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Kassia

Is there a major/career for this?

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My dd loves learning languages and teaching, translating, analyzing, etc.  But she is an extreme introvert with social anxiety and absolutely does not want to teach.  She is strong in math and writing as well, but languages have been a passion for her in the past few years.  Is there anything she can use her interest/talents for in a career?  I'm not sure how to guide her.  Her Spanish professor recommended data analysis for her because of her math/writing skills and we were thinking of computer science with the intent of going into computational linguistics but she doesn't seem excited about any of that.  She's only a high school sophomore but we are starting with the college search and she is frustrated by not having any idea of a major.  

 

 

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International tax.  :)  That's what I did with those same strengths, interests, and personality.

 

Other ideas I considered / toyed with - immigration law, accounting or other business activities for a global company, writing kids' books.

Edited by SKL
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Linguistics?

 

It seems like the obvious choice for her but she's not interested in big chunks of the major requirements (for example, speech and language acquisition, phonetics, etc.).  On the other hand, she's very interested in other parts of the major such as how languages differ from each other, syntax, morphology, etc.  I will have to look at linguistics more closely with her.  Also, I'm not sure what careers are available to her with this major if she doesn't want to teach.  That's why I was thinking of computational linguistics.  

 

 

 

International tax.  :)  That's what I did with those same strengths, interests, and personality.

 

Other ideas I considered / toyed with - immigration law, accounting or other business activities for a global company, writing kids' books.

 

Thank you!  

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Analyst for the State Dept. or other Federal level government agencies is also a possibility. You have to have strong writing and analytical skills in addition to the simple translation mechanics, which sounds like something she’s strong in.

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It seems like the obvious choice for her but she's not interested in big chunks of the major requirements (for example, speech and language acquisition, phonetics, etc.).  On the other hand, she's very interested in other parts of the major such as how languages differ from each other, syntax, morphology, etc.  I will have to look at linguistics more closely with her.  Also, I'm not sure what careers are available to her with this major if she doesn't want to teach.  That's why I was thinking of computational linguistics.  

 

Look into different programs.  Language acquisition isn't necessarily part of the major - some are more practical, some more theoretical.

 

My dd is currently doing Linguistics - her program just got bumped up to #2, above Harvard, below MIT, but it's at a public U, so less $ and way easier to get into. :)  They also have a ton of interdisciplinary majors with Linguistics, which decreases the number of pure Linguistics courses and mixes with others.  She's actually doing Linguistics and Philosophy; she's taking a computational linguistics course next semester, we'll see if she likes that or not.  But they also have Linguistics and Anthropology or Psychology, or your choice of Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian.  Anyway, it gives a lot of latitude.  My dd is loving her classes.  The Philosophy classes that go with the interdisciplinary major are all Logic-based; if your dd likes math, she might like those too.

Edited by Matryoshka
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Look into different programs.  Language acquisition isn't necessarily part of the major - some are more practical, some more theoretical.

 

My dd is currently doing Linguistics - her program just got bumped up to #2, above Harvard, below MIT, but it's at a public U, so less $ and way easier to get into. :)  They also have a ton of interdisciplinary majors with Linguistics, which decreases the number of pure Linguistics courses and mixes with others.  She's actually doing Linguistics and Philosophy; she's taking a computational linguistics course next semester, we'll see if she likes that or not.  But they also have Linguistics and Anthropology or Psychology, or your choice of Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian.  Anyway, it gives a lot of latitude.  My dd is loving her classes.  The Philosophy classes that go with the interdisciplinary major are all Logic-based; if your dd likes math, she might like those too.

 

Thank you!  Would you mind sharing what school your dd is attending - you can pm me if you don't want to post.  

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Did you post this once before?  I'm having a deja vu moment.  I used to work for a software company that contracted out software translation.  The translators had language and technical skills.  Large software companies hire staff onsite to do translation and often release software in many languages.  I think comp sci and a foreign language double major could be a great niche combo and open some doors.

