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Modern Languages

Postby ildivo on Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:07 pm

Hey eveyone, I've just some offers in from St Andrews for modern langauges and i was jsut wonderin, in general, what the courses are like, what the language students are like.. etc Any inside info for span fren and italian would be really good!! thanks!
ildivo
 

Re:

Postby barbiedoll on Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:22 pm

i do spanish and french and its shit! spanish for beginners is really crap, cos everyone has done it before and it is really impossible!! french is alright just not the oral classes!! the oral dude is really scary and thee classes are pointless! plus first year lectures are at nine in the morning for french! makes it hard to follow!! especially if you have been out drinking the night before! and you dont get any dictionaries in the exam. oh and the texts are impossible to read and the poetry is shite! apart from that languages are great! hope that helps
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Re:

Postby sb1 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:16 pm

ok, i do french and beginner italian. i have to admit, barbiedoll made some valid points. the 9am thing isn't great but it frees up your afternoon and means you don't waste the day in bed...and usually encourages you to go to the rest of your lectures cos you're already up. french is generally ok, although a lot of it depends on who your language tutor is cos you have them at 9am on monday and that can make or break your week! (well in my opinion anyway...). the grammar was pretty pointless this term cos it was trying to bring everyone to the same level and i found that having done a-level, i'd done most of it. BUT i *loved* the poetry stuff and i love my lit tutor. he's great! oral classes are not fab...i have the bloke too...i think a lot of it depends on who else is in your class...

as far as beginner ital goes...well, it's hard work cos it goes off at a rate of notts! but i love it. we have (well in semester 1 anyway) one lecture a week entitled 'introduction to culture and literature' which is basically just dipping into history, culture and literature...no reading! and actually quite interesting.

good luck making your choice!
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Re:

Postby dd47 on Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:20 am

I did Spanish, Italian and Russian this year. Spanish was AWFUL. I did teh Intermediate module (I did it at higher but took a year out) I dunno, maybe its just because I was lacking in confidence but I REALLY hated it.

Italian iss really good my tutor was really nice and the lectures are quite interesting.

Russian is SUPERB (the language that is) its so cool learning a new alphabet n stuff. I'd totally reccommend it.
Hope I was useful!!
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Re:

Postby pinkymoo on Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:45 am

Hey there, i did french and spanish and beginners italian this year, adn i ahve to say that, although i love french (and that isn't just becasue of the cute guys) im growing to hate it because i think the department is shit. Sorry french people, but it really, really is....i mean i did advanced higher but it didnt prepare me at all for the stuff they "teach" you when i say teach they expect you to know it beforehand..and they arent't very good at placing people- ive been put in a class thats waaaaaaayyy too advanced for me.... not really much help when I HAVE MY FRENCH EXAM TOMORROW!!!!!

But you know, spanish is ok i suppose i mean you get the people who have lived in bloody spain half their life so they are fluent, then you get people like me who did higher and find it difficult..but i think the department in general is really good..

Italian is doss, its great, the teachers are really good i think, i would say this was the best department.

Sorry for such a boring post but you did ask and im trying to avoid studying....
Hope this helped, and hey, even if you dont do languages come anyway cos st andys uni is bloody great!
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Re:

Postby Bread Roll on Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:09 pm

The French department are an interesting bunch of people. However, there are a few really decent tutors in the dept. My lit tutors in 1st year were great. Anyway.

I enjoyed 2nd year French more than 1st year because of the linguistics bit but French history was a NIGHTMARE. Ask anyone. Just that the lecturer mumbled in french at us with no overheads and no coherent order for an hour and all I learned was that Waterloo was in 1815 and I didn't even write that in my exam (I put 1812. No idea why).

For the record, I really enjoyed beginners Spanish but that could be because we had Antonio who was a legend and I did it with one of my best friends so we worked together a lot and helped each other out. And also Dr. Will is fantastically amazing and great in my humble opinion. That said, I didn't continue it after 1st year because of French being 30 credits and all that.

But in general I'd say St. A is not too shabby for languages and the thing is that because of the way it works, you can start off with the intention of doing a French degree and end up with, say, a Medieavel History one without too many problems.

p.s. I hear the Italian department are lovely.
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Re:

Postby Peaches on Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:48 pm

I love Will Fowler.
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Re:

Postby sb1 on Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:12 pm

Dr Evans is TOTALLY the best lit tutor EVER!!!!!!!!!
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Re:

Postby pinkymoo on Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:04 am

I love will fowler. He is fucking ace. And don't you think that he looks like woody from toy story???If he had a hat and boots ooh hoe id die.....he he!!

Mmmmm...and alan rickman...ooh sorry nigel dennis he is soo funny...
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Re:

Postby Peaches on Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:07 pm

Get over it, WILL FOWLER IS MINE!!!

And Mmmmmm, Gustavo, he is so sweeeeeet... And Nigel, and his electric guitar... Anipa with his lectures on Ghanan tribal history and knickers... Bernard and the frogs... Letran and his wife...

