In Germany (and other German speaking countries) the terms Landeskunde (= area studies) and Kulturkunde (= the study of culture/civilisation) have mainly, but not exclusively, been connected to the study of foreign languages since its institutionalisation in the second half of the nineteenth century. In relation to specific languages terms such as Amerikakunde or Englandkunde, Frankreichkunde etc. have also been used.
In Europe (and contexts influenced by European ideas and developments), the study of modern languages and literatures and their establishment as academic disciplines were modelled on the classics. Historical linguistics, the editing of early literary documents and philological analysis were given precedence ...