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Old 25.11.2018, 18:01
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Illiterate PhD candidate

Apparently one can have an academic career researching a country, without being able to read, write, or even speak the language.

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Old 25.11.2018, 20:41
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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Apparently one can have an academic career researching a country, without being able to read, write, or even speak the language.

I bet he has a reasonable grasp, considering his employment history and time spent there. Even if he wasn’t a spy, his area of research would certainly be enough to cause consternation to the UAE government, and that is why he is in his current predicament. He should be thankful he didn’t eat a poppy seed Bretzel on his flight!
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Old 25.11.2018, 20:51
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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I bet he has a reasonable grasp, considering his employment history and time spent there. Even if he wasn’t a spy, his area of research would certainly be enough to cause consternation to the UAE government, and that is why he is in his current predicament. He should be thankful he didn’t eat a poppy seed Bretzel on his flight!
Obviously, he can't read documents or hold a conversation - so less than A1.

He wouldn't get a job stacking shelves with this language proficiency, but he could be a highly paid policy consultant with a PhD from a UK university.

Keep it in mind next you read their analysis.
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Old 25.11.2018, 21:25
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

Perfectly fine to do one’s PhD or post doc in English. Some of us have also a good grasp of the country we reside in and try to understand the culture but never speak the language of it. Some also remain illiterate for years with their maximum of A1 level.
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Old 25.11.2018, 23:04
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

There are over 2000 languages with a written form. Thankfully, to be literate we don't have to learn them all!

If Matthew Hedges is illiterate, we all are.
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Old 26.11.2018, 08:21
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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Perfectly fine to do one’s PhD or post doc in English.
Perhaps, but how does he spy if he only speaks English?

Tom
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Old 26.11.2018, 08:35
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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Perfectly fine to do one’s PhD or post doc in English. Some of us have also a good grasp of the country we reside in and try to understand the culture but never speak the language of it. Some also remain illiterate for years with their maximum of A1 level.
One can't claim to have a deep knowledge of a country or culture if one doesn't speak the language - at a minimum, read newspapers, listen to Radio, watch TV.

To have a PhD about an Arab country without speaking Arabic is a joke.
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Old 26.11.2018, 08:59
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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To have a PhD about an Arab country without speaking Arabic is a joke.

He doesn't. He is a student.
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Old 26.11.2018, 09:30
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

He has been pardoned now.
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Old 26.11.2018, 09:38
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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He has been pardoned now.

His defence: "I could never by a spy as I don't even speak and write Arabic".
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Old 26.11.2018, 09:51
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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He doesn't. He is a student.
He already has an MA and published articles about his security policy in the Gulf.

He should use his newly acquired freedom to learn Arabic & local customs (starting with: "Dictators don't like criticism")
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Old 26.11.2018, 10:23
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

UAE is one the most open to English countries without English as official language. Or maybe it even has English as official language as you don't have to ever learn Arabic. The de facto local language in Dubai is English.
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:10
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

My PhD was on the past, which is also a foreign country in whose language I am not proficient.
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:22
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

I speak the language of the Past with a heavy accent. At least I can sing the songs.
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:32
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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One can't claim to have a deep knowledge of a country or culture if one doesn't speak the language - at a minimum, read newspapers, listen to Radio, watch TV.

To have a PhD about an Arab country without speaking Arabic is a joke.
One can claim anything they want these days. PhDs in social sciences are....let's just say - not what they used to be.
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:34
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

Am I the only one that thought the relatives were playing it down for his benefit, seeing as he was banged up in prison at the time?

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Although relatives say he can neither speak nor read Arabic, his PhD supervisor in Durham said he "knew the country very well".
Obviously, your family is going to say whatever they can to work your case in your favour, right?
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:45
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

Well, if he were a spy, claiming not to understand the local language (while actually being quite fluent) would be a prudent strategy for practicing his craft, no?
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:47
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

Pashosh is presumably also campaigning for Brian Cox to have his phD from Manchester Uni revoked as he only speaks an earth language. How can he possibly claim to have knowledge of the wider solar system and even further afield in the universe if he can't even speak Martian?
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Old 26.11.2018, 11:59
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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Well, if he were a spy, claiming not to understand the local language (while actually being quite fluent) would be a prudent strategy for practicing his craft, no?
Even suggesting that a PhD student isn't proficient in the language of the country he is studying should raise concern about the quality of the PhD.

Image someone studying French society without speaking french - he would be laughed out of University.
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Old 26.11.2018, 12:08
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Re: Illiterate PhD candidate

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Even suggesting that a PhD student isn't proficient in the language of the country he is studying should raise concern about the quality of the PhD.

Image someone studying French society without speaking french - he would be laughed out of University.
Do you have a PhD? (out of curiosity)
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