Study a language
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a confident speaker, our language courses will help you to build valuable skills, advance your career and gain a rich understanding of the world’s cultures.
Talk to an expert
Want to find out what it’s like to study a language at La Trobe? Register for a one-on-one consultation to learn more. Register now.
Study your way
There are many ways to study a language at La Trobe.
You could complete a specialised qualification, such as a Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics, or, you could complete a Diploma in Languages or elective alongside another degree.
Choose the best option for you.
Dive deep into your chosen language with a Diploma in Languages. You can study a diploma in addition to your chosen degree or as a standalone qualification.
Find out more about our Diploma in Languages.
If you want to delve into the mechanics behind how we communicate, La Trobe’s Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics will give you the opportunity to explore language from multiple perspectives.
You will study one compulsory language major, with the option to study an additional language major, or multiple further languages as minors and/or electives.
Learn more about our Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics.
Want to study a language as a major, but your degree isn’t listed above? We have options for you.
Many of our Bachelor’s degrees let you to choose a major or minor from outside your main study area – we call them ‘open access’ majors and minors.
You can choose to study a wide range of languages as an open access major or minor. Explore the full list.
Want to try out a language before committing to a full major or minor?
If you’re studying a degree which includes electives from anywhere in the University, you can undertake a language as an elective. With a range of starting points – from beginners to advanced – you can study at a level that matches your current competency.
JPN1001 is available in online mode in Semester 1 and Semester 2.
If you’re studying a degree at another institution, you may be able to undertake a language major, minor or elective(s) with La Trobe through a cross-institutional enrolment.
Talk to our team to find out more.
Choose your language
You can choose from a wide range of languages.
You’ll start at the level that is most suited to your current proficiency. Options range from beginner to advanced and extended, meaning no matter where you start you will graduate with more advanced skills.
Please not that the starting proficiency levels for each language varies. Please refer to your preferred language major or minor for further information.
Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Australian Deaf community. It represents one of two sign language traditions in Australia, alongside First Nations signed languages.
Auslan evolved from the sign languages brought to Australia in the early nineteenth century by deaf convicts and settlers from the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has been called a dialect of British Sign Language and the two sign languages are closely related. Both sign languages are also related to New Zealand Sign Language.
Although sign languages are distinct, they appear to be more alike than unrelated spoken languages, and sometimes share vocabulary and grammar. So learning one sign language, such as Auslan, makes it easier to learn other sign languages.
Our Auslan minor is available online.
Learn more about Auslan.
Chinese is spoken by nearly one-fifth of the global population. Our Chinese Studies program will give you the opportunity to develop skills in oral and written Chinese (Mandarin), and enhance your understanding in China’s past (culture and tradition) and present (economy and technology).
Our program offers four entry-levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced or extension) depending on your background and experience. At more advanced levels, specialist subjects are available in Chinese for academic and professional purposes.
You can also participate in overseas programs to extend your language skills in-country.
Learn more about Chinese Studies.
Our French Studies program will help you develop your proficiency in the language and your knowledge of French history, society and culture.
French is spoken on all continents and in various organisations including the United Nations and Médecins Sans Frontières. The language prepares you to excel in a range of careers including education, translating and interpreting, foreign affairs and trade, international law and humanitarian work.
You can enrol in the appropriate stream at first year: beginners (students with little or no prior knowledge of French), intermediate (students with Year 11 French or equivalent), advanced (students with Year 12 French or equivalent) or extended (native or near-native competency).
Later, you can apply for an exchange program with one of La Trobe’s partner universities in France.
Learn more about French Studies.
Our Greek Studies program gives you the opportunity to study the Greek language, culture, history and politics from the ancient world to contemporary Greece. The language prepares you to excel in a range of careers including education, translating and interpreting, health, banking and tourism.
You will develop a critical understanding of the evolution of Greek culture in its original homeland and the diaspora, including multicultural Australia.
Depending on your prior knowledge and/or qualifications in the Greek language, you may commence at beginners, intermediate, advanced (post-VCE) or extended levels.You can also pair language subjects at a variety of levels with cultural subjects focused on ancient and modern Greek literature, history and society. First year Greek is available online.
Later, you can study in Greece or Cyprus through exchange programs or La Trobe’s overseas short study program, 'Connecting with Language and Culture in Greece.'
Learn more about Greek Studies.
Our Hindi Studies program introduces you to a language with around half a billion speakers, the language of Bollywood cinema, and one of the fastest growing community languages in Australia.
Hindi gives you access to the larger linguistic world of South Asia, including competence in Urdu. It prepares you to excel in a range of careers including media, diplomacy and health.
Students with no prior knowledge of the language should enrol at beginners level to develop competency in speaking, reading, writing and understanding Hindi in everyday contexts. Students with prior knowledge of Hindi should consult with the instructor to determine which of the intermediate or advanced subjects are appropriate.
Opportunities are also available to study in India, where you can take courses on politics, society and history, as well as improve your language skills.
Our Hindi major is available online.
Learn more about Hindi Studies.
Our Italian Studies program combines study of the language with Italian culture, literature, cinema, history and translation. Our focus is on contemporary Italy, but you can explore aspects of early modern, Renaissance and twentieth-century Italy in selected subjects.
Italian is taught at a range of levels, starting with beginners. For those with prior knowledge of and/or qualifications in the language, a placement test and interview may be used to determine a student’s suitability for entry level.
The language prepares you to excel in a range of careers including education, diplomacy, government, social work, art history and restoration, international business, publishing, journalism, tourism, and translating and interpreting.
Opportunities are available to spend one or two semesters studying in Italy as part of an exchange program.
Learn more about Italian Studies.
Our Japanese Studies program combines the study of the language with Japanese society, civilisation and culture.
Japanese is one of the major language subjects in Australian primary and secondary schools. The language prepares you to excel in a range of careers including education, hospitality, diplomacy, government, business, publishing, tourism, translating and interpreting.
Japanese is taught at a range of levels, from beginners through to advanced. A placement test and interview may be used to determine a student’s suitability for entry level. First year Japanese is available online.
Opportunities are available to spend one or two semesters studying in Japan as part of an exchange program.
Learn more about Japanese Studies.
Our Spanish Studies program combines the study of the language with Spanish and Latin American history and culture.
Spanish is the first language of more than 400 million people. The language prepares you to excel in a range of careers in a competitive international labour market. It is also important in international development and diplomatic contexts as an official language of the United Nations and the World Bank.
You can major in Spanish Studies no matter your skill level. Depending on your prior knowledge of and/or qualifications in the Spanish language you will start at beginners, intermediate, advanced or extended.
Opportunities are available to spend time studying in Spain or Latin American countries as part of an exchange program.
Learn more about Spanish Studies.
If you study a language at La Trobe, you can put your skills to use in our Study Abroad program.
It lets you choose between an exchange or short-term program. In some cases, you can enhance your language study with study tours in Archaeology, History, International Relations, Politics and European Studies.