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Butler campus

Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


Dr. Xiaoqing Liu, Associate Professor of Chinese


Dr. Sylvie Vanbaelen, Professor of French


Dr. Sarah Painitz, Assistant Professor of German


Dr. Irune Gabiola, Professor of Spanish


Dr. Terri Carney, Professor of Spanish

Language Tutoring

Learn a language with us and take on the world. We offer Chinese, French, German, and Spanish majors and minors at Butler, as well as a Multilingual major. We will help you broaden your global perspectives by traveling abroad for immersive language and cultural studies, as well as by engaging with active polylingual and multicultural communities here in Indianapolis. You’ll find our faculty highly accessible and supportive. They will guide you in becoming a critical reader of other languages’ important literature and a scholar of their social and linguistic contexts.

Study Abroad

Each year up to 150 MLLC students immerse themselves in cultures on six continents, via programs coordinated by Butler’s Center for Global Education (CGE). Over 100 programs serve students in all four languages that we offer.

Double Majors

A language major or minor pairs well with other Butler programs. Recent graduates often combined one or more languages with anthropology, biology, business, chemistry, education, history, international studies, media production, pharmacy, political science, psychology, sociology, and the fine arts.

Butler Distinctions

Entering our programs

Entering Our Programs

Have you already studied Chinese, French, German, or Spanish? You may be eligible for Butler Language Placement Credits (BLPC) or advanced placement in our programs. All undergraduates in Butler’s College of Communication and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as International Business majors, must complete at least six language credits at the intermediate level or above toward their degrees.

Cultural Outreach

Cultural Outreach in Indy

Our students dive into the cultural life of Indianapolis’ vibrant Chinese, French, German, and Latino communities. While gaining fluency in languages, students have learned to cook Chinese dumplings and El Salvadoran papusas, mingled with dignitaries to honor the fall of the Berlin Wall, danced at Caribbean concerts, enjoyed tea with African scholars, and celebrated Chinese New Year and El Día de los Muertos. Many serve locally as medical translators, tutors in English as a second language, and welcoming friends for recent immigrants.

Modern Language Center

Modern Language Center

Get free tutoring help or hang out with friends in our student Modern Language Center. Students take advantage of big screen TVs with comfy couches, PCs, and Macs with a high-speed printer.

MLLC Student

Marketing Your Language Abilities

Employers value the strong communication, reasoning, and collaboration skills cultivated by studying languages and other cultures. Butler will help you showcase your knowledge and experience through your individual language ePortfolio and the Modern Languages Senior Keystone, a one-credit course preparing you to take on the world.

Our Graduates

Our Graduates

Modern Languages graduates work as Scientists, Product Marketing Analysts, Accountants, Assurance Managers, and more for such leading companies as Eli Lilly and Company, Salesforce, Ernst & Young, and Cummins. Certain alumni are serving as an Interpreter and Coordinator of Latino Services at the Marion County Prosecutor’s office, a Creative Engagement Coordinator at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, and a Founder and Director of the Project Alianza non-profit aiding children and farmers in rural Nicaragua. And many have become dentists, doctors, lawyers, and professors after graduate schools from across the world.

Gertrude Amelia Mahorney

An Historical Leader

Gertrude Amelia Mahorney—the first documented female African-American graduate of any Indiana college or university—graduated from Butler with a bachelor’s degree in 1887, specializing in German. Two years later, Mahorney earned a master’s degree from Butler. Born in Indianapolis near the end of the Civil War, her family moved to Indianapolis’ east-side Irvington neighborhood in 1879 with the hope she and her brother would attend Butler. After graduation, Mahorney taught German for many years in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). She also translated German stories into English for Indianapolis newspapers.