Old Church Slavonic

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Old Church Slavonic
Illustrated title page of 18th century Patericon

According to the late Slavic linguist Horace Gray Lunt, “Slavonic or OCS is one of the Slavic languages that was used in the various geographical parts of the Slavic world for over two hundred years at the time when the Slavic languages were undergoing rapid, fundamental changes. Old Church Slavonic is the name given to the language of the oldest Slavic manuscripts, which date back from the 10th or 11th century. Since it is a literary language, used by the Slavs of many different regions, it represents not one regional dialect, but a generalized form of early Eastern Balkan Slavic (or Bulgaro-Macedonian) which cannot be specifically localized. It is important to cultural historians as the medium of Slavic Culture in the Middle Ages and to linguists as the earliest form of Slavic known, a form very close to the language called Proto-Slavic or Common Slavic which was presumably spoken by all Slavs before they became differentiated into separate nations.”[1]

At UC Berkeley, OCS has been taught regularly on a semester basis. Currently, Professor David Frick currently teaches it. His course description is as follows, “The focus of the course is straight forward, the goals are simple. We will spend much of our time on inflexional morphology (learning to produce and especially to identify the forms of the OCS nominal, verbal, participial, and adjectival forms). The goal will be to learn to read OCS texts, with the aid of dictionaries and grammars, by the end of the semester.  We will discuss what the “canon” of OCS texts is and its relationship to “Church Slavonic” texts produced throughout the Orthodox Slavic world (and on the Dalmatian Coast) well into the eighteenth century. In this sense, the course is preparatory for any further work in premodern East and South Slavic cultures and languages.”[2]

Kievsko-pecherskii paterik is a collection of essays written by different authors from different times. Researchers believe that initially, it consisted of two pieces of the bishop of Suzdal and Vladimir, Simon (1214-1226). One part was a “message” to a monk called Polycarp at the Kyivan cave monastery, and the other part was called the “word” on the establishment of the Assumption Church in Kyiv-Pechersk monastery. Later the book included some other works, such as “The Tale of the monk Crypt” from “Tale of Bygone Years” (1074), “Life” of St. Theodosius Pechersky and dedicated his “Eulogy.” It is in this line-up that “Paterik” represented the earliest manuscript, which was established in 1406 at the initiative of the Bishop of Tver Arsenii. In the 15th century, there were other manuscripts of the “Paterik” like the “Feodosievkaia” and “Kassianovskaia.” From the 17th century on, there were several versions of the printed text. 

While there have been several re-editions of this particular book, this Patericon was reprinted in 1991 by Lybid in Kiev. WorldCat indexes ten instances including a 1967 edition that was published in Jordanville by the Holy Trinity Monastery. 

Contribution by Liladhar Pendse
Librarian for East European and Central Asian Studies, Doe Library

Sources consulted:

  1. Lunt, Horace Gray. Old Church Slavonic Grammar. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, c. 2001, 2010. 
  2. Frick, David. “Courses.” Old Church Slavic: Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, UC Berkeley, slavic.berkeley.edu/courses/old-church-slavic-2. (accessed 1/20/20)

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
Paterik Kīevo-Pecherskoĭ : zhitīi︠a︡ svi︠a︡tykh
Title in English: Patericon or Paterikon of Kievan Cave: Lives of the Fathers
Author: Nestor, approximately 1056-1113., Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal, 1214-1226., and Polikarp, Archimandrite, active 13th century.
Imprint: 17–? Kiev?
Edition: unknown
Language: Old Church Slavonic
Language Family: Indo-European, Slavic
Source: National Historical Library of Ukraine
URL: bit.ly/paterik

Other online editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

The Languages of Berkeley [fan]
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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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[New acquisitions] Socialism on film database!

After the successful trial of Socialism on Film database, and with the several library colleagues and library administration’s support, I am glad to announce that we were able to purchase this Adam Matthew’s database. The database can be accessed here.  Please authenticate using the EZ proxy or VPN.

