lnalco began teaching languages and culture studies in 1795. Ever since, the Institute has cultivated its role in understanding a living heritage outside of any Western references. Inalco promotes the discovery of the world as it is, in all its wealth and diversity, with a desire to become immersed in another way of thinking. Through the quality of our courses and research, Inalco strives to disseminate the knowledge and skills essential for people to understand and engage meaningfully with each other, culturally and socially as well as professionally. Inalco’s humanist values are evident in all its teaching choices, research policy, and cultural programming.

Over the centuries, Inalco has become a unique world institution, teaching languages from Central Europe to Africa and from Asia to America via Oceania. There is no other institution in the world that offers such a diversity of courses or wealth of opportunities and knowledge in one place.

Research at Inalco combines area studies and academic disciplines, the junction of which is particularly innovative and fruitful in scientific terms. Our researchers study languages and cultures that are increasingly in the spotlight—Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and as far as the Arctic—and are central to the major issues of the 21st century.
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