Polyglossia Magazine: Lightbulb Moment


Happy New Year! Polyglossia is back, kicking off the year with a thoughtful piece by Jenny O’Sullivan:

“Compound nouns. In passing conversations on the German language there is no grammatical notion that causes more astonishment (read: polite interest) than the legends of single words spanning forty yards, rumoured to contain three different kinds of choking sound. Even here, in its vocabulary, German culture cannot escape the looming shadow of ‘efficiency’; it is somehow seen as unromantic to string words together so plainly, rather than providing each concept with an individual label that is supposedly concise, unique and autonomous (read: derived from Latin). In Lightbulb Moment, I explore the visual metaphors often employed in compound nouns across both German and English, in the hope of revealing the whimsy that is so often overlooked beneath the umlauts and consonant clusters.”

Lightbulb MomentIf you’d like to contribute to the Polyglossia Magazine, to be published at the end of the year, email ideas or submissions to Jess Bullock at jbmb2@cam.ac.uk. All topics related to languages and foreign cultures are welcome.

Polyglossia Careers Event: 21st November

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Snow, trees, lights and gingerbread. But also, jobs. Yes, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do after university when the big scary world of adulthood welcomes you into its arms.


Whether you are a finalist or not, we would like to invite you to our annual Polyglossia Careers event on Friday 21st November at Cripps Court, Magdalene College. Featuring speeches from:

**Ernst and Young**

Sara Barca, an Assistant Manager at EY Cambridge. She was born and grew up in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she did her A-Level equivalents, then moved to Spain where she completed a double bachelor in Law and Business Management at the University of La Coruna. Since graduating she has worked in Audit at PwC in Spain for 3 years, and just a year ago moved to EY Cambridge.

Laura Thompson: a language graduate (French & Spanish) from the University of Sheffield. She has been working at ESL – Language Travel for just over a year as a Language Travel Consultant.

**A freelance translator/interpreter**

Let us know you are coming here!

See you there!

Dates for your Diary: November 2014


The clocks have gone back, the leaves are changing colour and the mountains of work are accumulating quite nicely. Oh yes, there’s no denying that November is upon us. To get the year started in style and to ward away the early-winter blues, Polyglossia have two great events coming up this month.


Polyglossia Formal at Queen’s: Wednesday 5th November

Get to know your fellow Polyglossians over dinner at our social evening at Queen’s College Cambridge. Great food, good conversation and nice wine will get your evening off to a bang before you can go out and make the most of the fireworks.

More information here.


Polyglossia Careers Event: Friday 21st November

Join us at Magdalene College Cambridge for an evening of careers-orientated presentations from influential companies such as Ernst and Young, JP Morgan and
ESL. Ask any questions you might have, build your network and learn about the doors  and international opportunities opened up by languages.

More information here.

My Year Abroad: Working in Paris

For what seems like the majority of second year, the big question of the Year Abroad was like my own personal raincloud, constantly following me around and opening on up whenever the spectre of ‘next year’ was mentioned. Even though I was certain that I wanted to work and earn my way through the year, there were just too many question marks for my liking – what kind of job? Paid or internship? Italy or France?


Applications were sent off, telephone interviews stumbled across (may have used the excuse of ‘bad reception’/feigned a coughing fit on more than one occasion) and finally – on the day of my Italian oral in the first week of Easter Term – I was offered a job in Communications at HEC Paris, a business school just outside of Paris (emphasis on the ‘outside’). With a monthly bursary, free accommodation and the promise of hours and hours on Facebook, I was sold.

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Living the Life of A Local

Anna Bradley talks about the innumerable benefits of having local connections when travelling, and how this can make a great trip a truly unforgettable one.

romeCrossing the road. I’d say that this is what separates the true Roman from the tourist. I’m sure there are many other ways to identify a local, but for me this is the best. It’s the steadily-maintained eye contact. The unhesitant first step out into the road. The way they own the zebra crossing. Continue reading

Polyglossia Careers event

Remember #3 from 10 Reasons Why Languages Is The Best Subject? – Come and find out for yourself just how employable us linguists are at our careers event on Wednesday, 27 November


Thinking about the future but still without any idea of what kind of career you’d like to pursue? Or just interested in hearing from a range of speakers from a variety of different industries?

In any case, if you’re hoping to be enlightened, come along to Polyglossia’s Careers event at Cripps Court Auditorium. Madgelene College on Wednesday 27th November.

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Polyglossia Social – Mexican Night – 22/11/13

Come to our first POLYGLOSSIA CULTURAL EVENT and socialise with other linguists, language enthusiasts and MMLers.

mexicoWith the theme as MEXICAN, you can expect to be eating nachos, jalapeños and chimichangas, and sipping a tequila sunrise.

It’s at Newnham College, in the Old Boilerhouse Bar this Friday 22nd November @ 8pm.

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10 Reasons Why Languages Is The Best Subject


James Tytler proves once and for all what we’ve all long suspected. That Languages is the best subject, and linguists are the coolest species of Cambridge student.

249394_10151493907859606_1746945080_n If work is getting you down, take solace in the fact that you, young linguist, are studying what is undoubtedly the coolest subject at Cambridge. It’s all here, the indisputable, irrefutable, inescapable, inexorable, unequivocal truth.  Continue reading