There’s no denying that my degree is unusual. The combination of languages is a strange one, which usually evokes a surprised or confused reaction. Of the languages offered at Bristol, I couldn’t have chosen two that contrast more. Russian, with its Slavic roots, aspectual verb pairs and approximately 57 different words meaning ‘to go’, has very few similarities with Portuguese, a plethora of subjunctive constructions and complex tenses.
English is the world’s most global language. The reach of the English language all over the world is incomparable. Yes, speakers of Mandarin thoroughly outnumber Anglophones, but the significance of English can be felt everywhere, from a quiet Uruguayan seaside town all the way to a bustling hostel in Nanjing. Taking this into account, why would a native English speaker want to learn other languages?