It is by far the BESTEST DEPARTMENT OF THEM ALL!
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Re:

Postby Bread Roll on Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:11 pm

Go Will Fowler and Dr Evans!!!!
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Re:

Postby tintin on Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:48 pm

[s]Bread Roll wrote on 16:09, 19th Jan 2005:
The French department are an
interesting bunch of people.

I agree with you there!

p.s. I hear the Italian department are lovely.


They are, and if ever you get the chance to take a course with Ronnie Ferguson, take it, as he is one of the best tutors I have ever had.
tintin
 

2nd Year

Postby November Rain on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:02 pm

Hi :)

I study French, Italian and Linguistics and have had one semester's experience of German. From what I've heard from the people I know in Modern Languages, this is what I gather from most of the departments:

French - not popular, strange way of running things, HATE oral classes, 9am classes in first year not good, and kind of repetitive after A-Level >> I'm giving it up for Honours. Nuff said.

German - very well organised, first year language classes were pretty good, Lit. not bad, 2nd year seems to have lots of early classes...

Spanish - apparently well organised like German too, don't know about the rest of it

Russian - depends on your teacher in first year, one only likes to teach for about 20 mins, then you're really behind in 2nd year, fun otherwise

Italian - Yay! I really love the subject and I like the department, very friendly, very approachable :) Majoring in Italian as of next year :) Lit. is pretty good, and I usually can't stand literature....

Linguistics - not as organised as it could be, first year lecturers are pretty good - Lesley's really nice, subject matter's very interesting though :) Lots of debate.

Hope this helps :)
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Re:

Postby munchingfoo on Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:24 pm

What is so modern about languages?

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Re:

Postby Ashley on Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:47 pm

[s]munchingfoo wrote on 15:24, 20th Feb 2005:
What is so modern about languages?


Nothing. It's just to distinguish between modern, as in still spoken, languages and classical languages, which are still taught but are no longer spoken. At least that's what I think, as a modern language student:)

As for myself, I'm 3rd year French and Italian. Italian's a small department, very friendly and very nice. The French department are sometimes more idiosyncratic in their teaching methods but once you get the hang of how it works you should have no problems, neither the course or the tutors, who by and large are very nice.

I would admit that my French 1st year was nowhere near as good as my 2nd year (because it involved less interesting things) and by 3rd year, it seems even better. Now I can finally start specialising!
[i:1zn3ute4]Nobody ever mentions the weather can make or break your day[/i:1zn3ute4]
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Re:

Postby Bread Roll on Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:53 pm

[s]Ashley wrote on 15:47, 24th Feb 2005:
The French department are sometimes more idiosyncratic in their teaching methods but once you get the hang of how it works you should have no problems, neither the course or the tutors, who by and large are very nice.



But Dr. Carson and Dr. Culpin are a tad terrifying, you have to admit.



[hr]
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Re:

Postby tintin on Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:16 pm

Behind the Satan-like image he terrifies first years with he's a nice guy. You've just got to work hard for that respect. Though I know what you mean - I will never forget the first day of first year when he strode onto the stage...
tintin
 

Re:

Postby Guest on Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:09 pm

Anyone know anything about arabic? I just got an unconditional and am would want to do that as my 3rd module if i can....neways....
Guest
 

Re:

Postby jennyo on Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:03 am

I just finished a degree in Italian, and I can say that yes, it is a lovely department in general. Mostly, I think, because it's so small (only about 15 people in my senior honours), so you get to know everyone and feel more comfortable speaking in class, which is important for languages! The faculty are all great, too -- I second what someone said about Ronnie Ferguson being one of the best tutors ever.

On the other hand, the fact that it's a small department can feel kind of limiting, as far as what modules you want to take -- more than once I felt kind of railroaded into a particular module because it was the only one that fit my schedule, not that I particularly wanted to take it. But there are plans to hire another faculty member so that more courses can be offered, with the view to offering a single honours Italian degree.

I know lots of people who've done French and German, although I haven't done them myself, and my impression is that the French department is full of psycho Satan-channelling types and that German gives insane amounts of work. But that may have changed.

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Re:

Postby FunkyBanana on Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:34 pm

[s]Unregisted User wrote on 22:50, 26th Feb 2005:
Anyone know anything about arabic? I just got an unconditional and am would want to do that as my 3rd module if i can....neways....



nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

save yourself! please don't do arabic!

i was in somewhat the same situation in my first year, and decided arabic would be a really good string to add to my bow. however, there were people in my class who were not only fluent but had lived in arabic speaking countries all their lives. further, some lucky people had a-levels in it...something i've never even heard of being offered in scotland, and with parents who are teachers, it's likely that i would have!

anyways, the upshot is that there were about three of us who congregated, and tried very hard to pull each other through, but it was an absolute slog. the tutors went at the level of the most able, and if that wasn't you, well, hard cheese!

things may have changed, as i am now on the point of graduating, but as someone who went in really eager to learn, and came out upset and demoralised, i would advise against it :o)
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