My name is Joanne and I’m a graduate of BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics. I’m currently in the process of applying for work and looking to apply for a master’s degree in Phonetics or Speech and Language Sciences.
What one thing (piece of art, writing, design, music, historical event etc) inspired you to do what you do now?
From a young age I was always interested in other languages and cultures, and I didn’t know that linguistics was a domain which specialises in that.
One of the first languages I was interested in learning was Japanese, I was amazed by the way the language sounded to me and the fact that they use different written alphabets. It really inspired me to want to speak another language because I really wanted to be able see what it would be like to think and to dream in a different perspective. I think that learning a language opens up many more doors for you.
What’s the most valuable thing you took away from education?
The knowledge that I gained about linguistics. A lot of times, when I have told people that I study linguistics, they assumed that I knew a lot of languages. But from studying linguistics myself it’s more than just learning about languages - it’s about language itself: the sounds; the way we pronounce words; the way sentences are put together; and so much more. Linguistics can be explained as the scientific study of language.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
To just believe in myself more and to be brave to take on new challenges. I would always hold myself back when trying new things because I thought that I would never be good enough. Thus, I missed out on a lot of opportunities when I was younger. I definitely think to myself sometimes that ‘I wish that I had done this or that’ and that I would have gotten to where I wanted to be quicker. But I have realised that at the end of the day if I hadn’t taken the path that I did now, I would never have realised those things in the first place.
So, I want to stress that believing in yourself is really important to enable you to keep yourself going and achieving what you want to do.
What is your favourite thing about studying in Cambridge, and what did you discover about the city that you didn’t know before?
I enjoyed meeting new people and the new environment. I came from a small costal town in the UK, and Cambridge is vastly different. It was really exciting to be independent from home and to be able to go out and mingle with others from different parts of the UK as well as the world.
Something I didn’t know about Cambridge is that it is well known for punting, and to this day I still have never tried it, but I’ve heard it is a great experience!
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m not working on any projects at the moment. I took a break after graduating but I’m looking to teach myself the Dutch language and continue with my progress in learning Python.