In this class, students will be introduced to the various language families of the world. A variety of examples from each of the language families will be provided. Students will also be introduced to several basic linguistic concepts, which will guide our discussion and study of language families. Students will begin by learning the basic universals of all languages, looking at topics such as greetings and good-byes, formality/ informality, expression of time and place, expression of gender, universal grammar aspects, and others. We will be answering questions such as: What is language? What are language varieties? What are (universal) basic language features? What has impacted the development of language? Alongside these questions, students will also learn about and discuss underlying social and political conditions that influence a language, as well as different forms of cultural expressions that are mediated through language. Thus, the class will ground students in a basic understanding of how social, religious, political, historical, and foreign factors have influenced and changed languages around the globe, and in turn how the cultural expressions through language establish their own set of social, political, and historical factors. Last but not least, the course will facilitate a rigorous understanding of diversity through language and culture, and let students think about what connects us all, regardless of the variations that exist.