Choosing a Language to Study

Why Study French at Albright?

  • The International Organization of the Francophonie has 77 member states and governments (57 members and 22 observers), and French is an official language of 32 of them.
  • There are 274 million speakers of French, and French is an official language on five continents.
  • French is an official language of the United Nations, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, and the International Red Cross.
  • In 2011, France was the destination of in 698 major foreign investment projects. Twenty thousand foreign-owned companies are doing business in France.
  • French is an official language of Canada, the United States’ largest trading partner, and the province of Québec, the United States’ ninth largest trading partner.
  • The CIA World Factbook lists France as having the world’s 10th largest gross domestic product.
  • French-owned companies in the United States, such as Sodhexo, the Airbus Group, and Michelin, employ over 650,000 Americans.
  • According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, France is the most visited tourist destination in the world.
  • Learning French helps you learn English. English and French are cousins on the family tree of languages, and you’ll find places where vocabulary and grammar overlap. Even when the vocabulary and grammar are different, you’ll learn a little bit more about how languages—English included—do the job of encoding and transmitting information.
  • Paris is one of the world’s great fashion capitals, and France exported 7.2 billion euros of clothing between January and November of 2014.
  • You’ll broaden your view on art, film, and literature. Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Edgar Dégas, Berthe Morisot, Louis Daguerre, Colette, Victor Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre … should we go on?
  • You’ll get to know the United States better. From Francophone New England to the Cajun bayous, laissez les bon temps rouler!

Why Study German at Albright?

  • Germany is the most populous country in the European Union, with over 80 million inhabitants, and German is an official language in five other European countries—Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.
  • In 2014, The Bloomberg Business Report ranked Germany as fifth on its list of best places to do business and third on its list of countries where research, manufacturing and education lead to innovation.
  • German-owned companies in the United States, such as Trader Joe’s, Siemens Group and BMW, employ over 620,000 Americans.
  • The CIA World Factbook lists Germany as having the world’s fifth-largest economy in the world.
  • German scientists and writers have won over 100 Nobel prizes.
  • Learning German helps you learn English. English and German are cousins on the family tree of languages, and you’ll find places where vocabulary and grammar overlap. Even when the vocabulary and grammar are different, you’ll learn a little bit more about how languages—English included—do the job of encoding and transmitting information.
  • You’ll broaden your view on art, film and literature. Goethe, Herman Hesse, Franz Kafka, Albrecht Dürer, the Bauhaus, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders … should we go on?
  • You’ll get to know the United States better. 49 million Americans have German forebears—including many in Berks County and the rest of Pennsylvania—and our culture is steeped in traditions from German-speaking countries—hotdogs and sauerkraut, pretzels, kindergarten, Christmas trees, the Easter bunny, and Oktoberfest.

Why Study Spanish at Albright?

  • Reading, Pennsylvania, provides numerous opportunities to connect with the Spanish-speaking world—60% of its population is Hispanic.
  • Spanish is the first language of more than 450 million people worldwide. It is an official language of 21 countries in four continents and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  • The Pew Research Center reported in 2013 that Hispanics made up 17% of the U.S. population.
  • The Selig Center for Economic Growth at Terry College, Georgia, projected a 50% percent growth of Hispanic buying power between 2010 and 2015, reaching a total of $1.5 trillion.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2013 that Mexico was the United States’ third-largest trade partner, behind Canada and China.
  • According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Spain is the third-most visited tourist destination in the world.
  • Learning Spanish helps you learn English. English and Spanish are cousins on the family tree of languages, and you’ll find places where vocabulary and grammar overlap. Even when the vocabulary and grammar are different, you’ll learn a little bit more about how languages—English included—do the job of encoding and transmitting information.
  • You’ll broaden your views on art, film and literature. Pablo Picasso, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Rigoberta Menchú, Pedro Almodóvar, Gabriel García Márquez, Sor Juana de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Salvador Dalí, Santa Teresa de Ávila, Guillermo del Toro, Pablo Neruda … should we go on?
  • You’ll get to know American popular culture better. John Leguizamo, Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Salma Hayak, Martin Sheen, Dora the Explorer—the United States is enriched by contributions from Hispanic culture and language. And … ¡fútbol!