Diversity at Reed

What's Your Language?

Linguistic diversity on Reed's campus

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Our linguistic backgrounds tell us a lot about who we are and where we come from. Most importantly, they give way to new avenues of discussion. Far more than a tool for communication, language is representative of a people—their history and culture, as well as who they are to themselves and to the rest of the world. Linguistic diversity does not hinder community members' understanding of each other and those around them but serves as a catalyst for new ideas, interpretations, and opinions. And here at Reed, engaging with one another and with new thoughts is what fuels our community.

In this Diversity at Reed video project, students, faculty, and staff share their stories about language. Whether they grew up speaking a foreign language or learned a new one at Reed, their stories exemplify the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity both in our society and on our campus.

Language and the Reed Community

Listen in on just a sample of the many languages spoken on campus and hear what Reedies have to say about the role linguistic diversity plays in their lives.


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The background story

What languages did you grow up speaking? How often did you use those languages and where?

Wendell, Ariadna, Amanda, Swati, Edwin, Ahmad, Sunny, Elena, and Ülker

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My language is my identity

Do you think it's important that you continue to speak your native language at this point in your life or here at Reed? Why is this language important to you?

Trina, Manuel, Edwin, Sunny, Maria, and Daniel.

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Finding myself in language

What does language say about you as a person?

Swati, Trina, Amanda, Ahmad, Dahlia, and Cale

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Lost in translation

Is there a word or expression in your native language that you feel doesn't translate perfectly into English?

Cale, Swati, Sunny, Dahlia, Trina, Manuel, Edwin, and Ariadna

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Connecting through language

Anything else you want to say about why language is important to you or important to diversity at Reed?

Cale, Ülker, Swati, Amanda, Manuel, Maria, Wendell, Juan, and Jeannine

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