This collection of films reveals war, history, current affairs, culture, and society, as seen through the socialist lens. It covers countries such as the USSR, Vietnam, China, Korea, much of Eastern Europe, the GDR, and Cuba. [1917-1989] This unique collection of documentary films, features, and newsreels reveals all aspects of life as seen by filmmakers from the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, China, East Germany, Eastern Europe and more. The footage was versioned into the English language for private distribution in Britain and the West. This is the largest film collection of its kind to survive in Western Europe. The films have been conserved, digitized from the original 16mm and 35mm reels, and are fully transcribed and searchable.

The image below is being used according to the Fair Academic Use only guidelines. The copyright belongs to Adam Matthews.


Hindi

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Hindi

The two great Indian epics, the Mahābhārata and the Ramayana, dominate South Asian cultures in ways that few other literary productions do. Both epics have to do with the heroic exploits of the human incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, one of the most widely worshipped gods of the Hindu pantheon. The Ramayana deals with the story of King Ramachandra, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, who came down to Earth to establish just rule and a harmonious society.

King Rama is not only the ideal monarch and warrior but also embodies the virtues of justice, wisdom, patience, and perseverance. He is an obedient son, a generous brother, and a caring husband. His rule became synonymous with justice and good governance so that throughout the centuries the expression rama rajya (Rama’s rule) has been used to describe the ideal government.

The most famous version of the Ramayana is the Sanskrit composition of Valmiki known as Valmiki’s Ramayana. It has the status of a sacred text and is highly revered. It is also a masterpiece of Sanskrit literature. There were many versions of the Ramayana composed subsequently, both in Sanskrit and other languages. Some became more popular than others, but one is justified to say that after Valmiki’s Ramayana, the version that is most famous is the Ramacaritamanasa created in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi by Tulasidasa in the 16th century. In fact, Tulasidasa’s Ramayana quickly garnered wide popularity and its recitation became part of the worship service of many sects and religious traditions of Vaishnava Hinduism, especially after the introduction of the printing press in the early 19th century. Its communal recital, often set to a distinctive tune, continues to this day. Tulasidasa was himself an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and in expressing his love and reverence for the divine incarnation in beautiful poetry he managed to create one of the greatest poetic works of Hindi literature.

Tulasidasa was born in the region of Avadh in what is now eastern Uttar Pradesh in modern India. There is disagreement about his date of birth, but scholars generally consider it to be around 1532 CE. Traditional accounts state that he was a Brahmin by caste and was initiated into a mystic and ascetic lineage devoted to the loving worship of God through the incarnation of Rama. He is supposed to have spent time as a student with various sages and teachers in Banaras where he learnt the classical Sanskrit texts as well as Vaishnava scriptures. He decided to compose a Ramayana in Awadhi for the edification of the general population, and thus, composed the Ramacaritamanasa, The Lake of the Deeds of Rama. He composed a number of other works as well but the Ramacaritamanasa remained his magnum opus. He died in 1623 in Banaras.

When he set about composing the Ramacaritamanasa, Tulasidasa had a long tradition of composing Ramayanas to look up to going all the way back to Valmiki. At the same time, he was well aware of the literary styles and compositions of his own time when the beginnings of Hindi literature had already been made and a corpus and canon were slowly but steadily evolving. Tulasidasa was to leave his mark on this evolution.

Tulasidasa followed the conventions of chanda prosody that had been the hallmark of Sanskrit poetry and was also followed in other languages, especially for works in Aparbhramsa, the medium of literary production before the rise of Hindi. He also might have been inspired by the metrical structure of the premakhya, a genre of love ballads popular in his days, in creating the basic form for the Ramacaritamanasa. The work is composed in regular arrangements of caupais (quatrains) and dohas (couplets) and he used a different meter for every section of the work.

Tulasidasa used his considerable literary skills to retell the story of the struggles and ordeals of Lord Rama, his brother Lakshmana, his wife Sita, and his devoted disciple, the monkey god, Hanumana, as they faced family feuds, exile, and an epic war against the demon king, Ravana, who had kidnapped Sita, until they returned victorious and vindicated to their capital, Ayodhya, to establish a just and prosperous kingdom.

