Critical Languages

Focus on less-commonly taught languages

NSEP emphasizes study of non-Western European languages critical to U.S. national security, such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Russian, and Turkish. NSEP award recipients, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, represent outstanding students and high aptitude language learners who have demonstrated prior and ongoing commitment to language study and a motivation to learn languages well outside the boundaries of Europe and Latin America. They are likely to have some prior experience in the language and are also likely to continue their language study following their NSEP supported program.

Many NSEP Scholars and Fellows have demonstrated proficiency levels in their languages prior to receiving NSEP support; yet because so few Americans have an opportunity to learn less commonly studied languages, NSEP also seeks to identify highly motivated individuals who wish to begin studying such languages for the first time.

NSEP Preferred Languages

The list of languages emphasized by NSEP reflects a need for more than 60 languages.

Albanian African Languages (all) Akan/Twi Amharic
Arabic (all dialects) Armenian Azerbaijani Bahasa
Bambara Belarusian Bengali Bosnian
Bulgarian Cambodian Cantonese Croatian
Czech Gan Georgian Haitian
Hausa Hebrew Hindi Hungarian
Japanese Javanese Kanarese Kazakh
Khmer Korean Kurdish Kyrgyz
Lingala Macedonian Malay Malayalam
Mandarin Moldovan Pashto Persian
Polish Portuguese Punjabi Romanian
Russian Serbian Sinhala Slovak
Slovenian Swahili Tagalog Tajik
Tamil Telegu Thai Turkmen
Turkish Uighur Ukrainian Urdu
Uzbek Vietnamese Wolof Yoruba
Zulu