Languages

American Sign Language

American Sign Language
Department: 
Communication Disorders and Sciences Department
Number of Users Worldwide: 
250,000 - 500,000
Offerings: 
Levels 100-300
ASL is offered as a two year language sequence and meets the second language requirement for the University bachelor of arts requirement. In addition, ASL 301 - American Deaf Culture fulfills a multicultural course requirement in Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP).

Arabic

Arabic
Department: 
Arabic Studies (Religious Studies)
Number of Users Worldwide: 
420 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-300, Minor
Today, Arabic is the native language of over 300 million speakers in North Africa and West Asia. Arabic is also the primary language for Islamic scholarship from the seventh century to the present, and has historically functioned as a lingua franca for the entire Muslim scholarly world. Arabic has long served as the spoken and written language for a number of other confessional communities (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Mandeans, and others).

French

French
Department: 
Romance Languages
Number of Users Worldwide: 
220 Million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master’s, PhD
French is spoken in more than 50 countries worldwide, is an official language in 29 countries, and maintains its status as a major language of culture, diplomacy, and economics. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, established in 1970 and usually referred to as “La Francophonie,” includes 53 member states on several continents. French is a passport to much of the world! In the French sector in the Department of Romance Languages, we teach courses ranging from beginning language instruction through graduate seminars designed for Masters and Ph.D. students. Our language courses emphasize real-world proficiency as well as the history and culture of the Francophone world.

German

German
Department: 
German and Scandinavian
Number of Users Worldwide: 
110 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, SLAT, Minor, BA, MA, PhD
More than 100 million people speak German as a first language, and it is the official language of six countries. More than one thousand companies based in German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U.S. In all of these firms there is a need for employees with an understanding of German language and culture. German majors work in government, politics, international relations and business, tourism, journalism, publishing, education, and many other areas. Germany is the third largest contributor worldwide to scientific research and development.

Greek (Attic)

Greek
Department: 
Classics
Offerings: 
Levels 1-6, Minor, BA, Master’s
The field of classics embraces all aspects of Greek and Roman culture from the prehistoric to the medieval period.

Hebrew (Biblical)

Hebrew
Department: 
Judaic Studies
Offerings: 
Levels 100-300, BA
The interdisciplinary Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies provides a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum in the history, religion, and cultural traditions of the Jewish people and offers instruction in Biblical Hebrew language and literature. The program offers a major leading to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree and minor. It sponsors courses, lectures, and other events of interest to the general student population and the wider community.

Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu)

Hindi
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
544 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Although known as the land of snake-charmers, mythologies, mysticism, and diversity – India is now also a land of opportunities. The growth of modern science and technology in India is changing the patterns of life and is posing many a research question. Hindi provides a glimpse into this progressive culture standing the litmus test of time. Learning Hindi is as simple as learning any other language of the world. It just requires students to once more be persistent, ignorant, imitative, innocent and inquisitive as everyone is in one’s childhood. Did you learn or acquire your mother tongue? Is acquisition of a language possible after critical age?

Ichishkiin

Ichishkiin
Department: 
Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI)
Number of Users Worldwide: 
100 - 125
Offerings: 
LING 199 - Sp St Sahaptin 1, LING 199 - Sp St Sahaptin 2
Sahaptin is now offered through the Department of Linguistics with support from the Northwest Indian Language Institute. The focus of this course is on learning Ichishkíin and learning the culture and history of the Ichishkíin (Sahaptin) peoples. Ichishkíin is currently spoken on the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Italian

Italian
Department: 
Romance Languages
Number of Users Worldwide: 
180 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-400, Minor, BA, Master’s, PhD
An estimated 180 million people worldwide speak Italian as their primary or secondary language. Almost 17 million North Americans identify as having Italian ancestry. Italian culture is traditionally recognized for its rich contributions to art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy. Today Italy attracts interest in a wide variety of areas, including tourism, its emigrant heritage, filmmaking, fashion industry, and gastronomy.

Japanese

Japanese
Department: 
Department of East Asian Languages and Literature
Number of Users Worldwide: 
127 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master's, Ph.D.
Japanese is spoken by 120 million natives of the Japanese islands and by an additional 2 million people outside of Japan, primarily in South America and the United States. As Japan emerged as an economic power in the second half of the twentieth century, its language became common on the international business scene. Japan is also the home of one of the world’s oldest continuously existing civilizations. The study of Japanese is thus rewarding not only for its practical benefits, but also for the introduction it offers to a rich cultural and literary tradition still largely unknown to the majority of Westerners.

Korean

Korean
Department: 
East Asian Languages and Literature
Number of Users Worldwide: 
77 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-400, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master’s
Korean is the official language of both North Korea and South Korea, which have a total combined population of around 73 million (23 million in the North and 50 million in the South). Korean is also spoken in large ethnic Korean communities in the USA, China, Japan, and Central Asia. In the past, Korean was often written using Chinese characters or Hanja. However, use of Hanja has now more or less been replaced by an indigenous alphabetic script known as Hangul, which was invented in 1443 by King Sejong (possibly with the help of other scholars).

Latin

Latin
Department: 
Classics
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, Minor, BA, Master’s
The field of classics embraces all aspects of Greek and Roman culture from the prehistoric to the medieval period.

Mandarin Chinese

Chinese
Department: 
East Asian Languages and Literature
Number of Users Worldwide: 
960 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, Flagship Program, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master’s, PhD
The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history. Chinese character inscriptions have been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty (1766-1123 BC) proving the written language has existed for more than 3,000 years. The Chinese written language uses single distinctive symbols, or characters, to represent each word of the vocabulary.

