Karou Posted December 27, 2016 Share Posted December 27, 2016 (edited) Hi everyone, Long-time lurker on these message boards, and they are a wonderful source of information! I've been looking around for the answer to this particular question but could not find anything conclusive, forgive me if it's been addressed already. I'm in the process of applying to Masters programs in History in Europe to start in the Fall of 2017, and I intend to pursue a PhD afterwards, most likely in the US. Although anything can happen and who knows, maybe I'll end up staying in Europe. The plan, however, is to do this MA, either a 2-year program full-time or a one-year program part-time and then head to the US for the PhD. Either way, that means I won't be starting my PhD until September of 2019 (presupposing I get accepted somewhere on my first round), which gives me sufficient time to draft good applications while working really hard on my MA. Researching programs has led me to understand that languages are a key element of studying history, and that German is especially important (I assumed that French, Italian and German were considered of equal value, but I was wrong!). What's more, German is actually really relevant to the subject I'm hoping to pursue, though not crucial at this point in my academic career. I already have French (mother tongue) and I'm hoping to take some Latin classes as part of my MA (most of the programs I'm applying to offer it as an option, so it all depends on where I get accepted at this point). So I was thinking I'd get started on German, well, now. I have this great big chunk of time until now and next September. I am currently studying etc, but I can make time and then I don't have to deal with learning the basics of two languages next year, a daunting prospect. I figure if I get the basics "out of the way" now I can continue progressing at my own pace once I'm over that initial hump, which will be easier. This is basically the way I learned English and it worked really well for me, but yeah, gotta get past that first stage of struggling with a new language. Now to my question, do I need to take accredited courses (through some language institute or other), or can I essentially teach myself -assuming that I can pull that off? Do I absolutely need substantial proof that I have some knowledge of German through something like transcripts or reports when the time comes to apply to PhD programs or will my stating that I have, say, a reading knowledge of the language suffice this early on? Also, one of my good friends who is fluent in German has suggested that knowing German might make it easier to pick up Latin. Do you agree with that? Or do you think the other way around might be more efficient (start with Latin now, deal with German next year)? Although I do think Latin courses may be harder to come by in my current location, and one of my POIs at one of the programs I'm applying to has done substantial work on early modern Germany, and I was hoping to, for lack of a better word, impress her a bit. Let her know that I'm serious about this, you know, and that I'm taking steps to be as prepared as I can be. Sorry for the babbling, applications are stressing me out a little bit, as you can probably tell (although, with the exceptions of a couple of programs, Europeans are incredibly chill about application deadlines). Thanks so much for any help or advice you may be able to give me! Edited December 27, 2016 by Karou Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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