Languages of the Americas


An ASL student signs while looking to the side.The United States is rich in linguistic diversity, with over 66 million Americans speaking a language other than English at home. While some of the languages offered by the Five College Center for World Languages, such as American Sign Language and Haitian Creole, originated in the Americas, we consider all of our languages to be languages of the Americas, as all are spoken here and have vital relevance and importance within the United States.

Students at the Five Colleges can study the most-spoken languages in Massachusetts, which are SpanishPortugueseMandarin ChineseCantoneseFrenchHaitian CreoleItalianRussianVietnameseGreek, and Arabic, along with other languages of particular relevance to Western Massachusetts and the Five College area, such as Polish and Irish.

The Connecticut River Valley, where the Five Colleges are located, is also home to a dialect continuum of Algonquian languages such as Massachusett, Wampanoag, Pawtucket, and Nauset. Efforts such as the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project seek to reintroduce these languages in Massachusetts. Learn more about other projects to enhance Native American and Indigenous Studies at the Five Colleges through a 2.5-million-dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.