Have you ever wondered:

  • Why we say "teeth" instead of "tooths"? 

  • How we can read the hieroglyphics written thousands of years ago?  

  • Why do we have so many different languages in the world?

  • How Google Translate works?

Linguistics is a field that can answer all these questions and more about language! 

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What Is A Linguist?

how_,many_languages

Many people think a linguist is a person who speaks several languages. While many linguists can speak several languages, it's not the focus of linguistics.

Linguistics is the scientific study of languages.

A linguist is someone who studies different aspects of a language in a scientific way.

What Exactly Does A Linguist Do?

friends_think What my friends think I do

mother_thinks What my mother thinks I do

society_thinks What society thinks I do

I_think What I think I do

A linguist does all of these and more! It depends on your interests and what aspect of linguistics you want to focus on.

For example...

arrival_human

Okay, maybe that one is not possible yet.

The hero of the movie Arrival is a linguist who finds a way to communicate with aliens. She uses linguistics to decipher the complex way the extraterrestrial visitors write, thus figuring out what they want and saving the entire planet!

This sci-fi movie explores linguistic concepts accurately, such as how language shapes our thoughts and understanding of the world.

What Can I Do With A Linguistics Degree?

The skills you develop in a linguistics program help you prepare for a career in many different fields, including education, writing, and translation. The most common jobs are:

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Professor and Researcher

You can work at university departments such as linguistics, speech and communication, and anthropology.

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Translator and Interpreter

Are you fluent in at least two languages? You can be a professional translator or interpreter!

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Language Teacher

You can teach foreign languages to native English speakers or teach English as a foreign language!

Specialized Jobs

There are also specialized jobs that you can do with your linguistics degree. For example:

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Lexicographer

Record the developments in a language; write, compile, and edit online and print dictionaries!

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Forensic Linguist

Apply your knowledge of linguistics on written or recorded documents to help solve crimes!

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Computational Linguist

Find ways to teach computers how to understand and mimic human language!

Quiz

Which of these places could benefit from hiring a linguist?

But Will It Pay The Bills?

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In the U.S. the average salary for linguists is $73,000 USD .

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In Canada, the average salary for linguists is $57,000 CAD

You'll Love It If...

  • You enjoy learning about languages, including dead ones.

  • You are passionate about different cultures.

  • You enjoy working on itty bitty details.

  • You are curious about how the brain works.

  • You have a passion for technology.

  • And you love reading: lots of it.

Quiz

Does analyzing a single word for hours sound like something you'd enjoy doing?

Take Action

Does it sound like linguistics could be a good path for you? If so...

Star Wars Yoda

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This Byte has been authored by

IS

Inci Sariz Bilge

Learning Experience Designer