 

That said, I also think it's perfectly fine to be undecided.  A huge percentage of kids change their majors after having one anyway.  She might discover more after she takes some general eds.  Looking at liberal arts schools with a wide range of options may be a good starting point. 

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Did you post this once before? 

 

Oh, gosh...I hope not, but it's possible!  If I did, I apologize!  This just seems so complicated and I want her to be happy.  When I hear her talking about languages I see so much passion, talent, and knowledge that I want her to be able to apply that to a career.  Her other academic strengths don't make her heart sing like languages do.  

 

I'm going to check my content and see if I posted this before.  

 

Thanks for your reply! 

 

 

ETA:  I don't see that I posted this before, but I could be missing it.  

Edited by Kassia
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Thank you! Would you mind sharing what school your dd is attending - you can pm me if you don't want to post.

UMass Amherst.

 

Just saw this the other day about their Linguistics program rating. :)

 

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-linguistics-department-moves

 

They also have a lot of breadth and depth in their language offerings. Dd is also planning to minor in Catalán.

Edited by Matryoshka

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UMass Amherst.

 

Just saw this the other day about their Linguistics program rating. :)

 

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-linguistics-department-moves

 

They also have a lot of breadth and depth in their language offerings. Dd is also planning to minor in Catalán.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

I know a person who is somewhat similar - bilingual, analytical, excellent writer, introvert. He was a technical writer for a huge tech company.

 

Do you know what he majored in?  

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Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Do you know what he majored in?

His major was a foreign language, Chinese, so I’m not even sure how he was able to translate tech but he did. These days I would think at least a minor in CS would be more helpful. My friend started in the tech industry before there was wide use of the internet, before Google and Facebook.

 

I'm really glad you posted your question since DD loves languages and is good in math, and now I’m learning about a field that I never even knew before, computational linguistics.

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Do you know what he majored in?

  

A girlfriend who works as a technical writer for Fuji Xerox has a Chemistry PhD and is multilingual. She was also a freelance lecturer at a university on weekends. I did oil rig tenders translation from traditional Chinese to English as an engineering intern just because I am fluent enough in both.

 

I'm really glad you posted your question since DD loves languages and is good in math, and now I’m learning about a field that I never even knew before, computational linguistics.

Have her check out North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad http://nacloweb.org
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Localization. I know of somebody who is in high demand solely because of her native ability in a non common language. She works for Apple and has never had a computer class.

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International tax. :) That's what I did with those same strengths, interests, and personality.

 

Other ideas I considered / toyed with - immigration law, accounting or other business activities for a global company, writing kids' books.

German major turned tax attorney here. All because I once met a Russian major who became a tax attorney. It’s totally a thing. (I’m not specifically international tax, but that’s really cool too.)

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I find it so interesting that so many are saying taxes. My language loving Dd who is incredibly strong in math but has never really enjoyed it is loving her accounting classes. She entered college thinking she would pursue work with NGOs doing microfinance work in 3rd world countries, but now she is really torn bc she is feeling pulled toward combining accounting and foreign language instead of finance.

 

I wouldn't have connected her strengths toward accounting, but it doesn't seem unusual based on the posts in this thread.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I find it so interesting that so many are saying taxes. My language loving Dd who is incredibly strong in math but has never really enjoyed it is loving her accounting classes. She entered college thinking she would pursue work with NGOs doing microfinance work in 3rd world countries, but now she is really torn bc she is filling pulled toward combining accounting and foreign language instead of finance.

 

I wouldn't have connected her strengths toward accounting, but it doesn't seem unusual based on the posts in this thread.

 

Very interesting!  

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I find it so interesting that so many are saying taxes. My language loving Dd who is incredibly strong in math but has never really enjoyed it is loving her accounting classes. She entered college thinking she would pursue work with NGOs doing microfinance work in 3rd world countries, but now she is really torn bc she is filling pulled toward combining accounting and foreign language instead of finance.

