Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Language Study

Penn offers more South Asian language training than anywhere in North America and perhaps anywhere outside of South Asia itself.  We offer virtually all of India's official languages (Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, Panjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, etc.) as well as the languages of Pakistan (Urdu), Bangladesh (Bengali), Afghanistan (Pastho), and Sri Lanka (Sinhala).  In addition, our department continues to build on our heritage as one of the world's leading centers for the study of South Asia's Classical Languages, including Sanskrit and Pali.

 

Our students discuss the reasons you should study a South Asian language.

 

 

Languages offered in the South Asia Studies Department

Bengali

Panjabi

Gujarati

Pashto

Hindi

Sanskrit

Kannada

Tamil

Malayalam

Telugu

Marathi

Urdu

Pali

 

  

 

 

GIRISH VALLURU, BIOCHEMISTRY, C'17.

"In high school, I ran a diabetic campaign in my grandfather’s rural village in which I was able to council and test many village members for diabetes. However, my communication skills —my limited vocabulary posed some difficulties, and my inability to read and write made it difficult to read patient notes written by local doctors. My Telugu classes and experience at Penn has helped me address each of these shortcomings and equipped me to better direct similar work for my next trip. In the future, I aim to become a physician-scientist and one of my goals is to pursue medical service through Doctors Without Borders. I was surprised to find that Doctors Without Borders has sites in Andhra Pradesh, but on learning this I knew I would need to be fluent in Telugu in order to best help." Read more.