Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Learning Languages

Several African languages can be studied intensively at the Department of African Studies. As of the winter semester 2023/24, these are: Hausa (West Africa), (Ki-)Swahili (East Africa) and Setswana (Southern Africa). Bambara and Afrikaans will be offered again in winter semester 2024/25. The language courses extend minimally over three or four semesters (in the MA or BA programme, respectively), each comprising 4 to 6 semester hours per week. There are a couple of follow-up courses for advanced learners.

Students at the IAAW or Humboldt-Universität can register for the individual language courses as well as for other courses via AGNES (see Service/AGNES). Interested guest students should contact the respective language lecturers by e-mail (for contact information, see individual web pages).

In addition to intensive language teaching (corresponding to language modules I to III/IV of the study programmes at the IAAW), additional language and structural courses of African languages are occasionally offered. In addition, there are now also supplementary digital language courses organised through a cooperation network of Africa institutes in Germany and Austria. In the academic year 2023/24, the following languages can be learned: Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and Wolof. Details of these courses can be found on the website of the Fachverband Afrikanistik e.V. (please register if possible by September 15th, ibid.). In the study programmes at the IAAW, these courses can be used for a study profile "Language and Communication" or for the BA module "Supplementary Language Teaching".

Further information on language teaching at the Department of African Studies (winter semester 2023/24, in German) can be found HERE.

Translated with the help of (free version)


Hausa Foto.png Introducing Hausa
(Video 4:12)

Swahili Foto.png Introducing Swahili
(Video 5:39)

Bambara Video-Foto Introducing Bambara
(Video 6:39)


An official language in South Africa