Asian Languages and Cultures

Why study Asian Languages and Cultures?

欢迎, ようこそ, and Welcome to the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  We offer Chinese and Japanese Language and Culture majors and minors, as well majors and minors in our inter-regional and interdisciplinary Asian Studies program.


Curious about learning the language spoken by one-fifth of the world's population? Our rigorous language and culture curriculum will provide you with the opportunity to strive for fluency in modern Chinese. It also helps you gain a broad and critical understanding of the multifaceted nature of Chinese culture.


Studying Japanese at Macalester provides an opportunity to study one of the world's most intriguing languages, to appreciate a rich and diverse culture, and to critically engage with a modern and dynamic society. Our aim is to provide you with the opportunity to gain proficiency in Japanese, and to enable you to gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Japanese culture and its place in Asia and the world.

Asian Studies

An Asian Studies major or minor offers an inter-regional and interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asia. By bringing together faculty from across campus with diverse research and teaching interests such as history, literature, linguistics, art, music, religion and society, Asian Studies offers a unique way for students to tailor a course of study most suited to their individual interests.

Department News and Upcoming Events  

March 1 -Deadline to apply to live in the Chinese House or Japan HouseSee Language house pages for information and the application form. 

Every Wednesday - Japanese Conversation Circle, 6 p.m. in CC 214.  All levels of Japanese are welcome. 

March 24, 2016 - Aimee Kwon will speak in OM 4th Floor Lounge, 4:45 p.m. Details to follow. 

Spring 2016 - Poetry Contest - details will follow. 

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Culture Courses, Spring 2016

  • CHIN 255 - China on Screen
  • JAPA 488 - Translating Japanese: Theory and Practice
  • CHIN 194 - Fifth Year Chinese
  • JAPA 288 - Race and Ethnicity in Japan

Chinese majors attended the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, in May 2015.