 

I wouldn't have connected her strengths toward accounting, but it doesn't seem unusual based on the posts in this thread.

My younger is thinking of tax accounting while older has law as a choice. The logic aspect thrills them about math, accounting and law.

 

ETA:

I do have quite a few auditors among my paternal relatives.

Edited by Arcadia
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It might have been one of my posts that sounds familiar to this one as I, too, have a kid who loves languages - and she considers math one of her favorite 'foreign' languages.

 

She's considering a double major of math and Spanish (with a double minor?) or some combination of language and mathematics. I asked about this several months ago.

 

My DD took a linguistics class first semester (OnlineG3) and didn't enjoy it enough to think she'd want to major in it. She hasn't been drawn to Economics and hasn't taken a programming class yet. So, really, she'll have a lot of exploring to do when she gets to college.

 

She loves mysteries, so I pointed out international forensic accounting (forensic finance, lots of names for this). She isn't interested in mom's suggestions, though, so I stopped suggesting.

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 She hasn't been drawn to Economics and hasn't taken a programming class yet. So, really, she'll have a lot of exploring to do when she gets to college.

 

She loves mysteries, so I pointed out international forensic accounting (forensic finance, lots of names for this). She isn't interested in mom's suggestions, though, so I stopped suggesting.

 

We're in the same situation.  I think dd has a lot of exploring to do.  She is thinking of something in computer science but she has no experience with computers yet.  I definitely want her to try out different subjects so she has a better idea of what she likes and doesn't like, and I'm hoping something clicks.  She's taking statistics now and likes it, but there's no spark there.  

 

I'll be interested to see what your dd ends up doing since she's a year ahead of mine.  

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I'll be interested to see what your dd ends up doing since she's a year ahead of mine.

I should note that mine is now a good writer but dislikes writing with a passion, so some of the things that have been proposed for yours would be an awful fit for mine. And mine, while shy, might not mind a job doing translations or foreign policy or . . . Who knows.

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It would not be linguistics. Linguistics is more associated with language acquisition and phonetics and so on. I believe Middlebury and a small handful of schools have a major in actual languages There is also a language training institute for working in the military with this sort of thing, for after college. 

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It would not be linguistics. Linguistics is more associated with language acquisition and phonetics and so on. I believe Middlebury and a small handful of schools have a major in actual languages There is also a language training institute for working in the military with this sort of thing, for after college.

That sounds more like you're talking the kind of linguistics for speech language pathologists or special ed that's more applied. There are lots of other branches of Linguistics - psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, comparative linguistics, historical linguistics, semanics, syntax (in lots of languages other than English) etc.

 

My language girl is loving Linguistics. She's fluent in German, Spanish and Catalán, and has also studied Arabic, Icelandic and Dutch, so she does love languages; studying linguistics allows her to study them at a deeper level.

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I find it so interesting that so many are saying taxes. My language loving Dd who is incredibly strong in math but has never really enjoyed it is loving her accounting classes. She entered college thinking she would pursue work with NGOs doing microfinance work in 3rd world countries, but now she is really torn bc she is feeling pulled toward combining accounting and foreign language instead of finance.

 

I wouldn't have connected her strengths toward accounting, but it doesn't seem unusual based on the posts in this thread.

 

I never would have thought of an accounting / tax career when I was young.  I wanted to teach dyslexic children.  But accounting turned out to be a natural fit.  My brain naturally tries to organize things, so it is not only easy but satisfying to balance those debits and credits etc.  Whoda thunk.

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I have a friend who has a PhD in computer science. His undergraduate majors were computer science and linguistics, and then he also has some certification in artificial intelligence. Right now he's working on improving voice recognition of certain difficult languages - so combining his linguistics background with computer science. He loves it!

 

I wish I had any kind of computer science background. It would open up so many doors. We need more women in comp sci! 

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