Today we hear from Lucas Jensen, a current undergraduate student who is working on completing a major in Linguistics.
Can you tell us how you decided to become a linguistics major?
I decided to become a linguistics major because I have always been interested in language. Ever since I was little, I have thought about how people could communicate in other ways than English and what kinds of associations and perceptions people have created based on their own native language.
Could you tell us a bit about your experience studying linguistics
at the University of Oregon?
I have studied linguistics for about three years. I declared the major as soon as I started here at the University of Oregon. It is more challenging than I had expected it to be and there are a lot of concepts I’m still trying to grasp especially in phonology. I’m currently enrolled in sociolinguistics right now, and it is one of my favorite classes because we can truly see the relationship between how someone speaks and what backgrounds influence the way they speak (ex: family, culture, gender,etc..).
Do you have any thoughts about how linguistics might feature in
your personal or professional life after you graduate?
In the future I want to work as a Japanese and English translator. I think linguistics fits into that line of work because it is important to know not only the structure of how your native language works, but how other languages are structured as well. This is especially applicable for if I decide to become a teacher later on in life, or if I need to explain grammar structures as part of a job.
Can you talk about any other stuff you’ve done at the UO that has
complemented your major in linguistics?
Currently I am the only Japanese tutor that works for the Teaching Learning Center on campus. My job is to explain to first and second year students how Japanese grammar is structured. My Japanese teachers recommended me for this job not only for my proficiency level in Japanese, but for my linguistic background which in turn helped me get this job.