English Philology vs English studies difference in meaning and connotations for Natives?

In Poland, English University major is called “English Philology” (pol. Filologia Angielska), and this is how it is usually translated and communicated. By the Poles.
When you google English philology, oddly enough, only sites of Polish Universities come up. After doing some old classic research I decided to entitle myself as an English Studies graduate, as it maybe says more about the scope. But I decided to maybe clash my understanding of the term with yours.

For me, English Philology does not carry the same meaning in English as it does in Polish, this is why I strive to find a more fitting term.

P.S To clarify: We’re obviously not talking about ESL courses, but a fully-scoped education of the language arts, but boosted with linguistics (syntax, phonetics, morphology, phonology), the history of the language itself and the countries using it, and obviously English and American lit.

Your input is much appreciated <3.


In the American system education system, there is no such thing as a study of English philology. Surely there is a concept of philology which includes study of both literature and composition, language history, practical language study, and theoretical linguistics, but the academic faculties where teaching of those occur don’t put them all together.

  • There is linguistics which teaches the abstract science of languages in general.
  • There are language programs which teach how to speak particular foreign languages to native English speakers (or possibly English as a foreign language to non-native speakers). Sometimes linguistics and languages are kept together in the same department (a professor of phonology may also happen to be an expert on Hindi and teach that also). But often linguistics and specific languages are in different departments.
  • There are ‘studies‘ programs. This implies an area concentration for native speakers. For example, an ‘American studies’ program, it is most likely entirely American history, literature and culture together. These classes may be taught in different departments. I don’t think there’s anything like an ‘English studies’ program in the US; it is just called ‘English’.

This division of studies is from the American system; it may well be different in the education systems of other primarily English speaking countries.

But the term ‘X philology’, for either English or for foreign languages X is not used .

So to translate or give an impression of the degree, you would say English language and literature or English literature and history or whatever subjects are included. It is a bit old-fashioned but one could say ‘English letters’, but that is as vague as ‘English philology’ would be nowadays.

As an aside, I’d be surprised if in Polish universities if there were a single faculty that teaches Polish language and Polish literature to native Poles.

Source : Link , Question Author : Patpat , Answer Author : Mitch

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