Why Study Chinese, Japanese or Korean?
- China, Japan and Korea have histories and cultures that stretch back thousands of years.
- Asian languages represent the most commonly spoken languages in the world:
- Standard Mandarin Chinese is the official language of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan). It is also one of Singapore's four official languages (along with English, Malay and Tamil). The number of native speakers is quickly approaching 1 billion, making Mandarin Chinese by far the most widely spoken language in the world.
- Japanese is spoken by more than 125 million people. While most of these speakers reside in Japan, it is also spoken by sizeable Japanese emigrant populations in Brazil and the United States. Notably, approximately 12 percent of Hawaiian residents speak Japanese!
- Approximately 80 million people around the world speak Korean, which is the official language of South Korea and North Korea.
- US companies are in constant need of Americans with Asian language skills.
- Learn the languages of The Dream of the Red Chamber, The Tale of Genji or Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven.
- Study in Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shanghai, Nagoya, Tokyo or Seoul, for the summer, a semester, or the academic year (up to four courses count toward the major).
- Our language, literature and culture courses make great Humanities Clusters.
- Chinese and Japanese make great minors.
- A major in Chinese or Japanese will distinguish you from your peers applying to graduate or professional schools or interviewing for the same jobs.
- Chinese and Japanese make great Double Majors. Double majors have combined work in these fields with majors in the sciences, engineering, history, art, psychology, political science, religion, and film studies.
- Majors and Double Majors have gone on to work in law school, medical school, and in graduate programs in a wide variety of fields.
- Any three-course Chinese language sequence
- Three further courses in Chinese language, culture, literature, film, art, history, or politics
- Chinese Course Descriptions
Majors are required to take the following courses:
- Language emphasis: 8 consecutive courses in Japanese language plus 3 additional courses from at least two different groups: culture, film, literature.
- Culture emphasis: 6 consecutive courses in Japanese language plus 5 additional courses from at least two different groups: culture, film, literature
- MLC Seminar or Senior Thesis (Because the material in the Major Seminar applies to advanced work in the major, students are encouraged to enroll in the Major Seminar (CLT 389) in their junior year if at all possible.)
- Japanese Course Descriptions
- Any three-course Japanese language sequence
- Three further courses in Japanese language, culture, literature, or film
- Introduction to Chinese or Japanese Language & Culture
- Intermediate Chinese or Japanese Language & Culture
- Chinese/Japanese Language
The rest of our Asian Humanities Clusters involve courses given in English, although majors and native speakers generally do some of the reading in the original languages. More information about the Chinese and Japanese Clusters is available via the University's Cluster Search Engine, which can be found here.
The College Board Subject Test Advanced Placement Scores or International Baccalaureate rankings assist departmental advisors in finding the right course level for you. Information on how you learned the language or languages you know will also help us advise you on the most appropriate courses for you in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.
Chinese: For students with previous experience in Chinese, the first step is to take the online placement exam . You will receive a score that will be used along with the survey information you provide and with any AP or IB scores you have submitted that will help determine your placement in a specific language course. Please note that any semester placement you may receive with your online numerical test scores are not University of Rochester placement rubrics. Students will receive a “Course planning, placement, and recommendations” sheet with their language placement information from Academic Advising during Orientation and via email.
Japanese: All freshman who wish to sign up for any Japanese class should attend the MLC Open House, where those who are interested in taking JPN 101 will receive the permission code from Shino Fumino. Those students who are hoping to place out of JPN 101 should take the placement test during and immediately following the Open House (Room is TBA). For questions, email Mariko Tamate, Senior Lecturer in Japanese.
Korean: Currently, only elementary-level study of Korean is available. Students who have intrest in studying Korean or who have previous experience with Korean should contact Teresa Valdez, the Language Coordinator for the College.
- CHI 101 Elementary Chinese I
- CHI 102 Elementary Chinese II
- CHI 114 Conversational Chinese I
- CHI 151 Intermediate Chinese I
- CHI 152 Intermediate Chinese II
- CHI 202 Advanced Intermediate Chinese I
- CHI 203 Advanced Intermediate Chinese II
- CHI 204 Conversational Chinese II
- JPN 101 Elementary Japanese I
- JPN 102 Elementary Japanese II
- JPN 114 Conversational Japanese I
- JPN 151 Intermediate Japanese I
- JPN 152 Intermediate Japanese II
- JPN 202 Advanced Intermediate Japanese I
- JPN 203 Advanced Intermediate Japanese II
- JPN 204 Conversational Japanese II
- JPN 205 Advanced Japanese I
- JPN 206 Advanced Japanese II
Japanese Culture Courses
- JPN 190Q Great Cities (see 262-262)
- JPN 210 Introduction to Traditional Japanese Culture
- JPN 214 Atomic Creatures: Godzilla
- JPN 217 Traditional Japanese Literature
- JPN 219 Manga and Anime
- JPN 220 Urban Culture, 1650-1850
- JPN 222 Japanese Theater
- JPN 233 The Culture of Zen
- JPN 234 Haiku Poetry
- JPN 246 Contemporary Japanese Culture
- JPN 254 Modern Japanese Literature
- JPN 255 Japanese Literature and the Problem of Evil
- JPN 256 The City in Film
- JPN 261 Great Cities: Kyoto
- JPN 262 Great Cities: Tokyo
- JPN 263 Great Novels of China and Japan: The Red Chamber Dream and The Tale of Genji
- JPN 273 Japanese Women Writers
- JPN 283 History of Japanese Cinema
- JPN 284 Mobsters, Monsters, Swords
- JPN 285 Akira Kurosawa
- JPN 286 The Japanese New Wave (1960s Cinema)
- JPN 287 Nagisa Oshima
- JPN 290 Women in Japanese Film
- JPN 291 Contemporary Japanese Cinema
- JPN 292 Japanese Animation (Anime)
- JPN 293 New Japanese Directors
- JPN 294 Hayao Miyazaki and Planet Ghibli
- KOR 101 Elementary Korean I
- KOR 102 Elementary Korean II
Beginning in the 2015–2016 academic year, MLC will offer elementary Korean language courses. With a particular focus on the Korean writing system, each semester will build students' communicative competence in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The elementary courses will provide students with a foundation for later work in spoken and written Korean. Future course offerings may be expanded, depending on enrollment.
(Ph.D., Berkeley). Professor of Japanese
(Ph.D., Columbia) Associate Professor of Japanese
(Ph.D., Chicago). Assistant Professor of Chinese
(M.B.A., Temple University) Senior Lecturer in Japanese
(B.A.), Kumamoto), Senior Lecturer in Japanese
For more information about Asian language, literature and culture courses or about becoming a Chinese or Japanese Major or Minor, contact: Professor David Pollack (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Professor William Schaefer (email@example.com).