About our History


French and German have a proud history of over 120 years at the University of Stellenbosch. Originally, they were grouped together with Dutch in a Department of Modern Languages. For many years the same lecturer taught all three languages.

In 1918, French and German became seperate departments. In 1998,  they amalgamated again to form a new Department of Modern Foreign Languages. The University of Stellenbosch was the first residential university in South Africa to introduce Mandarin Chinese as an academic subject in 2000 which then became the third language offered as a major by the Department of Modern Foreign Languages.

The Department builds on the strong foundation laid by its predecessors; especially in the fields of foreign language pedagogy, teacher training, literary and cultural history and literary criticism.

Our emeriti include Proff. J.J.Smith (view article from Die Burger, 11 August 2007), E.A.G.T. Friedländer, J.L.M. Franken, G.P.J. Trümpelmann, F.M.P. Oosterhof, E.G. Meiring and R. Kussler. We value their contributions.


Updated: 05-Mar-2018