THE 48th YEAR of Studia Academica Slovaca, SAS, opened on August 6 in the Auditory of the Comenius University in Bratislava. The annual event aims at teaching foreign students basic Slovak language during a three week long course. Organisers prepared 80 to 100 hours of Slovak-language lessons for 161 participants coming from 38 countries.
Rector of the university Karol Mičieta recalled the words of a graduate of last year’s course: “Enchanting country. Enchanting people. Difficult language.... but oh, how beautiful!” The participating students are aged 18 to 58 and come from countries as distant as Egypt, China, Japan, Palestine and Taiwan. The US, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary are represented, too. The summer school of Slovak is meant not just for Slovak lecturers, teachers, students, writers and translators, journalists, but for all those interested in this difficult Slavonic language. SAS is the oldest summer Slovak-language programme – it began in 1965, and in 1966 received its current name – but it is the only such programme that has retained its academic characteristics, being taught by university professors and lecturers.