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The study of foreign languages and literatures makes communication possible among people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and fosters intercultural understanding. This enables our students to engage the global community thoughtfully and creatively.

The department offers courses leading to Honours BA and BA degrees in German/German Studies, Italian Studies, Italian Culture, Linguistics, Portuguese Studies, and Spanish, as well as graduate MA and PhD degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics.

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics offers one of the widest selections of languages of any Canadian university: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Greek (both Classical and Modern), Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Italian, Jamaican Creole, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Swahili and Yiddish.

The department also offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Linguistics, the discipline concerned with discovering the organizing principles of human language and applying these principles to the description of individual languages.

Students may also be interested in the opportunity to earn Certificates of Language Proficiency in Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Portuguese, and Spanish, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Hebrew and Jewish Studies and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The department’s language programs, through their various courses and Language Proficiency Certificates, contribute to a variety of area studies and interdisciplinary programs: African Studies, Classical Studies, East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, European Studies, Hellenic Studies, International Development Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, South Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. The department's language programs may also contribute to a variety of graduate programs, such as Development Studies.

Important Notice

Students attempting to ADD a language course for the first time will need permission from the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics prior to enrolling.

In order to be granted permission, please contact our departmental office staff at 416-736-5016 or visit us at Ross South 561.

  Introducing The Wor(l)d Cultures Buddy Project

The Wor(l)d Cultures Buddy Project is a peer-to-peer program that pairs international students with students registered in programs housed at the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

Selected by first language(s), visiting international students, whose life experiences and knowledge of their home culture and literature are such a rich offering to their peers at York University, are invited to pair up with a DLLL student who is interested in that area of the world. Learn more.

  Special Announcements

Sarah Lopex and Dean SingerSarah Lopes, a student in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies programs, won the 2012-2013 LA&PS Outstanding Student Leadership Award . This award honours student leaders in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies for their exceptional contributions to an undergraduate student association in the Faculty. It recognizes outstanding achievement in enhancing the quality of the undergraduate student experience through leadership, commitment and innovation. Congratulations Sarah!

Katy Shum and Dean SingerKaty Shum, a student in the Linguistics program, won the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence for Second Year Students. The Dean's Awards for Academic Excellence are awarded to the students with the highest sessional grade point average based on a course load of at least 30 credits in each of all four years in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. Congratulations Katy!

Sheila Embleton

Distinguished Research Professor Sheila Embleton has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the throne.

Recipients are recognized for their dedicated service to their peers, their community, and our nation. Sheila's citation refers to her significant contributions via Mitacs and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. The medal was presented at an awards reception in Ottawa on November 28, 2012.

  Events, New Publications, In the Media

Congratulations to our colleague Professor Pietro Giordan on a new publication.

Congratulations to our colleague Professor Pietro Giordan on the publication of Drifting Lightly over the Troubled Waters of Modernity: Irony and Exoticism in Shen Congwen's Fiction. Trans.Yang Ziqin. Yunnan University Press, 2013

Congratulations to Professor John Picchione (Italian Studies) on the publication of a co-authored volume

A talk by author John Picchione (York University) and Luca Somigli (University of Toronto).
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 6:30pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura – 496 Huron St., Toronto
Free admission
Infoline: 416.921.3802 ext. 221


What notions revolve around the terms modernity and postmodernity, modernism and postmodernism? How useful are they? In a straightforward and concise fashion, this volume explores the philosophical, linguistic, and ideological orientations that distinguish these cultural models, together with their links to economic and technological transformations.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

For more information please visit this website.

Congratulations to our colleague Karen Englander for publishing a new book.

Congratulations to our colleague Karen Englander for publishing a new book: Scientific Writing in a Second Language (co-author with David Hanauer) Parlor Press, 2013

New Spanish tutoring and conversation hours

Tutoring is offered free to all interested students taking courses in the Spanish Program, as well as for students who have general interest in these languages, literatures and cultures.