Nepali

Nepali
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
40 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Nepali is an Indo-Aryan language with around 17 million speakers in Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and India. Nepali was originally known as Khas Kurā and was the language of the Khasa kingdom, which ruled over the foothills of what is now Nepal during the 13th and 14th centuries. Nepali first started to be used in writing during the 12th century AD. It is written with the Devanāgarī alphabet, which developed from the Brahmi script in the 11th century AD.

Persian/Farsi

Persian/Farsi
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
110 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Farsi, or Persian, is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in Iran with dialects spoken in Afghanistan (Dari) and Tajikistan (Tajik). It has a wide range of influence from the Turkic languages and Arabic, but is still distinctively its own. There are 110 million speakers of Farsi in the world. Though Iran is adjacent to Arab countries and Farsi uses the Arabic script, the culture and language is distinguishable. Farsi has added letters to the Arabic alphabet and has its own pronunciation.

Portuguese

Portuguese
Department: 
Department of Romance Languages
Number of Users Worldwide: 
262 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-300, Master's, Ph.D.
From a small 12th-century kingdom in the far-western corner of Europe called Portugal, the Portuguese language spread to all corners of the globe (Brazil, Africa, Asia, and North America) during the Age of Exploration (15th-16th centuries). Portuguese, the unifying sound of Lusophone identity, is the sixth most spoken language in the world with a total of 236 million speakers. It is used in more than 34 countries and is the official language of eight nation-states in three continents (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe). Brazil alone has more than 190 million speakers (700,000 of which live in the United States).

Russian

Russian
Department: 
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Number of Users Worldwide: 
260 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-500, Minor, BA, Master’s
The Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies is the home of undergraduate and graduate programs in all fields connected to Russia, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet Eurasia at the University of Oregon. Together with its sister programs in the Oregon Consortium of International and Area Studies Programs (OCIAS), the Center is located in Prince Lucien Campbell Hall (PLC) on the University of Oregon campus.

Spanish

Spanish
Department: 
Department of Romance Languages
Number of Users Worldwide: 
570 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-600, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master's, Ph.D.
Spanish is the official language of over twenty countries in the world, and it is the de facto second language of the United States. After Chinese and English is the third most spoken language in the world with over 570 million native and non-native speakers. In the Spanish sector of the Romance Languages Department, we provide classes that help students develop linguistic abilities in the language, with an emphasis on real-world proficiency, as well as introduce students to the major historical and cultural phenomena that characterize the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish Heritage Program

Spanish Heritage Program
Department: 
Romance Languages
Number of Users Worldwide: 
570 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-400
Spanish Heritage Language program (SHL) program is designed for students who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household or community in a country where Spanish is not the dominant language, such as the United States. SHL offers a variety of classes to meet students’ needs as heritage learners. Students with Spanish-language heritage will explore topics related to their cultural background, and coursework is designed to help them recover and/or develop their heritage linguistic abilities. For more information about the SHL program please email: herencia@uoregon.edu

Swahili

Swahili
Department: 
Linguistics
Number of Users Worldwide: 
100 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-300
Spoken in twelve countries, Swahili is the gateway to the rich culture and dynamic economy of East Africa. Learning Swahili will give you a unique perspective of the diverse people, places, and culture of Africa. Move past the boundaries of what you think you know about Africa. Explore the fascinating history, economic dynamism, and rich culture of East Africa while learning to communicate with over 100 million Swahili speakers around the world.

Swedish

Swedish
Department: 
German and Scandinavian
Number of Users Worldwide: 
9.2 million
Offerings: 
Levels 100-500, Minor, BA, Master’s
Approximately 20 million people’s mother tongue is a Scandinavian language, and notable Scandinavian literature spans a broad range from the beloved children’s stories of Hans Christian Andersen to the modern crime novels by Stieg Larsson. The University of Oregon Department of German and Scandinavian ranks among the top 10 colleges and universities in the number of students majoring in German. The University of Oregon also has the only program in Oregon in which students can get a major or a minor in Scandinavian. Classes are discussion-based with engaging activities designed to involve and engross students, with both group and individual writing assignments

Thai

Thai
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
44 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Thai is a Tai-Kadai language spoken by about 65 million people mainly in Thailand (ประเทศไทย), as well as the Midway Islands, Singapore, the UAE and the USA Thai is closely related to Lao, and northern dialects of Thai are more or less mutually intelligible with Lao, particularly the Lao spoken in northern Thailand. Thai vocabulary includes many words from Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer.

Turkish

Turkish
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
88 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with about 75 million speakers in Turkey and in 35 other countries, including Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Iraq and Israel. Turkish Culture is unique in the world in that it has influenced and has been influenced in return by cultures and civilizations from China to Vienna and from Russian steps to North Africa for over a millennia.

Twi

Twi
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
9 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Twi is a dialect of Akan, a member of the Kwa sub-group of Niger-Congo languages. There are about 7 million Twi speakers, mainly in Ghana. Major dialects of Twi include Akuapim Twi, Fante Twi and Ashanti Twi, which are all mutually intelligible.

Vietnamese

Vietnamese
Department: 
Yamada Language Center
Number of Users Worldwide: 
75 million
Offerings: 
LT 199 - Self-Study Program
Vietnamese (tiếng Việt) is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the native language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) people, as well as a first or second language for many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. As the result of Vietnamese immigration and cultural influence, Vietnamese speakers are found throughout the world, notably in East and Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Western Europe. It is part of the Austroasiatic language family of which it has by far the most speakers (several times as many as the other Austroasiatic languages combined).