In multi-linguistic South Asia, Bangla is the language of two nations, India and Bangladesh

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Burmese is a language spoken in Myanmar, previously known as Burma in English.

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Great Wall

Chinese (Mandarin)

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world.  The Department of Asian Studies offers courses in Mandarin for both non-heritage and heritage learners, at a wide range of levels.

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Hindi studnets


Hindi-Urdu is the third most widely spoken language in the world. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages, a subset of Indo-European. 

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Bahasa Indonesia is the national language of the archipelagic Indonesian country, spoken throughout the seventeen thousand islands by over 200 million Indonesians with diverse backgrounds.

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Mount Fuji


Japanese is the main language spoken in the Japanese archipelago by a population of over 100 million and one of the most widely used languages on the internet.

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Indian temple


The Kannada language is spoken by more than 50 million people in the state of Karnataka and some of the surrounding regions of India.

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Cambodian temple

Khmer (Cambodian)

Khmer is a language in the Austroasiatic language family, one of the six major language families found in Southeast Asia.

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Korean mountains


The Korean language is spoken by more than 70 million people living on the Korean peninsula and its outlying islands (the Republic of Korea in the south and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north) and it is ranked the 13th largest language group in the world.

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Terraces in Nepal


The national language of Nepal is known as "Nepali". According to the most recent official census, conducted by the Government of Nepal in 2001, Nepal is home to around 20 million speakers of Nepali.

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Pali text


Pali is a literary and liturgical language central to the Buddhist worlds of South and Southeast Asia, including Sri Lanka.

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More than 100,000,000 people speak Punjabi. It is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan and is spoken by more than 30 million people in India.

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Sanskrit text


Sanskrit is one of the traditional languages of scholarship and religion in India, and critical to intellectual practice elsewhere in Asia.

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Sinhala is considered an Indo-Aryan language, though it has also been influenced by members of the Dravidian language group.

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Tagalog (Filipino)

Tagalog is one of the major languages spoken in the Philippines whose population is now more than 100 million.

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The Tamil language is the language of the Tamil people of India. It is estimated to have over 70 million speakers world wide

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Thai is an official language based on Bangkok speech.

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Tibetan (Classical and Modern)

The Tibetan language records and transmits one of the world’s great civilizations, bridging South and East Asia.

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The Vietnamese language program at the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell offers four levels of language training in Vietnamese from elementary to advanced, and a course in independent study.

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