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Conference on Dutch Studies at the University of Debrecen 06. Oct. 2023

Keeping up the tradition spanning more than two decades, scholars of Dutch Studies in Hungary gathered again this year to share their new research findings in the framework of a “study day.

The meeting, which was held on October 6 at Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Debreceni Akadémiai Bizottságának Székháza [the headquarters of Debrecen’s Academic Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences], also provided an opportunity for representatives of Belgian diplomacy to meet Hungarian Nederlandists.

The participants of the event were greeted by the Ambassador of Belgium to Hungary, Jeroen Vergeylen, and Koenraad Van de Borne, General Representative of Flanders in Hungary.

“The teaching of the Dutch language and the mediation of Flemish culture look back upon several decades of history at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Debrecen, while it is a considerable success that our graduates are able to find jobs in Debrecen and the surrounding region almost immediately after graduation, mostly due to their language skills,” said Péter Csatár, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Debrecen in his opening speech.

There are only three universities in Hungary with a Department of Dutch Studies of their own, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), University of Debrecen (DE) and Károli Gáspár Reformed University (KRE), which take turns hosting academic meetings every year.

“This year, the focus of the conference was translation, so the teachers and students participating in the event could attend lectures on literary translation as well as specialized translation and interpreting in addition to taking part in various interactive practical demonstrations,” said Gábor Pusztai, Head of the Department of Dutch Studies at the Faculty of Humanities (BTK) of the University of Debrecen, to hirek.unideb.hu.

In addition to the lecturers of the University of Debrecen, Assistant Professor of KRE Miklós Fenyves gave a talk on literary translation, while Réka Eszenyi, a Lecturer at the Department of Translation and Interpreting Training at ELTE, analyzed the topical issues of interpreting in her presentation.

“It was a special pleasure for us that two former students of Dutch Studies at the University of Debrecen, Andrea Prostyák, who is an interpreter in the European Parliament, and Péter Urbán, a translator working for the Council of Europe, were also able to attend the event to share their own international experiences with the local audience,” added Gábor Pusztai.

A special workshop was also held at the conference by Judit Gera, Professor Emeritus of ELTE, the most prolific Hungarian-Dutch literary translator of recent decades.

Réka Bozzay, Associate Professor at the Department of Dutch Studies at the University of Debrecen, presented the volumes entitled Intézménytörténeti kapcsolatok – Debrecen és Hollandia [Institutional History Relations: Debrecen and the Netherlands] and A holland nyelvű irodalom története [A History of Dutch-Language Literature], which had been prepared with the contributions of Debrecen-based authors, in addition to the Dutch thematic publication of the literary journal Műút and the latest issue of Acta Neerlandica, which is available electronically by clicking on the link https://nederlandisztika.unideb.hu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/an19_egyben_0.pdf.

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