Even we were not immune to the cliche that languages are the key to culture! And yet how often is this truism forgotten or taken for granted. Each language represents a distinct worldview, possessed of a unique inner logic that makes it beautiful and renders many of the thoughts expressed in it unreproduceable in another tongue. There's no perfect, one-to-one "match" between words from different languages, even if they do refer to the same thing: if there were, we would all be speaking the same tongue. Needless to say, such a world would be a pretty boring place. Bearing that in mind, one quickly realizes that a knowledge of language(s) (including one's own) is the same as a respect for culture(s).
Since knowledge of languages is the key to understanding culture(s), we like to think of ourselves as one of the true multicultural and interdisciplinary entities on campus. A wide range of disciplines and languages – ancient and modern and from various parts of the world – are based in our department: Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek (Modern as well as Ancient), Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Swahili at various levels of proficiency are all taught in our department.