Oh, Textbook Cover Art! Part I – language textbooks

Foreign language textbook covers to me seem to consist of three main types:

  1. A collage of various positive stereotypes, landscapes, traditional costumes of the country, etc. (These books’ titles are usually “Hello!” or “Friends!” or something in the language…)

2. A more modern (yet usually 10 years out-of-date) photo of modern, hip, smiling kids/adults from the country in question. (Your typical high school language book…) And they’re usually from a variety of ethnicities. Biggest stretch: My friend’s Swedish textbook had a black man and an East Asian woman on the cover. Sweden is almost entirely white. I can’t find a picture of it, though….so you’ll have to use your imagination 😛

3. A sleek, modern-looking abstract graphic of some kind (all of my intermediate and advanced Japanese texts look this way) that usually looks kind of ’80s to me… These books are usually made IN the country in question, so they avoid all corny stereotypes on the cover. They also usually have titles that are boring and in English, like “Rapid Advanced *insert language here*” Yeah, the covers may be sleek and modern, but they’re pretty boring.

If any of y’all have examples or funny stories about language textbook cover art, post a reply!!! I’d love to hear about funny textbook covers ^_^

Hey, they say never judge a book (or language class) by its cover. But if you really want to attract people to your obscure language, you may have to throw in some exaggerated awesome typecasting on the cover….which is where I’m going with this:


I got too lazy to finish the drawing…. ^^;;; But it’s a big boobs kimono anime girl with a sword! What could be more appealing to the current generation of kids who want to study japanese T_T;;;


One Response to “Oh, Textbook Cover Art! Part I – language textbooks”

  1. This was hilarious. I like your sense of humor.

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