lean towards that point of view- (but replace 'years' with 'weeks')- clearly you need to live in a country and study the language in some capacity (including in a good language school)- but what do you think is the advantage of studying it? Im starting to question the sense of spending time at university in grammar/language classes (because they aren't in my experience as academically rigorous as say, natsci, history or english lit). I don't know whether this is because I've not really had any good teaching or whether I am losing interest in languages and am now actually interested in literature instead

in any case- I think my disillusionment at finding out I would not be *fluent* after 5 months (+A-grade a-level).
0
quote
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Buckingham
    Psychology Taster Tutorial Undergraduate
    Fri, 14 Dec '18
  • University of Lincoln
    Mini Open Day at the Brayford Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 19 Dec '18
  • University of East Anglia
    UEA Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 4 Jan '19

Were you ever put in isolation at school?

Yes (91)
26%
No (259)
74%

Watched Threads

View All