Bienvenue – Benvenuto – Bienvenido: French, Italian and Spanish words often have striking similarities. It’s not a miracle. These languages evolved from Latin after the fall of the Roman Empire . Therefore they come under the collective term “Romance languages” .
The study of Romance Studies deals with those languages that arose from Vulgar Latin. As a rule, at the beginning of their studies, students choose one or two languages that will be the focus of their studies in the following years. In addition to the Romance languages already mentioned, this can also be Portuguese, Romanian or less common languages such as Catalan or Galician. The students deal with the linguistic aspects as well as with the culture and literature of the countries in which the language is spoken.
The study of Romance languages at a glance
According to TOPPHARMACYSCHOOLS, the course is divided into the areas of linguistics , cultural studies and literary studies . The language practice takes up a significant portion of the course. Of course, it is possible to Romance teachers to study. In this case, pedagogical and didactic content is added.
Romance studies in the bachelor’s degree
Mastering the chosen language is the basis of the course. That’s why intensive courses and practical language exercises are on the program right from the start, in which students learn to write and speak the respective language. In linguistics courses, students examine the formal structures of the languages they have chosen. You deal with the formation of sounds and grammatical rules. They also take a close look at the historical development and current use of the language. They are interested in aspects of sociolinguistics such as youth slang or dialects.
In literary studies, students get to know the various literary historical epochs of the language they have chosen. In addition, they acquire the different literary theories and modes of interpretation. They read and analyze dramas, novels and poems by famous authors in the local language and deal with new media such as films or internet blogs.
Finally, cultural studies sheds light on the culture and society of the individual countries and regions. Sub-areas are, for example, politics , art , history , religion or regional studies. In the seminars, Romance studies students are also taught the scientific methods and theories of cultural studies.
Romance studies in the master’s degree
If you want to deepen your knowledge after completing your bachelor’s degree, you can follow up with a master’s degree. The master’s programs serve to expand professional knowledge and qualify for management tasks and a doctorate. Each university sets very different priorities here . As a rule, students specialize in a certain language and one or more sub-areas of Romance studies, for example “Portuguese cultural and literary studies”. Anyone studying to become a teacher must complete the Master of Education after the Bachelor’s degree and then go into the legal clerkship.
Studying Romance studies: requirements
If you want to study Romance studies, you should have a certain talent for languages. Most universities require a knowledge of French or Spanish , as these languages are often taught at school. The students take placement tests and are placed in the practical language courses according to the results. If you intend to study Italian, Romanian or Portuguese, you usually do not need any previous knowledge.
At many universities it is possible to take language courses before the start of the first semester in order to acquire initial knowledge. The students are then expected to acquire the chosen language in the course of the first semester. Many universities also require the Latinum as an entry requirement . Those who did not acquire this at school can do it at the university. Prospective students should, however, expect that the learning load in the first semesters is very high.
Career opportunities after studying Romance languages
Almost half of all Romance studies students would like to work as teachers later . After completing their master’s degree or the first state examination, these graduates go into legal clerkship and then teach Spanish or French at schools.
For everyone else, the career path is less clearly mapped out. Typical fields of work for Romanists are offered by cultural institutions or publishers , where they work as editors , lecturers or in public relations . A career in the private sector is also possible. Romance students are in great demand there because of their language skills and intercultural skills. For example, you coordinate the cooperation with Spanish or French companies or take on other tasks in the areas of marketing , sales and human resources . Those who do a doctorate after completing their master’s degree can also pursue an academic career at the university.
Semester abroad: a must for Romanists
A stay abroad as part of their studies is mandatory for Romance studies students . A semester abroad gives them the opportunity to improve their language skills and to get to know the respective country and its culture intensively. In addition, studying abroad is a unique opportunity for personal development, trains intercultural skills and improves career opportunities .