Ramacaritamanasa is not just a skilled literary retelling of the ancient epic in the charming Awadhi dialect but is redolent with Tulasidasa’s own loving devotion to Lord Rama which seeps through its every line. Perhaps that is why millions of devotees of Lord Rama continue to use it to express their own love and devotion in prayer.

Hindi has been taught UC Berkeley since the late 1960s. Currently, there are two Hindi lecturers. Usha Jain has authored books on Hindi language instruction, including Introductin to Hindi Grammar (1995), Intermediate Hindi Reader (1999), and, Advanced Hindi Grammar (2007). The other instructor is Dr. Nora Melnikova whose interests include second language teaching, modern Theravada Buddhism, and the Early Modern languages and literature of North India. She has also translated Mirabai’s medieval Hindi poems and Erich Frauwallner’s History of Indian Philosophy into Czech.

Contribution by Adnan Malik
Curator and Cataloger for the South Asia Collection
South/Southeast Asia Library

Title: Rāmacaritamānasa
Title in English: The Rámáyana of Tulsi Dás
Authors:
Tulasīdāsa, 1532-1623.
Imprint: Allahabad :  North-western Provinces Government Press, 1877.
Edition: Indo-European, Indo-Aryan
Language: Hindi
Language Family: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (UC Berkeley)
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006125797

Other online editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

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Urdu

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Urdu
Urdu translation of Dāstān-i Amīr Ḥamzah Ṣāḥibqirān (1863)

The dastan is a genre of oral and prose narrative that initially developed in Persian but then spread to other languages influenced by the Persian literary tradition. To be sure, oral tale-telling is hardly unique to Persian or Persian-influenced languages, but the dastan has some unique literary features that make it stand out. Dastans often have very long story lines that can be embellished and stretched even further through detailed descriptions of characters, events, and locations. With their dramatic narratives, dastans are primarily meant for oral performances and enjoying the richness of language and literary traditions.  

One of the most popular dastans in South Asia was Dastan-i Amir Hamzah (the Dastan of Amir Hamzah). It had its origins in 11th century Iran, but eventually made its way to India where it developed many versions in Persian. Dastan-i Amir Hamzah was popular at the Mughal court  where Emperor Akbar was an avid fan. 

The hero of the dastan is Hamzah, an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, who is depicted as a great warrior and supporter of his nephew in early Islamic sources. The adventures of the Hamzah of the dastan, however, are based on fantasy. In the dastan, Amir Hamzah is begged by the wise vizier of Naushirvan, the king of Persia, to help the latter fight his enemies. The gallant Hamzah agrees and fights many battles. He also falls in love with Naushirvan’s daughter, Mahnigar, and seeks her hand in marriage, which requires him to fight more battles and vanquish more enemies. He is accompanied in his travails by his trusted companions, the laconic and serious Muqbil, skilled in archery, and the dishonest but loyal ‘Amr the ‘Ayyar. ‘Ayyars were skilled in espionage and disguises and were notorious for their trickery and special equipment (much like the ninjas). ‘Amr is not only an exceptionally talented ‘ayyar but is extremely greedy even by the low standards of his profession.

As luck would have it, before he could wed Mahnigar, Amir Hamzah is wounded in a battle and is rescued by Shahpal, the king of paris (fairies) who requests that Hamzah help him regain his kingdom in the magical world of Qaf that had been overtaken by demons. Consequently, Amir Hamzah spends eighteen years in the supernatural world of Qaf fighting sorcerers and demons, who can cast such potent spells they can create entire worlds of illusion called tilism. Amir Hamzah and his companions can never be sure whether they are operating in a tilism or in the world of Qaf (which itself is magical) and had to resort to all sorts of ways to break the spells, often with help from saintly figures. Incidentally, an alternative title for the dastan, especially its version based on selections from earlier ones is, Tilism-i Hosh Ruba, The Sense-stealing Tilism.

After eighteen years of adventures, Amir Hamza is finally able to pay his debt to Shahpal. He returns to marry Mahnigar. They have a son named Qubad, but Amir Hamza’s adventures do not end there. He is compelled to fight other enemies and demons until he is called back to Arabia by his nephew, the Prophet Muhammad, to help him fight the enemies of Islam.

