Slovak summer course turns 50

SLOVAK is not an easy language to learn, nor is it among the world’s most frequently used languages. However, people of various nationalities spend their summer vacations learning it – and some come back for more the following year.

SLOVAK is not an easy language to learn, nor is it among the world’s most frequently used languages. However, people of various nationalities spend their summer vacations learning it – and some come back for more the following year.

The Studia Academica Slovaca (SAS) has been organising the summer school of Slovak language at the Philosophical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava for 50 years, having taught around 6,100 people from 76 countries worldwide. In August 2014, 180 students from 38 countries have come to study the language and the culture. The programme also offers “interactive experience events” like trips and “creative workshops” focused on photography, film, theatre, dance and music.

A history professor from the US specialising in Slovak culture and traditions is this year’s oldest participant, at 69 years of age, the TASR newswire wrote. The youngest is 18 and comes from Russia. Other students this year come from neighbouring countries like Poland and Austria, as well as more distant places like Vietnam, Turkey, Argentina, Egypt, China and Cuba.

Most of them, however, come from Germany, head of SAS Jana Pekarovičová said, adding that most of the students who pay for the programme themselves attend for professional reasons, like giving lectures or doing business in Slovakia. Another big group consists of family members of Slovaks.

Students of Slovak or Slavic studies at foreign universities make up the biggest group of those sent to the summer programme on scholarships. Pekarovičová said that over the years, the second group, which decades ago also included professors, cultural organisers, writers, editors and journalists, has shrunk to the benefit of the former. A course for translators and interpreters is part of the summer school, with one of the interpreters attending despite being pregnant.

The schedule, at least six hours daily, differs according to the level of mastery of the Slovak language. Students are divided into three groups and attend lectures on a range of topics, like political science, literature and history, as well as interactive seminars and workshops. There are also evening events, like a traditional Slovak dinner in Rusovce, and trips to places like Banská Štiavnica, Skalica, Bojnice Castle and Modra.

Teaching methods have become more interactive and open, thanks to online connections and more flexible forms of communication. Pekarovičová gave an example of learning language via the lyrics of folklore and modern pop songs.

Some students return, like Gyorgy Rágyanszki, an ethnic Slovak from Hungary who told TASR that this year is his fourth time, as he enjoys Bratislava’s atmosphere as well as the course itself. He has been learning Slovak since nursery school and now studies Slovak language and literature at Budapest University.

Michael Kopanic, the oldest participant, is here for the third time. Khalid El Biltagi, who lectures in the Czech language at a university in Cairo and translates Slovak literature into Arabic, is also present.

During the course, which lasts this year from August 3 to 23, an exhibition marking the 50-year history of Studia Academica Slovaca is on display in the atrium of the Philosophical Faculty on Gondova 2. At the end of the course, participants will receive a diploma and enjoy a festive graduation ceremony, after which they will take away fond memories and perhaps even return for the programme’s 51st year.

Top stories

UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant

SLOVAKIA and Poland are said to be the last two countries competing for a new unspecified car plant while final decision could be made in the summer 2015.

Monk seal, to be seen in a movie at Ekotopfilm/Envirofilm festival in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica

Countrywide events

Tips for events between May 22 and 31, including a concert of top four world/ethno music Slovak bands, a festival of environmental movies, days of architecture, an opera premiere, a literary festival, two markets of…

The TSS team in 2010: from left,bottom row: Jana Liptáková, Beata Balogová, Ján Pallo, Zuzana Vilikovská; top row: Donald Spatz, Tatiana Štrauchová, Marta Fukasová, Michaela Terenzani, Roman Král, Martina Mišíková, Dáša Košútová, Beata Fojtíková, James Thomson

More independent thought and self-confidence for Slovakia

The Slovak Spectator has been covering the development of Slovakia for two decades now. On the occasion of the celebration of its 20th anniversary it surveyed its founder, head of the Petit Press publishing house as…

Asian tourists in Bratislava

Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour

IN THE tourist season, the Slovak capital is frequently visited by tourists, including Austrians, Americans and tourists from Asia alike. But most stay just long enough for a brief guided tour, and coffee break…

Opening of the summer course of Slovak language.

Source: TASR

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  2. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  3. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  4. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  5. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  6. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  7. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  8. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  9. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  10. UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant
  1. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  2. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  3. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  4. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  5. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  6. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  7. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  8. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  9. Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour
  10. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  1. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  2. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  3. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  4. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  5. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  6. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  7. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  8. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  9. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  10. Slovak aid to Nepal remains grounded