We offer courses in twelve distinct languages providing culturally and linguistically diverse options for students.

Ancient Languages

From law and medicine to science and storytelling, we rely on the linguistic foundations of Greek and Latin for many of the words we use today. Whether you think ancient languages are "meta," "mega," or "hypnotic" or just "status quo" and "ipso facto," learning Greek or Latin can enhance your career prospects once you leave your Charleston "alma mater."
  • Greek

    The legacy of ancient Greece is everywhere—from the great epics of Homer to the philosophy of Plato to the books of the New Testament. Students in the ancient Greek program begin reading real works in their original form beginning in the fourth semester!

    Through these works you can explore the ideas of people who also lived in democracies and faced complex problems. Plus, learning ancient Greek provides unique skills. By learning a different system for creating meaning, students of Greek learn how languages work, from the inside out. The study of Greek is the study not only of a specific language, but of language in general.

  • Latin

    Latin has been the staple language of liberal arts education for over two thousand years and has been taught at the College of Charleston since its founding. If you take Latin at Collge of Charleston, you’ll be reading real Latin works (Cicero, Vergil, etc.) by the fourth semester! 

    Through these works you can explore the diverse, multicultural society that was the Roman world. Plus, learning Latin provides unique skills. By learning a different system for creating meaning, students of Latin learn how languages work, from the inside out. Did you know romance languages are derivatives of Latin? That's why when you study Latin, you learn so much more!

Modern Languages

Negotiate in Mandarin. Practice law in Russian. Engage in diplomacy in Arabic. Collaborate in German. Learning a new language can advance your career while preparing you for a more interconnected and culturally diverse world.
  • Arabic

    As the language of the Qur'an and a key component of Islamic civilization, Arabic offers unparalleled insights into the cultural, intellectual, and artistic contributions of the Arab world.

    By learning Arabic, you'll gain access to a huge literary heritage, unlocking the secrets of several disciplines including philosophy and scientific advancements.

    Arabic is a language of strategic importance. With more than 420 million speakers worldwide, it is the fifth most widely spoken language globally.

    Proficiency in Arabic opens doors to diverse career opportunities, including international relations, journalism, translation, business and academia.

    Learning Arabic fosters a deeper understanding of the region's complex social dynamics, fostering empathy and promoting cross-cultural dialogue. By immersing yourself in the Arabic language and culture, you enhance your ability to navigate diverse cultural contexts, build connections and bridge gaps between cultures.

  • Chinese

    You have the opportunity to study the language, history and culture of the world’s most populous nation.

    You will develop proficiency in Mandrin Chinese and become familiar with Chinese culture by practicing the basic language skills and acquisition of vocabulary.

    We offer first- through third-year Chinese language courses.

  • French

    Studying French will expand your cultural competency and critical thinking skills. You can position yourself as a top candidate for employment or graduate school.

    French opens up a rich world of culture, history and ideas that have influenced western and global culture for centuries. It is projected to the be world’s most-spoken language by 2050. This means we need more people who can communicate in French.

    In the business world, French is the second most important language for direct access to the global marketplace, in particular Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. It is also a working language of NATO, the European Union and the International Red Cross and one of two official languages of the Olympic Games.

  • German

    America has many long-established social and cultural ties with the nations of the German-speaking world: Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Today, a knowledge of German has become important for anyone engaged in international commerce, research and technology.

  • Hebrew

    Modern Hebrew, a descendant of Biblical Hebrew, has been revived in the 19th century and later became the official language of the State of Israel. It is now spoken by more than 9 million people around the world. It is the one written language that helps bring Jews from all over the world together.

    Beyond its literary and historical value, and its relevance to Jewish and Christian believers, Hebrew is a primary tool for scholars interested in theology, history and linguistics.

  • Italian

    We offer one of the most comprehensive Italian programs in South Carolina.

    Our elementary and intermediate Italian course offerings satisfy the College’s language requirement. Our third and fourth year courses provide extensive opportunities to further your study of the language.

    Learning Italian provides value for any profession, but particularly if you're considering a career in art history, music, linguistics, education, international relations and/or film studies. 

  • Japanese

    10 Reasons to learn Japanese

    一 Easy to pronounce! Japanese has only five vowel sounds. Almost all syllables are simple combinations of a consonant and a vowel like “ka” and “ne.” 

    二 Unlike some European languages, there is no subject-verb agreement. There is no difference in conjugation between the first person singular and the third person plural, for example.

    三 No grammatical gender distinctions such as feminine vs. masculine nouns.

    四 Only two irregular verbs!

    五 Write vertically, from right to left!

    六 You get to use post-positions instead of prepositions.

    七 Japanese uses its own writing systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji.

    八 Learn to type in Japanese so you can post to social media and in video games!

    九 You will learn about a civilization that is new and old at the same time.

    十 The small program allows you to get to know the instructors and your classmates very well.

  • Portuguese

    Studying Portuguese will prepare you to function effectively in the global community. It also fulfills the language requirement at the College of Charleston.

    Acquire the four basic communication skills—reading, writing, speaking and listening—through an introduction to the culture of Brazil and other Lusophone countries.

    Our classes are small, allowing for special attention to each student. 

  • Russian

    We offer Russian language courses through the 202 level.

    You will develop your proficiency in Russian and familiarity with Russian culture through practice in the use of the basic language skillslistening, speaking, reading and writingand acquisition of vocabulary.

  • Spanish

    Enhance your future job prospects with our Spanish major. Studying Spanish will open doors to limitless opportunities in a globalized world.

    You'll immerse yourself in a comprehensive exploration of language, literature and culture with opportunities to try out your skills by studing abroad in Spain, Cuba, Argentina or Chile.