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REES Languages at KU

Through the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, KU offers 10 languages pertaining to Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (REES): BCS, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Tajik, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uyghur, and Yiddish. These language are supported by a variety of interdisciplinary courses ranging from the humanities (literature & the arts) to social sciences (political science, economics, etc.) and professional disciplines (law, business, and public administration, for example). KU students from all majors and professional schools are encouraged to explore REES area studies through language. Enroll today!

Bosnian Croatian Serbian (BCS)
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (formerly known as Serbo-Croatian) offers three languages for the price of one! Although Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian have all become official languages of their newly independent states, they remain completely understandable among each other. By learning BCS, you'll be able to speak with any of the nearly 20 million people living in four European countries: Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Czech is the language spoken by about 10 million citizens of the Czech Republic and another 2 million or so worldwide. Czech is a Slavic language from the West Slavic group, which also includes Polish and Slovak.

Polish language, rich in its history and literature, is spoken by more than 40 million speakers. The University of Kansas has a more than thirty-year tradition of teaching Polish language and literature.

Russian is spoken by upwards of 170 million people in Russia, a country that covers one eighth of the world’s landmass and that spans eleven time zones across Europe and Asia.

Slovene is spoken by approximately 2 million people in the Republic of Slovenia and neighboring territories in Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Large Slovene-speaking communities can also be found in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the US. KU is the only major North American university that teaches Slovene at all levels.

Tajik/Farsi (Persian)
Persian is spoken by 120 million people in the Middle East and Central Asia. KU teaches two of the three majors dialects: Farsi (primarily spoken in Iran) and Tajik (primarily spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). 

Turkish is spoken by roughly 150 million people all around the world. Like Finnish and Hungarian, Turkish is an agglutinative language, which means that new particles are added to the end of a base form to generate new words.

Ukrainian is an East Slavic language and is part of the larger Indo-European family of languages. Ukrainian is spoken by about 50 million people in Ukraine and in many other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and the U.S.

Living at the cultural crossroads of Central Asia, mostly in the Xinjian Autonomous Region of China, the traditionally Muslim Uyghurs have a rich body of literature, arts, music, and dance. Today, Uyghur is geopolitically strategic as the region shares a border with Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Turkic republics, Russia, and Mongolia.

Yiddish is the erstwhile lingua franca of East-European (Ashkenazi) Jews and now spoken by Hasidic Jews and some traditional communities in Israel and elsewhere. The main stock of the Yiddish lexicon is German, but there are many Hebrew, Aramaic, Romance and Slavic elements.


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