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Languages Taught in Linguistics Department


Today Arabic is spoken throughout many countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Sudan, and North Africa: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania; the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq; and the Levantine: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. It is also widely used in some African countries like Somalia, Djibouti, Chad, Niger, and Mali. Arabic is the mother tongue of over 300 million people in Africa and Asia. And since the Qur'an, the holy book of Muslims, is written in Arabic, people in other Muslim countries have from basic to advanced knowledge of Arabic.


Chinese is spoken by more than 1 billion people. This means that one of every five people in the world is a Chinese speaker. Chinese culture is among the Earth's oldest; Chinese literature, art, and philosophy have a tradition that is thousands of years old. The Chinese economy is the fastest growing in the world and Chinese political, social, and cultural influence is everywhere. The Chinese language is the door to all of this.


The Linguistics Department offers many English language programs and services for English Language students and teachers, for international community members, for Ohio University departments, schools, and colleges, and for organizations in need of language and culture training.


More than 130 million people around the world speak Japanese; most live in Japan, but Japanese speakers live in almost every country around the world. Japanese has three writing systems; Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana, and Katakana are used. Kanji was brought to Japan from China. Hiragana and Katakana are Japanese syllabic scripts.


Swahili is the most widely spoken African Language in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the national language of Tanzania and Kenya, and is also spoken widely in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros. Estimates place the number of speakers at 100 million people. Swahili is the only official African language of the African Union, and its status as a lingua franca in the east and central African region makes it an important language to learn. It is taught in more than 50 universities in the United States. It is also taught in many universities in Europe and Asia.

Language Placement Testing or Test-Out Information

Students who have prior speaking or language knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Swahili should email from their OHIO email account to request to take the Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Swahili language placement test. Students will then receive an email with instructions on how to take the test.
Students who have no prior background in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Swahili, or who would like to begin with a new foreign language, do not need to take a placement test but can register for the beginning course, which is 1110 for all languages.