If you are thinking about studying linguistics, you probably already know something about the field of linguistics. However, it can be difficult to respond to people who ask you, “What exactly is linguistics and what does a linguist do?” You can assume that you speak many languages and you might be right: you can actually be a polyglot! But while many linguists speak multiple languages, or at least know something about multiple languages, studying linguistics means a lot more.
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Many topics fall under this umbrella. The focus of linguistics is the understanding of the unconscious human knowledge of the language, how children acquire language, the structure of language in general and language in particular, how languages differ, how language influences the way we interact with one another and think about the world.
Linguistics majors can look forward to introductory courses in linguistics and analysis, as well as courses in core areas such as phonology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and language acquisition. such as psychology, cognitive science, computer science, anthropology, philosophy, foreign language, and English.
Students may need to complete a thesis or project as part of their curriculum. Some programs also encourage study abroad so that students can analyze a language in a specific context. Most courses simply refer to the specialization as just “Linguistics”, although some courses include additional studies with specializations such as “Comparative Languages and Linguistics”. Students may need to research various programs to find the one that works best.
What to Expect from a Linguistics Degree
The wide range of linguistics degrees available means learning about language in a variety of different disciplines in order to understand how language works. You can use humanities disciplines such as modern languages to explore the differences and relationships between related and unrelated languages, history to track the evolution of language over time, or philosophy to familiarize yourself with concepts of meaning. Its main use is the interaction between them.
So, to study linguistics, you need to have a multidisciplinary brain and be open to learning new things in different ways. If you decide to study linguistics, you will have a wide range of specialist professions open to you after graduation.
In the first year of your linguistics degree, you will deal with semantics and phonetics, among other things. These core areas are often largely conveyed through lectures as a series of introductory modules, which saves later years of study to specialize in individual areas of interest.
This specialization will vary from institute to institute. However, working in linguistics programs is more than just essay writing and some universities challenge students to do reports, data analysis, presentations, group and individual projects, research papers, and dissertations.
For a more hands-on job, your degree may include using laboratory equipment and researching real scientific methods to understand how we physically make sound and how the brain processes language.
What a Linguistics Program Teaches You
Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of morphology, syntax, phonetics, and semantics. Linguistics programs in Canada and the United States, in general, allow you to explore different areas of linguistics and investigate interests. such as:
- How language is acquired, both in childhood and adulthood
- The structural properties of languages
- How language is processed in the brain and mind
- How people produce and receive language
- How languages change over time
- How Similar and different world languages are.
To research these topics, the study of linguistics draws on methods and knowledge from a wide range of scientific subjects such as biology, psychology, sociology, engineering, and physics.
By using this knowledge and methods, you can do tasks as diverse as pondering a medieval text to find evidence of how English grammar has changed over time, or to learn how the larynx produces sound energy, speech.
Linguistics as a whole differs from studying a particular language in that it provides terminology and techniques for understanding the structure of each language. For example, by studying phonetics and phonology, you will learn how to make a variety of sounds and a general way of categorizing the sounds of language.
Skills that can be acquired for relevant professions
By studying in this area, you will acquire subject-specific skills. These skills relate to professions directly related to your studies and include:
- Ability to construct abstract grammatical models
- Ability to create and test alternative hypotheses
- Familiarity with a variety of languages
- In-depth knowledge of language structures
- Easy handling of linguistic data, regardless of the respective language
How much does a linguist earn?
As of September 30, 2021, the average annual salary for a linguist in the United States is $ 70,704 per year; In case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to around $33.99 an hour. This equates to $1,360 / week or $5,892/month.
Salaries for linguists currently range between $ 43,000 (25th percentile) and $ 94,000 (75th percentile), with the highest earnings (90,000 – 108,500 per year in the United States. The average salary range for a linguist varies widely (up to $ 51,000), suggesting that there can be many advancements and salary opportunities depending on skill level, location, and years.
What can I do with a degree in linguistics?
The field of linguistics is extremely diverse and overlaps, among others, with many areas such as anthropology, computer science, engineering, foreign language studies, neurology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and the sciences of speaking and hearing. Hence, studying linguistics can lay the foundation for a wide variety of professions and careers (see some examples below).
