Ali Soleimani: Got Linguistics?

Ali Soleimani is a spunky UC Davis sophomore all the way from sunny Santa Clarita. Ali’s passions include Spongebob Squarepants, updating Facebook as much as possible, and eating Vitamin gummies.

Name: Ali Soleimani 

Year: Sophomore 

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA 

Major: Linguistics 

Why did you choose your major? 

Language is such an integral part of the human experience that we use every day and it really fascinates me to study its different components and how a thought becomes a word. Don’t you ever wonder how language even came to be, and why no other species has it? 

What is a common misconception or stereotype of Linguistics majors?

What really annoys me is when I say I am a Ling major, and then immediately the first question I am asked is, “How many languages do you know?” As if all linguists do is study different languages all day and called it a field! I don’t want to seem pretentious and I do not expect everyone to know what it is, because it is a pretty obscure field in most colleges, but there are so many misconceptions out there that I can’t help but get tired of addressing all of them. I enjoy Linguistics, and I enjoy learning different languages, but they are not mutually exclusive! In fact, many linguists are not good at learning languages like I am, or even enjoy it, and many of them are monolingual.

How do you define linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language.

I have to ask though…How many languages do you know?

Three and a half. 

Do you plan on learning any other languages?

I want to improve my Russian and other languages before moving onto others, but I do have an interest in Mandarin, Azerbaijani, and German.

Can you write 'Tara is my favorite person.' in the languages you know? Yes! 

English: Tara is my favorite person. 

Spanish: Tara es mi persona favorita. 

Persian: تارا عاشق‌ترین آدم زندگی‌ام است. 

Russian: Тара – мой любимый человек. 

Favorite thing about Davis and why?

It is very easy to get around! The town is flat and you can bike or bus almost anywhere. In my hometown it is impossible to get anywhere without a car so I really appreciate how accessible everything is in Davis. 

Part of any organizations/clubs on campus? 

Work occasionally with ISCAO and active in many ME/SA and LGBTQIA+ spaces. 

What do you like about these clubs/organizations? 

I like the ability to form connections with people I probably would never have met otherwise. 

Preferred Gender Pronouns?

Any. 

What are your thoughts on gender and the impact society has put on them? 

I think that gender has become too institutionalized and it should be defined by the individual rather than by society. We live in a society with a very rigid gender binary, and everyone is assigned one of two genders and expected to fit a certain mold. In reality there is much more complexity and fluidity and our gender norms are really not as natural and innate as we think.

Celebrity Crush?

Sandra Lee 

Most relatable Spongebob quote or episode? 

In Rock-a-Bivalve when Patrick kept putting off his fatherly duties and saying, “Tomorrow for sure,” is pretty much my attitude to almost everything I have to do. It is only because I adore Tara that I got this done on time. My favorite episode, however, is I’m with Stupid: “That’s right Janet: we don’t have a son!” 

Who is your role model?

Kat Blaque

Favorite TV show?

So hard to choose. Probably something between SpongeBob, The Office, and Futurama. 

Krabby Patty or Pretty Patty?

Neither, Nasty Patty.