Polish is a West Slavic language currently spoken by some 40 million people world-wide. As a literary language that goes back to the fifteenth century, Polish has a remarkably rich tradition, which includes five winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is one of the official languages of the European Union. The Department of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages & Cultures offers two years of instruction in the Polish language as well as tutorials for more advanced students, all of which also provide an entrée into the history and culture of the Polish people. In addition, the department offers courses in Polish literature, in translation as well as in the original.
Students who are already familiar with one Slavic language are encouraged to study other Slavic languages because they have common vocabulary and some even share an alphabet.