When, starting in the 16th century, Urdu became a medium of literary production, dastans began to be composed in it as well. This included versions of Dastan-i Amir Hamzah that were popular enough to have professional story-tellers, called dastan-go or qissah-khvan. Owing to its popularity and the richness of its language, John Gilchrist, head of the Hindustani Department at Fort William College, Calcutta, commissioned a teacher at the department, Khalil Ali Khan Ashk who was also a dastan-go, to publish a printed version of the dastan. Ashk produced the first printed edition of Dastan-i Amir Hamzah in 1801. This makes it not only the earliest printed edition of the dastan but also one of the earliest printed books in Urdu. Ashk’s version consisted of about 500 pages spread over four volumes. It was published many times in the subsequent decades in Delhi, Lucknow, and Bombay. Many of these editions were published by the famous Munshi Nawal Kishore of Lucknow, who published another version by Abdullah Bilgrami in 1871. By the 1920s, the rise of the novel and changing tastes eclipsed the fortunes of dastans and they fell out of favor.

The edition included here is the 1863 edition of Askh’s version that was published from Bombay.

Urdu has been part of language instruction at UC Berkeley since the late 1950s. UC Berkeley also runs the Berkeley Urdu Language Program in Pakistan (BULPIP) in collaboration with the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. In addition, the Institute for South Asia Studies launched the Berkeley Urdu Initiative in 2011 to further promote the study of Urdu at Cal. The leading light for many of the Urdu-related events and activities is Dr. Gregory Maxwell Bruce, the Urdu language instructor, who joined the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies in the Fall of 2016.

Contribution by Adnan Malik
Curator and Cataloger for the South Asia Collection
South/Southeast Asia Library

Title: Dāstān-i Amīr Ḥamzah razī Allāh ʻanh
Authors: unknown
Imprint: Bambaʼī : Maṭbaʻ Ḥaydarī, 1280 [1863].
Edition: n/a
Language: Urdu
Language Family:
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (UC Berkeley)
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100188630

Other online editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Book talk (en français) with Lyonel Trouillot

Wednesday, November 13
5-6:30 pm
4229 Dwinelle (French Department Library)

Lyonel Trouillot is a novelist, poet, journalist and professor of French and Creole literatures in Port-au-Prince. He will discuss his novel Kannjawou (Actes Sud, 2016) which was recently translated into English (Schaffner Press, 2019). He will be introduced by Soraya Tlatli, professor of French at UC Berkeley.

Sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Department of French
&
Cultural Services, French Embassy in the U.S.

 


Featured Publisher – Edizioni e/o

The independent publishing house Edizioni e/o was founded in Rome in 1979 by Sandro Ferria and Sandra Ozzola who had a profound interest in cultural dialogue and exchange. Early on they focused on literary translations into Italian, particularly with writers from Eastern Europe, but soon began to publish writers from their own country as Lia Levi, Gioconda Belli, and Elena Ferrante. In 2005, the founders launched Europa Editions which brings into the English-speaking world some of the Europe’s best contemporary writers. Here are a few of the latest Edizioni e/o titles in Italian that can be found in Berkeley’s collection:

 

 


Book Talk with Michelle Steinbeck: My Father was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water

My Father was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water by Michelle Steinbeck

Lecture | October 15 | 12-1 p.m. | 303 Doe Library

 Library

Michelle Steinbeck is a Swiss author, curator, and editor whose 2016 debut novel My Father was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water (Mein Vater war ein Mann an Land und im Wasser ein Walfisch), published by Lenos Verlag, was nominated for both the Swiss and the German Book Prize. It has been described by one reviewer as “. . . one of the most audacious, exuberant and thrilling novels I’ve read for a long time, even if it is disturbing and bizarre. It is a modernist, magical mash-up about families, home, identity and, ultimately, happiness.”

Michelle will present this work, which has been translated into an English edition (2018, Darf Publishers), and also speak about her writing more broadly.

