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"While learning French..." - Brown University short answer essay

lexiefa 1 / -  
Dec 22, 2010   #1
Why are you drawn to the academic fields you indicated in the Anticipated Degree and Academic Interest questions above? (1000 characters max)

While learning French my freshman and sophomore years, and throughout my year spent in France, I spent a lot of my time searching for translations of words. Some words I knew in my head, and others I looked up in my pocket dictionary. To me, the words that stood out the most were the ones that had no direct translation. Gourmand, in French: a person who takes great pleasure in food. In English, there is no direct translation. To understand the meaning of the word is to understand the relationship between the French people and the French language.

The fact that a word like that exists in the French language but not English shows a lot about the cultures behind the languages. Cultures have shaped their languages into the distinct lexicons they are today. This sparked my interest in studying sociolinguistics, or how culture affects language, and vice versa.

Any edits/advice/constructive criticism would be lovely!

Chanman 3 / 10  
Dec 22, 2010   #2
Never use vice versa. It immediately plunges your essay into the abyss of generality.

Your first sentence is somewhat run-on try combining certain things like this: Because of my studies of French in school and my travel experiences in France, I was constantly researching vocabulary.

Or something similar, this isn't the best example, but it has the idea.

Another thing that I had a slight issue is the amount of times you mention France, or French. You mentioned it a total of 6 times, which is unnecessary for an essay of this short length. Try to work around that and mention it where it counts.

Good luck with your applications! (I am also applying to Brown :)
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Dec 22, 2010   #3
i like the idea, but i think your focusing your entire essay basically on this one word: gourmand, then in the last two sentences you finally get to answering the question

maybe talk about a specific event while you were in France that sparked your interest.

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