Slavic and Eurasian Languages


Russian is spoken by upwards of 250 million worldwide, including 144 million in Russia, a country that covers one-eighth of the world’s landmass and spans eleven time zones across Europe and Asia

St. Basil's Cathedral


Ukrainian is an East Slavic language and is part of the larger Indo-European family of languages. It is spoken in Ukraine and in Ukrainian communities in neighboring Belarus, Russia, Poland, and Slovakia.

Ukrainian flag in front of city of Kyiv

Bosnian / Croatian / Montenegrin / Serbian (BCMS)

Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian are taught together at KU. Although they have all become official languages of their independent states, they remain mutually understandable.

Town of Vrbnik Croatia coast of Adriatic Sea Krk Island


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

View from the Charles Bridge in Prague in the evening


The Polish language, rich in its history and literature, is spoken by more than 40 million speakers. KU has a long tradition of teaching Polish language and literature.

Krakow rooftops at sunset

Persian (Farsi, Tajik)

Persian, an Indo-European language with a rich cultural and literary history, is an official language in three countries: Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, where it is respectively known as Farsi, Dari, and Tajik.

Khujand Arbob Cultural Palace Tajikistan. Tiled fountain in front of a two-story building with columns on a sunny day.


Slovene is spoken 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.

Ljubljana seen from a riverbank


Turkish is spoken by roughly 150 million people 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. Turkish is also an ideal gateway to study the other Turkic languages of Eurasia, including Azeri, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, and Uzbek.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and Museum of Istanbul, Turkey


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

Uyghur people travel along birch tree lined roads to the weekly market at Yopurga near Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China