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About Us

The School of Languages and Literatures was formed in 2002 through the amalgamation of the Department of Southern African Languages and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. The School brings into one organisational unit the teaching of languages and literatures (excluding English Language and Literature) at the University of Cape Town.

The teaching and research area of the School is wide, covering language, literatures and cultural studies in Afrikaans, Arabic, Mandarin, Dutch, French, Business French, German, Classical Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Sotho, Spanish, and Xhosa, and Special Purposes teaching in Afrikaans and Xhosa. There is also a strong emphasis on the role that these languages and literatures and the cultures they embody, have played and continue to play in Africa.

The School’s awareness of its location in Africa is reflected in many of its research projects. Among these are studies of language learning in the African context, Xhosa linguistics, African oral traditions and orature, Literature and Cinema in Francophone West Africa, the Translation of Southern African Literature into French, Sephardi Women Writers from the Maghreb, German Colonial Discourse in Africa and German Missionary Writings, Comparative Perspectives on German/Afrikaans Literature.

What can you do with a Languages and Literature qualification?

The question you should ask yourself is what can’t I do with Languages and Literatures?

To find out more, click on the department poster: School of Languages and Literature 2014

Communication is key to human evolution, so by developing your language and literary skills, you improve not only yourself, but the human race too! Students who have studied languages have gone on to become language teachers, novelists, politicians, academics, translators, film consultants, actors and international relations specialists.