Tutorials are a rewarding way to share your ideas with a small group and engage in developing them further.
What do you enjoy the most about your course?
I think the best thing about the Oxford Modern Languages course is the variation!
We get to study a wide range of literary and philosophical texts, developing our analytical skills as well as learning about technique and how various contexts may have influenced them. The tutorials on these are a rewarding way to share your ideas with a small group and engage in developing them further through discussion.
“I have enjoyed treating translation as an art, rather than simply as a process for communication.”
On the other hand, the language instruction, including grammar, oral, and prose translation classes, requires a completely different mindset, and it is nice to be able to switch between the two different styles of work and skill sets. One thing I have particularly enjoyed about the course this term is the way that we have been treating translation as an art, rather than simply as a process for communication. To be able to manipulate the language and syntax to imitate the author’s original tone and style is truly a craft, and it has been fun bouncing suggestions for faithful translations off my peers during classes.
How is your subject taught?
Through grammar classes, oral classes, translation classes (both into and out of the target language), literature lectures and literature tutorials. The sort of work we are set can range from presentations to commentaries, essays, translations, grammar exercises and more!
What made you decide to apply for Oxford/Oriel and do you have any top tips on the application process?
I looked into the content of various different university courses and found that Modern Languages at Oxford interested me most due to its focus on literature and the incredible departmental resources! There is also the opportunity to study cinema too which was important to me when deciding.
In terms of tips for the application, I would recommend figuring out what each stage you are asked to complete is looking for and make a checklist of things you need to do to meet these.
Preparing in advance will make you a lot less stressed and so you will be able to enjoy the process more!
How did you prepare for your interview?
To prepare, I went over my personal statement, questioning the points I made, as well as reading criticism and researching context for the texts I discussed. I also practiced verbalising my thoughts and analysing unseen poems and prose passages.
“For a beginners’ language, it is useful if you can get to the root of why you first developed an interest in it.”
What advice do you have for prospective students interested in studying your subject?
I would say most importantly figure out if you like the literature in the language as well as why the cultures of various speakers of the language interest you and matter to you.
For a beginners’ language, it is useful if you can get to the root of why you first developed an interest in it. The tutors will not be expecting you to know any of the language or to have read any literature in the original, but some sort of engagement can be helpful in showing them that you genuinely have the enthusiasm to complete the course, which can be very intense as a beginner.
What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?
The community!!! People here are really lovely and there is a lot going on that you can get involved with!