Our goal is for all Duke students to develop proficiency in a second language in order to explore foreign cultures, histories and literatures, gain an understanding and appreciation for culture in as embodied in language, and bring a cultural perspective to bear to enhance understanding of issues of similarity and difference.
Benefits of Studying Other Languages
- Knowing a foreign language can help you contribute to making the world a better place. Knowledge of other languages and cultures is an absolute necessity, not only for economic and political survival, but also for international cooperation efforts.
- Being proficient in more than one language will enhance your ability to participate effectively in the local, national, and international debates of the 21st century.
Professional Success – CNN Special Report: "Why Language Should be Part of your College Experience"
- "Soft skills" such as communication skills, leadership ability, ability to work in teams, and ability to work in and across foreign cultures are becoming just as important as "hard" technical or professional knowledge in building your career path.
- Knowing a foreign language will give you an edge in the job market, in career advancement, and knowledge of your discipline.
Personal Growth - PBS Newshour "Learning a foreign language revealed a world I never knew existed"
- Speaking another language can open doors for you, physically, mentally, even spiritually. Speaking another language and living in another culture challenges who you are, and makes you examine your very identity.
- Studying foreign languages and cultures develops your analytical, critical, and interpretive abilities. Some studies have even shown a direct correlation between foreign language study and improved performance in verbal and mathematical skills.(New York Times: "Grey Matter: Why Bilinguals are Smarter")
What You Need to Know
- Duke's Foreign Language (FL) requirement for graduation
- Guidance on choosing which language to study
- Frequently asked questions about foreign language study
Our Language Offerings
|Language||How Frequently Offered?||Fulfills Foreign Language (FL) Requirement?||Offered By||Can I do more in language & culture studies?|
|Arabic||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Arabic||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic Concentration|
|Balto-Finnic||Occasionally offered||No||Slavic and Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian||Occasionaly offered at Duke. Regularly offered at UNC-Chapel Hill.||No||Slavic and Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Chinese||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Chinese||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Chinese Concentration|
|Czech||Occasionaly offered at Duke. Regularly offered at UNC-Chapel Hill.||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|French||Regularly offered||Yes||Romance Studies||Minor in French Studies||Majors in French & Francophone Studies or Romance Studies|
|Georgian||Occasionally offered||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|German||Regularly offered||Yes||Germanic Languages & Literature||Minor in German||Majors in German Literature & Culture or German Studies|
|Greek||Regularly offered||Yes||Classical Studies||Minor in Greek||Major in Classical Languages|
|Hebrew||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Hebrew||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Modern Hebrew Concentration|
|Hindi||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Hindi||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Hindi Concentration|
|Hungarian||Occasionaly offered at Duke. Regularly offered at UNC-Chapel Hill.||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Italian||Regularly offered||Yes||Romance Studies||Minor in Italian Studies||Majors in Italian Studies or Romance Studies|
|Japanese||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Japanese||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Japanese Concentration|
|K'iche' Maya||Regularly offered||Yes||Less Commonly Taught Languages Initiative||n/a||n/a|
|Korean||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||Minor in Korean||Major in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with Korean Concentration|
|Latin||Regularly offered||Yes||Classical Studies||Minor in Latin||Major in Classical Languages|
|Persian||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Polish||Regularly offered||Yes||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||Minor in Polish Language & Cuture||Major in Slavic & Eurasian Studies|
|Portuguese||Regularly offered||Yes||Romance Studies||Minor in Brazilian & Global Portuguese||Majors in Brazilian & Global Portuguese or Romance Studies|
|Quechua||Occasionally offered||No||Romance Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Romanian||Occasionally offered||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Russian||Regularly offered||Yes||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||Minor in Russian Culture & Language||Majors in Russian Culture & Language or Slavic & Eurasian Studies|
|Sanskrit||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Spanish||Regularly offered||Yes||Romance Studies||Minor in Spanish Studies||Majors in Spanish & Latin American Studies or Romance Studies|
|Tibetan||Regularly offered||Yes||Asian & Middle Eastern Studies,||n/a||n/a|
|Turkish||Regularly offered||Yes||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||Minor in Turkish Language & Culture||Major in Slavic & Eurasian Studies|
|Ukranian||Occasionally offered||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|
|Uzbek||Occasionally offered||No||Slavic & Eurasian Studies||n/a||n/a|