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

Dutch is spoken by approximately 23 million people in Western Europe alone and by people in the Dutch Antilles, Aruba and Surinam. Dutch is also an important source language in countries as Indonesia and Japan. It is the language spoken throughout the Netherlands and in the northern part of Belgium, where Brussels, the capital of the European Union, is situated. Dutch is also the language of The Hague, home of the International Court of Justice. Afrikaans, spoken in South Africa, grew out of seventeenth-century Dutch and is similar to modern Dutch.

Students at Indiana learn Dutch to achieve a wide range of goals, for example, 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.

The Department of Germanic Studies offers at the moment six (seven in the near future) courses in Dutch language skills, N100 through N330, and three topic courses in Dutch civilization and culture, taught in English: E341 Dutch Culture: The Modern Netherlands, E342 The Dutch Golden Age, E343 Topics in Dutch literature. 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. 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.

The optional minor in Dutch, completion of which is listed on the studentís permanent academic record and official transcripts, requires only the completion of any two of the three culture courses in addition to N150, N200, and N250. In some cases a major in Dutch may be possible when combined with a second B.A. major within the Collegeís Individualized Major Program.

Indiana University offers students the opportunity to participate in Certificate Dutch as Foreign Language, an international examination program by means of which their standing in Dutch is certified and accepted all over the world. This exam is administered by only a few institutions in the United States. The director of the Dutch program at IU offers preparation and assistance for the test, which is administered on campus.

Since IUís Dutch program belongs to the American Association of Netherlandic Studies, IU students who take N200 and N250 can compete in a grant competition to study Dutch language, literature, and culture in a summer program in the Netherlands. The director of the Dutch program also offers assistance to students applying for summer funding or year-long funding from the Foreign Language and Area Studies graduate fellowship program administered by the Department of West European Studies.

3rd and 4th year

Since a couple of years, we offer a third year of Dutch, and in the near future also a 7th semester: the N400, a capstone course. Heritage students are also more than welcome in 3rd and 4th year. They can make an appointment in order to decide what class is best for them.

Dutch certificate

In the near future, not only a Dutch minor, but also a Dutch certificate.

E343 Topics in Dutch literature

Starting in spring 2010, a new culture course will be added. As all culture courses, the topics change every time, and can be taken at least twice.

Certificate Dutch as Foreign Language

In the first week of May, all students in the Dutch Program can take any of the official certificates of the Ministry of Education in Belgium and the Netherlands. Students of the 3rd year of Dutch can take the exam that would allow them to study programs taught in Dutch at universities in the Netherlands and Belgium.

For further information and advising about academic opportunities in Dutch, including study in the Netherlands or Belgium, please see the Director for Dutch Language and Culture, Esther Ham, eham@indiana.edu, 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.

IU 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave. | Ballantine Hall 644 | Bloomington, IN 47405-7103 | Phone: (812) 855-1553 | Fax: (812) 855-8927 | germanic@indiana.edu
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