Language is the technology of meaning. Through ordered sounds, linguistic structures and semantic systems, humans are able to encode and decode ideas, concepts, factual arguments and imaginations. Needs and desires are expressed, behavior is regulated, knowledge is constructed and human relationships are formed, maintained and dissolved.

When we study language, we investigate the distinguishing characteristic of the human being, the ability to develop complex symbols which constitute the basis of communication. We learn how to work and play with others. We expand our understanding of the potential of human experience.

The study of languages starts with the most fundamental questions about experience, knowledge and interpretation. Can any idea be translated from one language to another? Or, does language itself shape and inform the idea? The languages of the world become a point of view, poetic potential, and instrument of power and control.

At Arizona State University, reflexive studies of languages occur in the School of International Letters and Cultures, Department of English, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, and Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Focused studies of particular languages and their impacts occur in the Confucius Institute, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Center for Asian Research, Melikian Center and Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, research units of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) explores all aspects of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (or Early Modern period) across cultures, disciplines, and geographical locations.
ASU Chinese Language Flagship is a select, federally-funded program designed to enable students studying Chinese, no matter what their majors, to attain superior language proficiency.
ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts develops master learners, interdisciplinarians, and integrative solutions-makers who are future-ready, through degree programs that emphasize innovative teaching and applied, often project-based, learning.
The Confucius Institute is committed to promoting scholarship about China, as well as high quality Chinese language and culture education within schools and the broader community.
Critical Languages Institute is part of the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies
Department of English's mission is to study, create, and teach spoken, written, visual and digital communication practices and texts of every sort, ranging from the imaginative to those functioning in civic, social, personal, academic and professional communities, and to mentor others to do likewise.
The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences is the driving force behind the forward-thinking philosophy and culture at ASU's West campus, combining the benefits of a liberal arts education with a responsiveness to the demands of the 21st-century workforce.
School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies offers a broad range of programs, with 17 bachelor’s degrees, 17 minors and certificates, and one graduate program. Our students are actively engaged with our esteemed faculty who are Emmy- and Grammy award-winning artists and leading researchers in many interdisciplinary fields.
The study of other languages and cultures has always been one of the most rewarding of human activities. However, in today’s increasingly global environment, intercultural and interdisciplinary communication and knowledge have unprecedented value.
literary programs and educational resources, and to providing individuals of all skill levels with the ongoing educational opportunities they need to develop and succeed as creative writers.