Notes: MSc in Psychology and German student and part-time racing driver
My name is Josh Martin and I'm a student at Dundee University studying MSc in Psychology and German. I'm also a keen racing driver in my spare time.
What sparked your interest in languages and which languages do you speak?
With the development of technology, in particularly social media for example, it's very easy to connect with people from all over the globe. Despite this, not a lot of people have learnt how to talk foreign languages and so one of the many reasons I speak/study German is because I think that it really benefits me in communicating with people.
Why did you choose to study languages as part of your course?
Like I said, with the expansion of technology we now have the opportunity to work anywhere in the world - from Australia to Antarctica and anywhere in between. Studying German not only allows me to apply for jobs in the UK, but it also allows me to apply for jobs in Germany, Austria and other German speaking countries. It's a bit of a cliché and something I heard a lot as a kid growing up / studying at school but it really does help if you have the ability to speak a foreign language and it does help increase your job prospects.
Also as an undergraduate psychologist, part of what we study is Psycholinguistics - and many of the words and terms and phrases that we look at derive from German or Central European languages - so being able to recognise those foreign words benefits me in the classroom as I simply have less work to do because I already understand how to interpret these phrases in their native environment.
What message would you give to another young person who is considering learning a language as part of their studies?
The primary message that I would give to a young person who is considering learning a language is don't be afraid to sample or try all the different languages out there on offer. I've chosen German, but I also studied French and Spanish whilst at school. It just so happened to be that German which was the language that I enjoyed most and so I would really recommend that you make use of all opportunities currently available in school, in your local area or online to see what languages stand out to you. It is also important to realise that this doesn't just simply happen overnight and so you do have to commit quite a bit of work to making sure that you can understand all the key aspects of language – things that are worthwhile take time.
Saying that, it is still a very enjoyable experience and I would recommend it to anybody. I will continue to study languages right through my professional career and adult life. You don't necessarily have to learn a language for a job, but even if you're going on holiday it really does help to be able to understand the signs, the people and if you have any issues a native language allows you to communicate clearly...
What are your future career aspirations and how might languages help you?
For me my future career aspirations are competing as a professional Motorsports pilot. It is very important for me to be able to communicate with people, whether that be fans, business partners, or the media. Languages help me as Germany is my second biggest fan base and so being able to communicate with fans there allows me to meet new and exciting people. The other big aspect is it allowed me to communicate with partners and potential partners to create business and sponsorship deals. The other reason why languages help is because after I have finished with my career it gives me more options of places to stay once I'm retired and enjoying life.
Find out more about Josh on his website.
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