There are many compelling reasons to study Chinese. Many people simply enjoy studying foreign languages. Chinese is particularly fascinating because of its beautiful handwriting, melodic spoken language, and poetic phrasing. There are also very practical reasons to acquire another language and Chinese is increasingly important to our current and future dialog with China. According to the Asia Society, “The rise of China presents new economic, political and social realities that demand greater U.S. engagement at every level. As the foundation of that engagement, we urgently need to raise the number of Americans who can demonstrate a functional proficiency in Chinese.”
China’s long history—more than 5,000 years—and its splendid traditions in literature, the arts, and cuisine make learning to speak Chinese an exploration and adventure. It is the most widely spoken first language in the world!
Marquette's department of foreign languages and literatures offers several ways to study Chinese as a major or minor field of study. Asian Studies at Marquette continues the long and rich tradition of Jesuit interest in Asia. The interdisciplinary minor in Asian Studies introduces students to the culture, history, politics, economics, geography, anthropology, sociology, philosophies and religions of Asia. This knowledge prepares students to meet the challenge of global careers that are increasingly focused on the developed and developing nations of this region.