 All Audiences

 All Audiences

 jott@berkeley.edu


Arabic

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Arabic
Title page and first two pages of 1829 Calcutta edition of Arabian Nights (HathiTrust)

Arabian Nights or One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: ألف ليلة وليلة, Alf Laylah wa-Laylah) is a multicultural collection of stories. According to The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, “No other work of fiction of non-Western origin has had a greater impact on Western culture than the Arabian Nights.”[1] “[P]reserved in its Arabic compilation, the collection is rooted in a Persian prototype that existed before the ninth century CE, and some of its stories  may date back even further to the Mesopotamian, ancient Indian, or ancient Egyptian cultures.”[2] This classic, like numerous other Arabic works, reveals the great influence of the Arabic legacy on other cultures. 

The first Arabic manuscript of Arabian Nights dates back to the 15th century, which was first translated into French in 1704 by the French orientalist François Galland, followed by the English edition in 1706. Since then, Arabian Nights has been translated and reproduced in numerous languages and formats. Stories from Arabian Nights have also been represented in other art forms, such as drama and films to mention a few. Aladdin, The Thief of Bagdad, and Adventures of Sinbad are three examples of famous films.

Arabic became an essential language for human knowledge in the medieval centuries during the bright period of the Islamic civilization, when Muslim scholars vastly contributed to knowledge and science in many fields: algebra, geography, medicine, social sciences, astronomy and many more.[3] The impact of the Arabic language and Muslim scholars’ contribution is seen until today in different disciplines and, most definitely, in languages worldwide. In English, for instance, algebra, chemistry, and algorithm are originally Arabic words.

As the native language in more than 20 Arab nations and one of the official languages in many other countries, Arabic is one of the most spoken languages in the world after Chinese, Spanish, and English; hence, it is one of the six languages recognized by the United Nations. Arabic is one of the Semitic languages which, like Hebrew, are written from right to left. Most importantly, Arabic is the language of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. Therefore, it is the language of daily prayers around the world regardless of the Muslims’ native languages.  

According to the Modern Language Association’s enrollment data for 2016, Arabic is among the top 10 languages taught in the US with 31,554 enrollments in 2016 compared to 24,010 enrollments in 2006.[4] This number includes students enrolled in classes for standard Arabic, as well as the Arabic language classes focusing on various dialects such as Egyptian colloquial Arabic, Shami (Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian/Jordanian) colloquial Arabic, Moroccan and North African colloquial Arabic, and Khaliji Arabic in the Persian Gulf Region.

At UC Berkeley, Arabic is one of the languages of emphasis for the major in Near Eastern Languages and Literature offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies (NES). Students who major and minor in Arabic learn about the peoples, cultures, and histories of the Arabic speaking world besides the language. NES offers all levels of Arabic language courses: 1A and 1B (elementary), 20A, 20B and 30 (intermediate), and 100A and 100B (advanced), and an intensive summer program. Upper division courses range from the study of colloquial Arabic, to classical prose and poetry, to historical, religious and philosophical texts, to survey of and seminars in both classical and modern Arabic literature.[5]

Contribution by Mohamed Hamed
Middle Eastern & Near Eastern Studies Librarian, Doe Library

Sources consulted:

  1. Leeuwen, R. van, Marzolph, U., & Wassouf, H. (2004). Introduction. In The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia (p. xxiii). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ignacio Ferrando. ‘History of Arabic’ in Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Ed. Lutz Edzard et al. Brill Reference Online, 2019. (accessed 9/27/19)
  4. Modern Language Association of America. Enrollments in Languages Other Than English  in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Final Report (June 2019).  (accessed 9/27/19)
  5. Arabic (ARABIC) – Berkeley Academic Guide (accessed 9/27/19)

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
Alf laylah wa-laylah
Title in English: Arabian Nights
Author: unknown
Imprint: Calcutta : The Asiatic Lithographic Company, 1829.
Edition: n/a
Language: Arabic
Language Family: Central Semitic
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (UC Berkeley)
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100639014

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Socialism On Film Trial at the Library through October 31, 2019

The library will have trial of a primary digital source that is entitled, “Socialism on film” through Adam Matthews. The trial will go on through October 31, 2019.