Studying linguistics will help you develop many important skills such as analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, etc. Data collection and analysis as well as written and oral expression.
As a linguistics student, you will get to know many languages and cultures and develop intercultural skills. Each of these skills is useful in many professions that might otherwise not seem linguistic. Below is a listing of some of the career paths graduates with a BA in Linguistics has pursued:
- Teaching Languages
- Teaching Foreign Languages
- Teaching English as a Second Language
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- Teaching English as a First Language
- Teaching Literacy Classes
- Information Technology
- Natural Language
- Processing Speech Recognition
- Speech Synthesis
- Linguistic Data Analyst
- Editorial editor (for a publisher that works with government or educational documents)
- Lexicographer (e.g. for MerriamWebster)
- Technical writer
- Translator/editor for the language services industry
- Interpreter (in person or remotely)
- Subtitle text
- Speech therapist Coach
- University professor (combination of research, teaching, and service)
- Various librarians
- Civil servants of foreign unskilled workers
- Computer programmer
- Missionary marketing
Linguistics Career Opportunities
The Linguistic Society of America lists several potential career paths for students with a formal education in linguistics:
Lexicography: Language advisors serve on the advisory boards of dictionary publishers. Lexicographers must be proficient in phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.
Publishing: Linguists can find work in the publishing industry, as technical writers or journalists. The verbal skills that linguists develop are ideal for positions in writing, editing, and publishing.
Information technology: In linguistics education, you can acquire language skills in speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer-aided language learning.
Test design: Linguists can work for agencies, where you prepare and evaluate standardized tests and research evaluation questions and also offers specialist knowledge for lawyers or medical professionals.
Linguistics consulting: The sub-area of forensic linguistics includes the study of the language of legal texts, the linguistic aspects of evidence, voice identification problems, and other subject areas.
Government agencies: Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and city police departments, law firms, and the courts, employ linguists for these purposes. Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and other federal and state agencies.
Forensic Linguist: Forensic linguists perform language analysis of emergency calls, suicide letters, threat communications, and social media during legal proceedings for law firms, the police, and/or the government to help solve crimes. As forensic linguists, they include trademark litigation, author identification, and language analysis of asylum seekers. Forensic linguists who work with the CIA or the FBI in the United States work on national security issues. Governments may have to work a little more irregularly.
Translation and Interpreting: From government to hospitals to courts of law, trained translators and interpreters are needed everywhere. A high degree of mastery of the syntax and subtleties of various languages is required, for which the study of linguistics provides a foundation. Analyzing and preserving languages (many of which are critically endangered) Some organizations engage in field research related to language.
Translation job: When doing translation work, you are expected to produce 2,000 to 3,000 words a day. Your typical day includes communicating with customers, consulting specialized dictionaries, and using reference books to find accurate translations for the industry jargon. Typically, you will be expected to specialize in one area (e.g. business, education, law, literature, or science).
Advertising and marketing: Some advertising agencies and corporate marketing departments do extensive and sophisticated linguistic research on the associations people make with sounds and types of sounds and the type of formulation that would appeal to potential consumers.
Computational Linguist in Technology Industry Work: As an interdisciplinary field that combines computational linguistics and rule-based natural language modelling, computational linguistics can solve problems in many areas including artificial intelligence, machine translation, natural language interfaces, document processing, grammar and style checking, and computational. learn languages
Places of work
There are numerous places a linguist can work. Some of them include:
- Consulting firms
- Primary and secondary schools
- State services: – Investigative authorities – Ministry of Defense, etc.
- International organizations
- Language institutes
- Media houses
- Publishing houses
- Research institutions
- Language rehabilitation centers
- Sign language cells Universities and colleges
Where to study and How To Get Admission
Almost all central universities offer research programs (Masters/Ph.D) in linguistics. Admission to the entrance test at these universities is the degree in any modality. If you are interested in starting your studies in other parts of the world, linguistics is offered at almost all renowned universities and colleges from graduation onwards. You can obtain detailed information on the international program from interested colleges/universities.
Linguistics is the study of language and its use. Many professions in linguistics offer exciting opportunities to learn about different patterns and concepts in language that influence its use around the world. You can be successful in a linguistics profession if you have an interest in languages and want to study the scientific aspects of language.