Studying languages at university: an essential foundation for life

Oxford University student Aurora Dawson-Hunte responds to Belinda Parmar’s recent claims in the Guardian newspaper that people studying for language degrees are “wasting their time”. Aurora studies French and Russian, and has experience working in the French technology sector and Russian oil industry. She believes all of this is because of her choice of degree. Belinda Parmar is trying to encourage girls to get into …

Gender in language: what is it and what does it do?

One of the biggest problems that English speakers have when approaching foreign languages is getting their heads around why words suddenly have genders. After all, surely a table is just a table. How can it possibly be a he or a her? I have to say, it’s something that I’m not too sure about myself. I’m not sure where it …