Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.

“He who does not know foreign languages, knows nothing of his own.”

- Goethe

Learning a foreign language can foster a profound psychological awakening to external and internal aspects of life because personal identity is so closely tied to human speech. As such, the study of modern and classical languages is a central part of the liberal arts experience here at Gettysburg College.

We offer dynamic courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels in Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Students who take courses in these languages acquire skills that are essential in today’s global society: how to speak, read, and write in another language; how to understand and embrace a culture different from one's own; how to analyze literary texts and film; and how to think critically about cultural stereotypes. Of course, to paraphrase the great German polymath cited above, the study of a foreign or classical language also helps us to understand more deeply our own. Truly, all of the professors aim to help your experience of a "foreign" language become very familiar.

The opportunity to study abroad is an integral aspect of language study at Gettysburg College. Currently about 60% of Gettysburg students spend at least one semester in a foreign country. Quite often, this academic experience abroad proves to be one of the most meaningful aspects of a student's time at Gettysburg College. The excitement of such a unique cultural experience often translates into further meaningful engagement with language study at Gettysburg.