Studies & Degrees in Modern Languages
Choose where you would like to study Modern Languages:AlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBelarusBelgiumBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBrazilBrunei DarussalamBulgariaCambodiaCanadaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaColombiaCosta RicaCyprusEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEthiopiaFijiFranceGermanyGhanaGreeceGuamHaitiHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandItalyJapanJordanKazakhstanLatviaLebanonLithuaniaMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMaltaMauritaniaMexicoMoroccoMozambiqueNamibiaNetherlandsNew ZealandNicaraguaNigeriaPalestinePeruPolandPortugalPuerto RicoRomaniaRussiaSaudi ArabiaSenegalSouth AfricaSouth KoreaSpainSudanSwedenSwitzerlandThe United KingdomThe United StatesTrinidad and TobagoTurkeyUgandaUkraineVietnamZimbabwe
Modern Languages Study Programs
There are more than 6000 languages spoken around the world today, ranging in scope from just a few hundred speakers to over 1 billion. In an era of global economic, political, and cultural integration, it is becoming increasingly necessary to learn about these languages, their history, and their relationships with one another. That is what students of modern languages strive to do. Although there are very few programs that offer degrees in “modern languages” as such, this field is commonly studied as a concentration within other majors. Linguistics majors frequently specialize in modern languages or in a particular group of modern languages, and of course foreign-language majors do their work in this field as well.
- Love of languages and a desire to gain fluency in at least 1 foreign language
- Patience and diligence – you will spend a fair amount of time memorizing vocabulary!
- Strong knowledge of grammar in your native language
- Curiosity about foreign cultures and respect for diversity
Although it is extremely uncommon to major in modern languages, most colleges and universities have a department (or departments) of modern languages and linguistics. Within this department, several majors are usually available. Put simply, there are 2 options available for students who wish to study modern languages: majoring in a specific language or majoring in linguistics.
Majoring in linguistics has the advantage of enabling students to learn multiple languages and understand their inner workings. Linguistics majors often go on to become multilingual translators or linguistics researchers. The disadvantage of this path is that students typically gain less depth in any specific language, meaning the skills that they learned in college are somewhat less marketable. Majoring in a specific language, on the other hand, provides more immediate opportunities for employment and more practical skill set. It does not, however, offer quite the same breadth of knowledge that a linguistics major would have.
The career options that are available to a modern languages major depend on which course of study he or she chooses. Students who select the linguistics route often go on to graduate school in one or more foreign languages, which is a time-consuming process but can lead to a more lucrative career. In addition, they frequently become academics, which provides them with the freedom to pursue their curiosity, but requires many years of additional schooling after college.
On the other hand, a student who chooses to study a specific language can often find employment (albeit less lucrative) immediately upon graduation. They typically work as translators, interpreters, or private tutors, and may also work in service or retail. For those who enjoy traveling and living in foreign countries, is also working abroad and appealing option. After spending several years learning the local language, these graduates can work in a variety of positions in any country where their chosen language is spoken.