Indiana University Bloomington

Germanic Studies

Indiana University

College of Arts and Sciences

Dutch, Yiddish & Norwegian

This is an intro to the Dutch, Yiddish & Norwegian page. Here you can find information on Dutch language & culture, Yiddish language & culture, as well as the Norwegian language & Scandinavian culture (Please click here for the Norwegian program webpage). The Department of Germanic Studies also offers a Minor in German, Dutch & Yiddish.

Dutch Language & Culture

For more information on the 50th Anniversay of Dutch at IU, please see the attached program

Dutch is spoken by approximately 23 million people in Western Europe alone and by an additional few million inhabitants of Aruba, Curacao, Saint Maarten, and Suriname. It has official status in The Netherlands, in Belgium, where it is the majority language next to French and German, and in Suriname. Two of Europeís internationally important cities, The Hague, home of the International Court of Justice, and Brussels, the capital of the European Union, fall within the Dutch language boundaries. Afrikaans, which is widely spoken in South Africa, grew out of seventeenth-century Dutch and is similar to modern Dutch. The Dutch language is also an important source language in countries as Indonesia, the USA, Brazil, and Japan.

Students at Indiana University can learn Dutch to achieve a wide range of goals, such as exploration or cultivation of family heritage, enhancement of qualifications for international business, direct access to a prominent cultural tradition, and skills acquisition for research in academic fields such as European history and art history.

1st and 2nd year Dutch Language Courses:

The Department of Germanic Studies offers courses in Dutch language skills for first and second-year students of Dutch. By completing Dutch N100, N150, N200, and N250, students can satisfy the 14-credit-hour foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.

3rd and 4th year Dutch Language Courses:

Since a couple of years we have offered third-year Dutch classes: N300 and N330. Soon a 7th semester of Dutch will be on the books: N400. Heritage students are more than welcome to explore their language options in 3rd and 4th year Dutch and are advised to make an appointment to determine what class best suits their needs.

Dutch Culture Courses:

The Dutch Program offers three Dutch culture and civilization courses, which are taught in English: E341, E42, and E343 , with varying topics in Modern Netherlands, the Dutch Golden Age, and Topics in Dutch Literature, respectively. Topics offered have included: E341 Film&Literature about World War II, and, E342 The Dutch-America connection and Painters & Writers of the Dutch Golden Age, E343 Contemporary Dutch literature. E341 carries Social and Historical Studies distribution credit in the College as well as B List credit towards its Culture Studies requirement; E342 and E343 carry Arts and Humanities distribution credit and B List credit.

Dutch online:

For interested students who are outside the reach of the IU campus, all Dutch language courses can be taken online (N400 planned for the spring of 2015). This way students who are living or staying abroad have access to and can continue with their Dutch studies.

Dutch Studies Minor IU:

A minor in Dutch, which is listed on a studentís permanent academic record and official transcripts, requires the completion of N150, N200, and N250, plus nine credit hours chosen from the following: N300, N330, E341, E342, E343, FINA-A 437 (all E-classes are taught in English).

Dutch Studies Certificate IU:

Students must complete 27 credit hours in Dutch language and culture courses, including

1. 15 credit hours in core Dutch language courses such as GER-N200*, N250, N300, N330 and N400.

2. GER-E 341 Dutch Culture: The Modern Netherlands (3 cr.) and GER-E 342 The Golden Age of Dutch Culture (3 cr.)

3. at least 6 credit hours from a choice of courses with Dutch culture content, approved by the Director. Some options are

  • FINA-A 333 From Van Eyck to Vermeer
  • FINA-A 437 Playing with Pictures in the Fifteenth-Century Netherlands
  • GER-E 343 Topics in Dutch Literature
  • POLS-Y 335 Western European Politics
  • 4. at least 9 credit hours of course work at the 300-level or above.

    5. at least 9 credit hours on the Bloomington campus.

    *Note: 100-level language courses do not count toward the certificate.

    Certificate of Dutch as Foreign Language:

    Indiana University offers students the opportunity to take the Certificate of Dutch as a Foreign Language test, an international examination program by means of which a studentís standing in Dutch is certified. This exam is administered by only a few institutions in the United States. The director of the Dutch program at IU offers preparation for the test, which is administered on the IU campus. The exam takes place in the first week of May, and an application must be completed by March 1. For further information, please contact Esther Ham by email:

    For further information and advising about academic opportunities in Dutch language and culture, including study in the Netherlands or Belgium, please see the Director for the Dutch Program, Esther Ham,, Ballantine Hall 667, (812) 855-7173.

    Yiddish Language & Culture

    Yiddish is a High German language, with many words borrowed from Hebrew and Slavic, that is usually written in Hebrew characters and that was once widely spoken, chiefly as a vernacular, in eastern European Jewish communities and by emigrants from these communities throughout the world, including the United States. Currently, the Department of Germanic Studies, in conjunction with the Jewish Studies Program, offers four courses in Yiddish language skills (Y100, Y150, Y200, and Y250) and two courses in Yiddish literature, film, and culture in English translation (Y300 and Y350). The English-language courses, which also carry Comparative Literature numbers (C377 and C378), examine the history, literature, drama, and film of Eastern European and American Yiddish culture.

    By completing Yiddish Y100, Y150, Y200, and Y250, students can satisfy the 14-credit-hour foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Likewise, both Y300 and Y350 carry Arts and Humanities distribution as well as A list credit towards its Culture Studies requirement.

    The optional minor in Yiddish, completion of which is listed on the student’s permanent academic record and official transcripts, requires 16 hours of course work. The required courses are Y150, Y200 and Y250; with six additional hours taken from Y300 (or C377) and Y350 (or C378); Y495; and History D304 "Jews of Eastern Europe".

    For further information and advising about academic opportunities in Yiddish, please see Professor Dov-Ber Kerler, via e-mail, Ballantine Hall 670, (812) 855-1951.

    Norwegian Language & Scandinavian Culture

    Norwegian Program Page

    For several years in a row Norway has topped the United Nations Human Development Index. But what is behind the figures? Join the Norwegian Program at IU and get acquainted with the leader in environmental policy, gender equality, peace brokering and humanitarian aid.

    Students study Norwegian to gain an insiderís perspective on the diverse riches of this Northern European country. By learning the Norwegian language, students build an understanding of the people, the culture, and the history of the country and an appreciation for how these factors contribute to make Norway a serious participant in our globalized world. Learning Norwegian also gives the students the opportunity to read and understand Swedish and Danish, as the three languages are closely related.

    The Department of Germanic Studies offers four semesters of Norwegian language instruction: K100 through K250. Two years of Norwegian will fulfill the foreign language requirement for the BA degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. You can continue into the fifth semester through Independent Study. Courses are also offered in English every year, carrying Arts and Humanities credit and Culture Studies credit. Topics include: Ibsen and Strindberg, The Multicultural North, Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature, and Ethnic and Immigrant Folklore. The department also offers S491 Scandinavian Language for Reading Knowledge, as well as E361 Vikings and Sagas - an introduction to Viking culture and its reflections in selected sagas.

    Students are encouraged to include Norway in their study abroad plans. There are a number of scholarships through various Scandinavian organizations designed to help students conduct a course of study in Scandinavia. The Coordinator for Norwegian Language and Culture offers assistance to students applying for summer or year-long funding from the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) graduate fellowship program, administered by West European Studies.

    For further information and advising about academic opportunities in Norwegian and Scandinavian, please contact Gergana May, Coordinator for Norwegian Language and Culture, via e-mail, or at Ballantine Hall 659, (812) 855-1046. For more information on the Norwegian Program, please click here.

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