Asian Languages are those spoken across the Asian continent, a landmass which is home to around 60% of the world’s population. There is no uniform agreement on the western boundary of Asia - the point at which Asia ends and Europe begins. Because of the vast size of Asia and its geographical diversity, the people it is home to have very different cultures, languages, histories, systems of government, education and economies. Asian languages have been present in Australian schools and universities for many decades, and have periodically received government support in recognition of the importance of learning the languages of Asia. Typically this support has been focussed on a small number of “key” Asian languages – Japanese, Indonesian, Chinese, Korean and Hindi – but there are of course many other rewarding languages to study. Many Asian languages, such as Chinese, have a significant literary tradition. Other languages which are significant in the Asian region include Russian.
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