Faculty of Humanities University of Matej Bel

Department of Romance Studies

The Department of Romance Studies provides instruction in two branches of study – Teaching Academic Subjects (French in combination with another subject) and Translation and Interpreting (French, Spanish or Italian in combination with a Slavic or non-Slavic language offered at the Faculty of Humanities), both in the day form of study at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The department also offers external study of French in the Translation and Interpreting bachelor’s degree programme.

Each term, professors and associate professors from our foreign partner universities lecture in Banská Bystrica. The curriculum is also enriched by the lectures of our long-time external colleagues from the business and institutional worlds, largely professionals from translation agencies, officials and executives from prominent professional associations and organizations (such as the Slovak Association of Translators and Interpreters – SAPT), graduates who had in interesting academic and professional experiences abroad and last but not least, accredited translators and interpreters working at EU institutions. We are proud that our graduates have successfully passed the demanding accreditation exams and participated in prestigious internships and are currently working as interpreters and translators at the highest European institutions.

In addition to teaching, the department’s members are also involved in individual research projects in the areas of literature, translation studies, didactics, culture and individual linguistic disciplines. They also devote their time to publishing scholarly monographs on the subjects of their research, as well as writing dictionaries and French textbooks for primary and secondary schools and universities.

Our staff regularly attend academic conferences in Slovakia and present the results of their research at international conferences and world congresses. The department regularly organizes Studia Romanistica Beliana – an international academic conference. In cooperation with Pont francophone, the association of francophone students in Slovakia (an affiliate operating at the department), they also organize a very popular creative workshop and lecture series entitled UČITEĽ PREKLADATEĽOM, PREKLADATEĽ UČITEĽOM (Teacher as Translator, Translator as Teacher). Here the Translation and Interpreting students and the Teaching students temporarily exchange their positions. Pont francophone is one of the four most successful students' associations in the European Union, and it cooperates with the French television channel TV5. It was awarded the CIDEM award – CIDEM (Civisme et démocratie) being an organization under the auspices of the French government and the European Commission.

Department members divide their professional time between teaching and research.

Grants and projects

Our students are constantly in contact with their chosen foreign language thanks to foreign instructers and native French, Spanish and Italian department members. They also benefit from the department's cooperation with foreign partner universities which enables them to study abroad through the ERASMUS programme (France: University of Nantes, University of Versailles St. Quentin, University of Lorraine, Nancy, Rennes 2 University Haute Bretagne, University of Reims; Belgium: University College Leonardo da Vinci of Brussels; Spain: University of Extremadura, University of Vigo, University of Castilla-La Mancha, University of Oviedo, University of Huelva; Italy: University for Foreigners of Perugia, University of Catania, University of Cagliari etc.).

The recently established Library of Vladimír Oleríny provides students with a suitable environment for their studies and research. Professor Vladimír Oleríny (who was rewarded for his work by the Spanish King Juan Carlos I) donated more than 1000 books – primarily by Spanish and Latin-American authors – academic journals and textbooks to the library. The library regularly receives books from the Spanish Embassy as well.

In the 2013/2014 academic year, the academic success centre – Centre de réussite universitaire de l’UMB (CRU) – will greatly contribute to the quality of education at the department. It was established in cooperation with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Francophone University Agency, AUF) – one of the biggest university agencies in the world, uniting universities and research institutions from ninety-four countries. All francophone students and teachers at Matej Bel University are welcome to visit the centre. It offers a wide range of study materials, and it will shortly offer the opportunity to organize videoconferences.