East Asian Languages
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East Asian Languages Overview

Asian culture has survived for over three thousand centuries, and its influence has expanded far past Asia. By majoring in East Asian Languages you will learn various Asian dialects, along with Asian grammar and literature. In addition, there will be classes on East Asian philosophy, religion, and applications to business and technology.

Concentrations within this major would include Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Tibetan Languages and Literature. Depending on which concentration you choice, you will be taking courses in Japanese, Korean, Japanese, and Tibetan (beginning, intermediate, and advanced), Chinese history, Korean Art, Buddhist studies, and Modern Chinese film.

Required Skills

East Asian languages can be challenging for English speakers to learn because the characters and pronunciation are so different. Patience and persistence are important to find success in this field. The complex characters that make up the written language rely on precise handwork, making an eye for detail essential.

In order to prepare for this major, students are advised to take courses in World History, English, World Religion, and Government. These courses will help student understand the fundamentals of East Asian Languages. There are opportunities for study abroad programs at some institutions. This would allow student to practice their lingual skills and experience the culture first hand.


A degree in East Asian Languages can lead to many different career opportunities. If you are interested in teaching, there are positions in Postsecondary and Adult Education. You would have the opportunity to teach an East Asian Language or English, along with culture and history. Another option is to become a translator. Translators are in high demand because of growing business between nations. If you are interested in Foreign Service, you can become a Foreign Service Officer. These officers endorse American business and political interests and give information and aid about their countries to the U.S policymakers. They arrange cultural exchanges, and help Americans travel abroad. The job outlook for these officers is growing at an average rate when compared to other occupations.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in East Asian Languages might open up.

Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Interpreters and Translators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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