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Masters Degree in Linguistics, UAE, Middle East

October 17, 2013

Since I was child, I have become increasingly aware of the fact that our capacity for acquiring knowledge is virtually endless—in fact exponential—the more I thirst the more I drink. Studying French was obligatory in my faculty and it provided an excellent foundation for my later mastery of Spanish and Italian. German, of course, is more difficult for me, and I remain at the introductory level on that score. Before coming to the United States, I studied at the Aiman University of Science and Technology in my native United Arab Emirates and I see my undergraduate work as excellent preparation for graduate work in your program.

 I seek the depth, history, and background knowledge, awareness, consciousness that I would acquire as a graduate student in your program, the intellectual sophistication and professional preparation. My linguistics class was by far my favorite subject at the university and I am most happy about my chosen field because I believe that we do best at what brings us the most joy. Furthering my understanding of semantics corresponds to my innermost desires, a wellspring of my soul.  Most of all, I have studied English—language and translation. My own native tongue being Arabic, I bring seek to develop a research competence that is grounded in this language structure; yet I keenly look forward to enhancing my understanding of the broad gambit of aspects and issues in linguistics theory: semantics, morphology, syntax, communication skills, especially excellent pronunciation.

 I was six years old when I first tried to read an entire article, sitting on my father’s lap while he was reading a newspaper. I read some words and spelled others, my father constantly amazed when he heard me. I enjoyed pleasing him by doing well and receiving honors in school. My sister and I used to play with an English dictionary as children, finding words of Arabic origin and those with similar prefixes to Arabic words. Later, my family would take great interest in Salmon Rushdie. Listening to my older brothers heatedly discuss the controversy of his writings sparked my curiosity and so I investigated the man and his stories. Every day, I would sneak into my brother’s room and read his copy of the Satanic Verses. At 12, Rushdie in English was a challenge. But I read it, every day for one hour, translating each word that I did not understand with my dictionary. Frankly, to this day, I am not sure if it is my maturity or my innocence that left me wondering what all the fuss was about with this man and his writings, since I am such a firm believer in the open mind and free inquiry.

 At 15, I wrote my first story, highly symbolic yet set in real life. Writing resulted in a keen arousal of my interesting in comparative languages. About that time, I bought a book in Turkish and was amazed at how many words seemed Arabic to me; with only a slight difference in pronunciation of certain vowels and consonants. This sparked a keen interest in Turkish language and history. Most of all, however, year after year, my interesting in English continued to grow. The more I learned the more dedicated I became. I went to the bookshop every week for a new foreign language book, more often than not in English, stories, novels, history. At 17, I went to Germany on vacation and took an introductory course in German Language, soon feeling right at home due to the profound similarities between English and German. I began to see the world as thoroughly interconnected through language, common roots or origins and this fascination will always be with me. With the help of your program, I hope to advance professionally as an interpreter, translator, creative writer, with both soul and mind.

 I have worked in Abu Dhabi at a commercial bank for one year as a customer service representative, working in Arabic, English and a variety of other languages and this has given me a sense of achievement, mastering my communication skills and developing greater confidence in myself, becoming more independent with a heightened sense of responsibility, especially when working as a translator in the purchasing department. I have also done volunteer work in an elementary school, helping struggling teachers to provide history and geography lessons in English as now mandated by the government.

 I decided to apply to your program at XXXX only after a thoroughgoing review of comparable programs and I was struck with the progressive nature of your Humanities and Social Science Program as an especially vibrant center of research and teaching that is well recommended by several friends, a diverse atmosphere with a broad variety  of activities and a cosmopolitan student body from all over the world, the Johnson library, the scrumptious food court, state-of-the-art computer labs, professional education center, and artistic events that take place on campus. I will never forget when I attended the circus in the Patriot Center and I am also fond of the operas, orchestras, ballets, and other musical and theatrical performances that take place at UXX. Your program represents the ideal arena for me to blossom as a human being and linguistics professional.

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