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Akan is a language group spoken by related peoples in mainly Ghana and eastern Côte d’Ivoire. The descendants of escaped slaves in the interior of Suriname and the Maroons in Jamaica still use a form of this language.
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia by the Amhara. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Arabic is the largest member of the Semitic language family, spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language and by 250 million more as a second language. Most native speakers live in the Middle East and North Africa.
Chinese is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by over one billion people as their native tongue. Most common among the five major regional forms of Chinese is “Mandarin” (Putonghua / Guoyu) which is based upon the Beijing dialect and is the official language of both the PRC and Taiwan. The written language is the same for all varieties of Chinese.
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide.
French and Francophone Studies
French is a Romance language spoken around the world by more than 100+ million people as a first language, by 190 million as a second language, and by about another 200 million people as an acquired foreign language, with significant speakers in 54 countries.
German is a West Germanic language, thus related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. It is one of the world’s major languages and the most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. Around the world, German is spoken by approximately 105 million native speakers and also by about 80 million non-native speakers.
Haitian Creole is a language spoken in Haiti by about 10 million people which is nearly the entire population, and via emigration, about 1 million Haitians who live in the Bahamas, Cuba, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, and United States.
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Hebrew in its modern form is spoken by more than seven million people in Israel while Classical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world for over two millennia. It is one of the official languages of Israel, along with Arabic.
Italian is a Romance language spoken by about 60 million people in Italy, and by a total of around 70 million around the world. In Switzerland, Italian is one of four official languages, and it is also the primary language of San Marino and Vatican City.
Students can earn a Major or Minor, taking courses in Italian language, literature and culture, including cinema, both on the UF campus and in our study abroad program in Rome, Italy.
Japanese is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities.
Polish is a West Slavic language and the official language of Poland. Nearly 97% of Poland’s citizens declare Polish as their mother language. Ethnic Poles constitute significant minorities in Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. Polish is the most widely used minority language in Lithuania’s Vilnius County (26% of the population, according to the 2001 census results), and it is also present in other counties.
Russian is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, and the largest native language in Europe.
Swahili is spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Indian Ocean coastline from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique, including the Comoros Islands. Although only 5-10 million people speak it as their native language, Swahili is also a lingua franca of much of East Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a national or official language of four nations, and is the only language of African origin among the official working languages of the African Union.
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of the Vietnamese people who constitute 86% of Vietnam’s population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese, most of whom live in the United States.
Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and it is the native language of the ethnic group of the Wolof people. Wolof is the most widely spoken language in Senegal.
Yoruba is a language of West Africa with over 25 million speakers. It is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and traces of it are found among communities in Brazil, Sierra Leone, northern Ghana and Cuba.