Language courses

In Pacific and Asian Studies, we approach language-learning as a transformative experience that entails gaining both a practical competence in a new language and a reflexive awareness of the social, cultural and historical particularity of one’s given language(s);

When you study languages in PAAS, you'll learn new ways of thinking about yourself and the world around you; you'll learn new ways of expressing yourself with clarity, civility, and respect; and you'll experience new ways of learning from the people whom you'll meet.

Our language instructors are dedicated, patient, and caring. Some of the best instructors at UVic will guide and inspire you to develop your skills in learning a new language, every step of the way.

Your studies will focus on speaking, listening, reading, and writing, to give you the foundational skills you'll need to be successful.

Even though these courses teach you the basics, that doesn't mean you will only be able to express basic ideas! You'll be able to talk about yourself, your family and friends, your likes, studies, and your goals - and, more importantly, you'll be able to listen as new friends tell you about their lives, studies, and experiences.

In our more advanced classes, you’ll learn to write essays about the subjects that matter to you, and to read short stories and news articles in their original languages. Not only that, but you'll be able to motivate yourself to meet the new challenges you'll be excited to accomplish.

PAAS also offers the opportunity to participate in exchanges, language-immersion field schools, and other study-abroad opportunities. Each one of these will bring you experiences you've never imagined!

We currently offer courses in Four Asian languages: Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, and Japanese. 

We believe that starting with the appropriate level is the key to success in all language studies. If you do not know which course to start with, please contact our language coordinator for each language (Chinese, KoreanIndonesian, and Japanese). You can also contact our program advisors for any other questions about the language programs.



Course number Course title
PAAS 118 Intensive Beginner Modern Chinese I (formerly PAAS 110) (outline)
PAAS 218 Intensive Beginner Chinese II (formerly PAAS 111)
PAAS 318 Intermediate Chinese  (formerly PAAS 210 and 211) (outline)
PAAS 410 Advanced Mandarin for Native Speakers of Chinese
PAAS 411 Directed Readings in Chinese Language
PAAS 412 Understanding Chinese Media (formerly PAAS 310)
PAAS 413 Effective Communication in Chinese (formerly PAAS 311) (outline)
PAAS 418 Classical Chinese Prose (formerly PAAS 312)
PAAS 459 Directed Readings in Chinese Linguistics


Course number Course title
PAAS 128 Introduction to Korean I 
PAAS 129 Introduction to Korean II 
PAAS 228 Pre-Intermediate Korean I
PAAS 229 Pre-Intermediate Korean II



Course number Course title
PAAS 138 Intensive Beginner Japanese I (formerly PAAS 130) (outline)
PAAS 238 Intensive Beginner Japanese II (formerly PAAS 131) (outline)
PAAS 338 Intermediate Japanese (formerly PAAS 230) (outline)
PAAS 340 Integrative Intermediate Japanese (formerly PAAS 330)
PAAS 341

Advanced Readings in Japanese I (formerly PAAS 331)

PAAS 342 Advanced Readings in Japanese II (formerly PAAS 332)
PAAS 343 Advanced Comprehension and Conversation in Japanese (formerly PAAS 333)
PAAS 344 Advanced Composition in Japanese (formerly PAAS 334)
PAAS 345 Japanese through Popular Culture (formerly PAAS 336)
PAAS 430 Seminar in Modern Japanese Literature
PAAS 432 Directed Readings in Japanese
PAAS 485 Seminar in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture