Language term papers

What is Language?

According to the definition of language is “a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition; communication by voice in the distinctively human manner, using arbitrary sounds in conventional ways with conventional meanings; speech.”  Language includes body language, sign language, written language and verbal communication among others.  The scientific study of language by humans is referred to as linguistics.  There are thousands of languages spoken around the globe, some more well known than others.


The Basics of Studying Language

As mentioned above, the scientific study of language is called linguistics.  However, when speaking about the academic study of language, linguistics and language are two different areas of study.  At the university level, the study of language can include the in depth study of any foreign language offered by that particular educational institution.  Primarily studied languages at the university level include Spanish, French, German, and Italian, although the study of Middle Eastern languages and Asian languages such as Mandarin are quickly on the rise.


Majoring or Minoring in Language

Depending on the educational institution chosen for language study, a student may pursue a language degree through either an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral program.  In an undergraduate program, a student can choose to pursue language as either a major, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language, or a minor while obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree for a different major.  In a graduate program, a student can obtain a Master’s Degree in Foreign Language and in a Doctoral program a student can seek to obtain his/her Ph.D.  Many foreign language programs also offer student the opportunity to major in two different languages at part of their curriculum.


Career Opportunities for Language Majors

 A degree in language is what is known as a liberal arts degree.  As with most liberal arts degrees, a language major (also known as foreign language major) may select from a wide variety of careers since the knowledge gained throughout their college career is applicable in many popular fields.  The careers available to a language major may vary depending on the language an individual chose to study.  However, some popular careers for language majors are in the field of business, communications, education, government services, humanities and arts, sciences, technology, and travel services.  Careers in these fields include: importer/exporter, banking and finance, journalist, international interpreter, translator, foreign correspondent, teacher or college professor, tutor, ESL teacher, diplomat, social worker, historian, travel writer, linguist, field researcher, archivist, software designer or tester, web developer, software consultant, technical writer, tour guide, foreign travel advisor or travel agent, or hotel management just to name a few.      

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