If you’re looking to learn a new language in the capitol of California, Sacramento has plenty of schools where you can learn to parler français, deutsch sprechen, parla italiano, and much more. You can learn to speak (or sign, as the case may be) at two community colleges, one very close to downtown and one in Sacramento’s outskirts, as well as three cultural headquarters. Whether you’re brushing up on a language you already know, or learning an entirely new one, these are the best places for language classes in the Sacramento area.
Sacramento Turn Verein
3349 J Street
While “turn verein” means gymnastic club, don’t let the name of this place fool you, because there are all kinds of German events (beyond Oktoberfest) held here. More importantly, if you want to learn to speak German, this is the place to go. Classes are $80 for eight weeks (once a week) and $100 for eight weeks (twice a week). Textbooks are an additional fee, and there’s also a $10 materials fee paid to the instructor. Turn Verein offers four levels of beginning (1A-1D) and intermediate (1A-1B and 2C-2D), and advanced courses, all of which are offered weekday evenings.
Note: To find out what level course you should be in, call Turn Verein before you enroll.
Alliance Française de Sacramento
1721 25th Street
Hours: Mon to Thurs 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Alliance Française de Sacramento offers beginner, intermediate and advanced French classes, and the website features a French placement test, ensuring that you enroll in the best level for you. Classes are held once per week in either five- or 10-week sessions. Ten-week courses include textbooks and audiovisual materials for beginners through advanced levels, while five-week special interest classes focus on a particular aspect of the language, such as literature, travel, conversation, writing, pronunciation, or verb conjugation. Tuition for a five-week course is $120 ($230 per couple), and tuition for a 10-week course is $210 ($400 per couple). Private tutors are available for adults at $45 per hour ($50 for two people). All classes are 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Note: To learn French here, you must be an Alliance Française de Sacramento member, which is a $20 one-time fee.
Sacramento Italian Cultural Society
6821 Fair Oaks Blvd.
The Sacramento Italian Cultural Society offers Italian courses that are accredited and approved by the Italian Consulate (they even offer high school and college credit for students!). Classes are held in two Sacramento locations – at the main location in Carmichael, and at Sierra 2 in Curtis Park. Course options include three levels of beginning courses, three of intermediate, and three of advanced, plus mixed-level and beginner, intermediate and advanced conversational classes. In other words, there’s bound to be an Italian course that will fit your skill level and needs. Most courses are eight weeks and cost $175.
Note: Travelers should not miss the Italian for Travelers Course, which focuses on art, history, food, wine, culture and more while you lean basic conversation skills, useful vocabulary and key phrases to make your trip molto buono!
American River College
4700 College Oak Drive
American River College offers three major sign language programs focusing on business, human services, and interpreting. Depending on your sign language skill goals , you can not only learn American Sign Language, but also about the Deaf community, ethics, educational interpreting, medical interpreting, performing arts interpreting, religious interpreting, telephone and television interpreting, and more. Courses range from .5 unit to 4 units, at a cost of $36 per unit.
Note: You do not have to pursue a degree to take a sign language course at American River College.
Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Farsi
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd.
When you want to learn practically any language not listed above (Korean, for example), look no further than Sacramento City College, where you can try your hand at Korean, in addition to Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese (both elementary and intermediate), and Farsi. Sacramento City College enrollment is $36 per unit, and all language classes are four units per course. Most language courses are offered weekday evenings, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, for a full semester.
Note: Don’t think because you’re looking into learning an unusual language that you’ll be the only one—these classes can fill up fast, so sign up early!