MEET THE MIT BILINGUALS
Rujul Gandhi ’22 | Linguistics + Computer Science
With a double major Gandhi works to surmount language and cultural barriers, globally and on campus.
Rujul Gandhi ’22; photo by Bryce Vickmark
Gallery | Meet the MIT Bilinguals
Rujul Gandhi’s love of reading blossomed into a love of language at age 6, when she discovered a book at a garage sale called “What’s Behind the Word?” With forays into history, etymology, and language genealogies, the book captivated Gandhi, who as an MIT senior remains fascinated with words and how we use them.
Growing up partially in the U.S. and mostly in India, Gandhi was surrounded by a variety of languages and dialects. When she moved to India at age 8, she could already see how knowing the Marathi language allowed her to connect more easily to her classmates — an early lesson in how language shapes our human experiences.
Initially thinking she might want to study creative writing or theater, Gandhi first learned about linguistics as its own field of study through an online course in ninth grade. Now a linguistics major at MIT, she is studying the structure of language from the syllable to sentence level, and also learning about how we perceive language. She finds the human aspects of how we use language, and the fact that languages are constantly changing, particularly compelling.
“When you learn to appreciate language, you can then appreciate culture,” she says.