As the world’s melting pot, the United States offer plenty of places to explore ethnologue, the study of the world’s languages. Although far from Ellis Island, Minnesota has a diverse community that offers plenty of top-notch places to learn about other countries and their speech. After a class at one of the following institutions, you’ll be ready to take on the world.
Germanic American Institute
301 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
St. Paul’s premier German culture center offers classes that are intimate and enjoyable. A variety of different classes, at whatever level of comprehension, are geared to help anyone explore one of Europe’s ancient languages. There are children’s classes as well, so the whole family can take part in the fun. Located in a beautiful, historic mansion on Saint Paul’s Summit Avenue, GAI will provide the best in small-classroom learning. Cultural events and festivals hosted at GAI throughout the year bring a taste of Germany right to St. Paul, and you’ll fit right in with your newfound knowledge of the language.
5780 Lincoln Drive, Suite 160
Minneapolis, MN 55436
It could be argued that there is no language more useful to learn as an American than Spanish. At the Spanish Institute, anyone can take the classes they need to learn the language of the country’s fastest-growing population. The school also offers events throughout the year, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the culture of Spanish-speaking countries.
French Language Connection
677 Fairmount Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
French transplant Françoise duRivage teaches one-on-one lessons to anyone interested in learning the language of love. Whether learning the basics for a vacation to Paris or looking to become fluent for life, the French Language Connection has programs to suit any and all levels. The instructor’s dedication to the language will have you watching “Breathless” and “Amelie” without subtitles before you know it, and you can hang out with our neighbors in Quebec and converse without batting an eye.
Bookvar Russian Language School
6480 Wayzata Blvd.
Golden Valley, MN 55426
The Cold War is long over, and the Red Scare is no more. Russia is a fascinating country, with a complex culture, history and language. The climate is not unlike that in Minnesota, bringing us even closer together. Bookvar Language School provides itself on being the best in small-classroom learning, making sure that everyone can take part in one of the coolest, and coldest, countries in the world.
The Italian Cultural Center
528 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
You’ll never have more fun learning a language than with the interactive classes and small group work at the Italian Cultural School. Both adult and youth classes are offered, catering to every level of learning and creating a welcoming atmosphere for anyone interested in learning about Italian language and culture. The teachers work closely with students to ensure that everyone learns at their own pace, and that the experience is as enjoyable as a trip down a Venetian canal.
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Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.