Language center offers courses in rare dialects

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    By Angela Pace

    There are thousands of returned missionaries on campus and BYU is helping them readjust.

    The Center for Language Studies in the College of Humanities offers less-commonly taught languages.

    Some of the less common languages available to students include Tongan, Navajo, Turkish, Afrikaans, Thai, Greek and Swahili.

    The center first began the program two years ago when Melvin Luthy, director for the Center for Language Studies, proposed that the college expand the language classes offered at BYU.

    “We were trying to help returned missionaries across the country get credit for the languages they speak,” Luthy said. “They can take advanced classes in their language over the summer and then get 12 to 16 credit hours of additional credit.”

    Arabic, Spanish, Swedish and Japanese are the four intensive study courses offered this summer term at the basic levels.

    Anyone can register as a “visiting student” and take the classes during summer term, Luthy said.

    The center will be sending more than 1,000 letters to returned missionaries in the United States and Canada to recruit them to come to BYU for language study.

    “By teaching these students the languages, it raises the chances that they will use them professionally and use them to forward the goals of (the LDS Church),” Luthy said.

    Luthy said adjunct faculty come to BYU and teach the classes based on demand and at the request of the center.

    Students interested in taking a language not offered at BYU should make a language request at Print Friendly, PDF & Email