A colorful festivity of European languages held in the Inner Courtyard of UD

Joining the initiative of the European Day of Languages, the University of Debrecen held a series of programs by the title Európai Nyelvi Koktélbár [verbatim: European Language Cocktail Bar] again this year. On Tuesday, almost 600 high school students could take a playful virtual trip to “visit” European countries in the Inner Courtyard of the Main Building of UD.

The event named European Language Cocktail Bar is a joint celebration of European languages and cultures, organized for the 13th straight time in Hungary by EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), the umbrella organization of the national cultural institutes of the European Union. As a member of EUNIC, the University of Debrecen (DE) was the only venue outside the capital city of Budapest to provide a chance and space for language-related gatherings this year. The Faculty of Humanities of the University of Debrecen (BTK) is normally represented in the European organization by Assistant Professor Gert Loosen, the chief organizer of the event.

On September26, cultural institutes representing Estonia, Germany, Romania and Switzerland, as well as four other language institutes, were looking forward to entertaining almost 600 registered participants, including secondary school students and university students, with their exhibition stands set up in the university’s Inner Courtyard. The linguistic “bill of fare” also included demonstration classes in a variety of languages, such as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Polish.

This time, the event dubbed European Language Cocktail Bar was also supported by the city of Debrecen as a patron.

“Having language skills is always an advantage for employees, as companies coming from abroad provide more and more job opportunities in our city, and the knowledge of foreign languages is indeed a significant advantage for the jobs and positions they offer,” said István Puskás, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen for Cultural Affairs, in his welcome speech. He also shared one of his own personal experiences, his first ever encounter with the Italian language, with the audience.

At the Cocktail Bar, visitors could also get acquainted with foreign companies investing and operating in Debrecen. As parts of the 2023 #GermanPlusDebrecen city-level campaign, organizations and companies such as Debrecen’s Business Service Centers Roundtable, Deutsche Telekom, IT Solutions and Transcosmos Hungary were also present on the premises. The gist of the message that their presence indicated was that, if young people learn yet another foreign language in addition to English, it means that they have already taken the first step towards success on the labor market.

The Faculty of Humanities of the University of Debrecen (BTK) offers close to twenty languages for students to study at the institution.

"Language is a bridge that leads from the past through the present to the future, and our Language Cocktail Bar displays how many diverse languages and cultures surround us," said Péter Csatár in his opening speech.

The Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Debrecen emphasized that the hosting institution, the University of Debrecen, together with its foreign language philological institutes, departments and foreign lectors, its Foreign Language Centre and Debrecen Summer School, is the perfect embodiment of linguistic-cultural diversity, whose units have prepared for the current event with programs that represent a gateway to the world of foreign languages and cultures.

At the exhibition stands, staff members of the language and cultural institutes offered a sample of language games, puzzles and riddles about foreign countries and useful information about language learning in Hungary and abroad, as well as valuable gifts and souvenirs.

“Those who participated in the twenty-minute language classes could easily get a flavor of what it is like to learn a foreign language,” said Andrea Horváth, President of the German Cultural Forum in Debrecen and one of the chief organizers of the program.

The director of the Institute of Germanic Studies of the University of Debrecen added that each participant received a language passport (EUROPASS) and, if they collected 4 stamps in it, their reward was a non-alcoholic cocktail, while those whose language passport was stamped 7 times during the rally could participate in a raffle, the prizes in which, among other things, included a language textbook, a free language course, and even a free language exam.

Press Office - BZs