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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, Japanese Studies, Linguistics, Portuguese Studies, and Spanish, as well as graduate MA and PhD degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. In addition, students may complete an Honours iBA (International BA) in Italian Studies and in German Studies.

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 ESL section fosters the developing abilities of domestic and international students to use English for academic purposes, allowing them to engage more fully in their programs.

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

Certificates of Language Proficiency in Chinese, German, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Portuguese, and Spanish and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

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, Business and Society, 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 Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. The department's language programs may also contribute to a variety of graduate programs, such as Development Studies. For specific program requirements, certificate requirements and course listings, please consult the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Programs of Study section.

Important Notice

If you would like to take a language course for the first time, please contact our departmental office staff at 416-736-5016 or visit us at Ross South 561 for details.

  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.


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.

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 summer 2015 study abroad