The database’s self-description is as follows, “Sourced from the British Film Institute (BFI), Socialism on Film documents the communist world, from the Russian Revolution to the end of the Cold War. This unique collection of documentary films, features and newsreels reveals all aspects of life behind the Iron Curtain, as seen by filmmakers from the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, China, East Germany, Eastern Europe and more. The footage was originally sourced from communist states, then versioned into English language for private distribution in Britain and the West. This is the largest film collection of its kind to survive in Western Europe. The films have been conserved, digitized from the original 16mm and 35mm reels, and are fully transcribed and searchable.”

The image below is being used according to the Fair Academic Use only guidelines. The copyright belongs to Adam Matthews.

You might need to use your VPN or Proxy, if you are going to access the database from an off-campus location.


Universitas Linguarum

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

The Languages of Berkeley

Linguarum enim inscitia disciplinas universas aut exstinxit, aut depravavit…

For ignorance of languages either marred or abolished the world of learning….

—Erasmus, 1529, De pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis. Opera I, 377

Berkeley’s celebration of languages in the Library could not come at a better moment. We are living in a time when many Americans are smugly self-satisfied about speaking English Only, when our government has waged an ugly war against immigrants, when linguistic and cultural otherness is too often construed as a threat, and when the world of learning is narrowing to a point where it may again be falling on unfortunate times.

The national trends are clear. A recent report from the Modern Language Association shows that 651 foreign language programs in American colleges and universities were lost between 2013 and 2016. And these are not all “less commonly taught” languages: according to the MLA report, during the 2013-16 period, net losses included 129 French programs, 118 Spanish programs, 86 German programs, and 56 Italian programs. Since 2009, overall foreign language enrollments have declined by 15.3 percent nationally. A recent Pew Research Center study showed that only 20% of American K-12 students study a foreign language (as compared to 92% in Europe).

Berkeley is not immune to decreases in language enrollments, but our programs remain unusually strong and have been staunchly supported by the Berkeley administration. In any given year, between 50 and 60 languages are taught on campus, and this remarkable breadth reflects the diversity of the State of California and the backgrounds and research interests of our students and faculty. California leads the nation in linguistic diversity: 42% of Californians speak a language other than English in their homes (as of 2016), and California has more than a hundred indigenous languages. Not surprisingly, this year’s incoming students speak more than 20 languages.

Globalization is ostensibly a strong impetus for language study — and it is in most parts of the world, where knowledge of English and other major languages is viewed as a fundamental necessity for participation in the global economy. However, in the U.S., it seems that globalization has had the opposite effect, leading many Americans to adopt a complacent attitude: why study other languages when so much of the world revolves around English?

Berkeley resists such complacency. We recognize that knowing other languages opens up fresh perspectives on the world, on our relationships with others, on our own language and culture, on the various disciplines we study, and on the problems we strive to solve. Indeed, so many of the challenges we face today are global in nature and can only be approached through the multiplicity of perspectives that come with international cooperation and collaboration. While English may allow for broad sharing of information, the reality is that we will never fully understand the nuances of other peoples’ perspectives if we don’t speak their language. Furthermore, because language, thought, and identity are so intimately intertwined, acquiring languages other than our mother tongue enriches our very being, allowing us to take on new identities, adopt new attitudes and beliefs, develop greater cognitive flexibility, and understand ourselves and our culture in a new light. Seeing the world through the lens of another language and culture also fosters empathy, which is essential to counter increasingly pervasive waves of ethno-nationalism.

Our university library reflects this awareness that languages nourish our imagination, enhance our creativity, and broaden and deepen our understanding of worlds past and present. More than half of the 13 million volumes in UC Berkeley’s collection are in languages other than English. Remembering that the word university derives from the Latin universitas, signifying both universality and community, let us celebrate together the rich diversity of the Library’s holdings and of languages on the Berkeley campus.

Rick Kern,
Professor, Department of French
Director, Berkeley Language Center

The Languages of Berkeley [fan]
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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Contact/Feedback
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