Language Programs


In today’s world, whether at home or abroad, we inhabit communities where linguistic diversity keeps us on our toes, always wondering where an accent is from, or what is being said by speakers around us. Harvard is dedicated to being a pluriglossic environment for teaching and learning. We take great pride in the fact that we teach over eighty languages—more than any other university. Transcultural competence in today’s world demands linguistic and cultural proficiency beyond English, and we are committed to helping students acquire it.

Languages Offered in AY 20-21

African & African American Studies: Gikuyu, Swahili, Twi, Yoruba, African language tutorials (Afrikaans, Amharic, Bamanakan, Bemba, Cape Verdean Creole, Chichewa, Dinka, Gullah, Haitian Creole, Hassaniyah, Hausa, Ibibio, Igbo, Jamaican Patois, Kikongo, Kinyarwanda, Krio, Lingala, Luganda, Malagasy, Oromo, Pulaar, Setswana, Shona, Somali, Sudanese Arabic, Tigrinya, Tshiluba, West African Pidgin, Wolof, Xhosa, Zulu)

Celtic Languages & Literatures: Modern Irish, Old Irish, Modern Welsh, Middle Welsh, Scottish Gaelic

The Classics: Latin, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek

East Asian Languages & Civilizations: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Uyghur, Vietnamese

English: Old English

Germanic Languages & Literatures: German, Swedish, Scandinavian language tutorials (Danish, Finnish, Norwegian)

Linguistics: American Sign Language, Hittite, Indo-European, Old Church Slavonic

Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations: Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Egyptian, Hebrew (Classical and Modern), Persian, Sumerian, Turkish, Yiddish

Romance Languages & Literatures: Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

Slavic Languages & Literatures: Czech, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian language courses and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language tutorials

South Asian Studies: Hindi-Urdu, Nepali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan language courses and Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, and Burmese language tutorials


Foreign Language Advisory Group (FLAG)

The Foreign Language Advisory Group (FLAG) is a standing committee charged with identifying and supporting the needs of languages taught at Harvard University.


Language Center

The Language Center (LC), located in Science Center B-06, supports modern and ancient language courses taught in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. The LC provides resources for individual and group learning in a facility equipped with multimedia equipment, two smart seminar rooms, and a classroom with videoconferencing equipment. We work closely with the faculty to provide appropriate technical support. Utilizing digital storage and internet communications technology, the Language Center works to provide a range of opportunities - to accommodate various learning methodologies - for Harvard language students. Students may also connect with a variety of language communities and cultural opportunities throughout the world. 

The Language Center is also open to FAS administrators and non-language faculty and students.


Language Citations

A Foreign Language Citation allows you to offer proof, upon graduation, of a high level of competency in a foreign language, an advantage when applying for graduate programs, grants, or employment.

Students can earn a Foreign Language Citation on their transcript by taking four courses (4 credits per course) in the same language beyond the first-year level, at least two of them at the third-year level or above. Students benefit from early planning, so reach out to language departments early to set your path. For further information about meeting the Citation requirements, consult the Harvard College Handbook for Students.