Entre Voczes' new tutoring hours schedule are Monday - Wednesday and Friday from 5:00 - 6:00pm and Thursday 11am-12pm.

more information

York Student Wins First Prize in Chinese Language Contest

York student Luc Pokorn has won the first place in the 12th Annual Chinese Bridge Language Preliminary Competition, Ontario and Manitoba regions, held at Seneca College on May 4th, 2013. The competition includes elivering a speech, answering questions about Chinese history, culture, geography, and the Chinese language, and artistic performance. Luc's fluent Chinese and excellent performance made him a star at the competition. As the first place winner, Luc Pokorn will represent Ontario and Manitoba university students to compete with students from all over the world in the Grand Finals conducted in July in Hunan province, China.

The Chinese Bridge, Chinese Proficiency Competition for foreign college students, is an international annual event sponsored by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International, Hanban, Beijing. York's students have been selected to participate in the Grand Final in the past, such as Stephanie Allport in 2011, who won the third place in the preliminary competition. Luc is the first one to catch the laurel for York.

Currently an undergraduate at Glendon College, Luc is doing a double major in International and Hispanic Studies. Fluent in English, French, and Spanish, Luc has been deeply attracted by China's rich history and culture. He traveled in China for more than one year, where he learned the language. He has just successfully completed the fourth year Chinese language course at York.

The Skies Were filled with Music on Music Monday and DLLL participated!

Music Monday 2013 was a resounding success that had thousands participating across Canada and the world! This exciting event – by making music, singing or watching the live webcast live of 14 musical arrangements and translations into 12 languages – can be seen on All is in support of the power of music—a universal language and one that inspires and celebrates creativity and collaboration and understanding across cultures, and that music and the arts are essential in today's world, along with other disciplines.

Dr. Maria Figueredo and Charlie Andrews

DLLL's Dr. Maria Figueredo, Spanish Program faculty member and Director of Undergraduate Programs-Languages and Literatures, translated the lyrics into Spanish. (View Spanish Lyrics), and Dr. Diana Spokiene, Coordinator of the German Studies Program, translated the lyrics into German (View German Lyics).

Joining in this nation-wide celebration* on May 6, 2013 of the Power of Music Education on Music Monday showcased music makers of all ages and backgrounds in schools and communities across Canada celebrate the galvanizing power of learning and appreciating music. Organized by Music Makes Us: Coalition for Music Education, *a national advocacy organization promoting quality music education for all young people since 1993 and the organization behind Music Monday, now in its 9th year, it featured the nation-wide simultaneous concert with Commander Hadfield live from the International Space Station.

At the same time across Canada (1 p.m. Eastern), musicians of all ages united to sing and play the official Music Monday song - *I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)** -*written by Commander Hadfield and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education and CBCMusic.


The live webcast of the Showcase Concert was broadcast by the Canadian Space Agency with a live link via NASA TV with Commander Hadfield on the International Space Station. Messages were offered in person during the event by Ontario Premier, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne; Doug Knight, President and Co-Chair of the Governor General Performing Arts Awards Foundation; Melanie Berry, President & CEO of CARAS/The Juno Awards & MusiCounts; Graham Henderson, President, Music Canada; David Gueulette, President, Ontario Music Educators' Association; representatives from Long & McQuade, Yamaha Canada, and Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Ontario Science Centre.

Find out more at

Learn the music * - get free downloads of the lead sheet, 14 musical arrangements (choral and various instrumental) and song translations into 12 languages

Facebook Page


NEW German Language Placement Test

The Placement test is required prior to enrolment. Please visit the online test site and enter the code: ger2013pt .

  Program Brochures

DLLL Brochure German Studies Program Brochure Italian Studies Program Brochure
Linguistics Program Brochure Portuguese Studies Program Brochure Spanish Program

Letter of Permission Instructions LA&PS International website  
Poster for Politics Religion and Gender Socail Media Conference May 8-9 ::: opens a pdf poster summer 2014 study abroad -- opens pdf version