Monday, February 16, 2015

Portuguese Ambassador Visits the University of Zadar

On 1 December 2014, His Excellency Júlio Vilela, the Ambassador of the Portuguese Republic, paid a visit to the University of Zadar. He was greeted by Rector Full Professor Ante Uglešić and Associate Professor Leonardo Marušić, Vice-rector for mobility and projects.

The ambassador expressed his content with the teaching and promoting of the Portuguese language at the University. From the current academic year, the teaching of Portuguese as a foreign language has also been practiced at the Centre for foreign languages at the University of Zadar and it is intended for all University's students. On the other hand, the philological type of courses, offered as requisite elective courses (six courses on a postgraduate and six on a graduate level) are still being conducted at the Division of Iberoromance Studies. The ambassador gave his support to one of the Division's strategic goals: to found a double-major graduate study of Lusitanian Portuguese (translation-oriented) after the consolidation of Hispanic studies. The Division has the University's support, but the means from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports are required (opening of developmental job vacancies). The ambassador is willing to consult with the authorized Ministry considering that besides an enormous interest for studying Portuguese, there is a deficit in professional tourist guides and court interpreters for the language (there are no certified interpreters in Zadar, while some of the Division's students are licensed guides). He also informed the Division about negotiations with the Camões Institute with which a deal had been reached that all the activities promoting the Portuguese language and culture, organized by the Portuguese Embassy and the Zagreb Institute, should also take place in Zadar. So far, there had been the means available, but there lacked the will.

In the Divison of Iberoromance Studies' Library, the ambassador met Assistant Professor Tomislav Frleta, Head of the Departmet of French and Iberoromance Studies, and Ivana Lončar, PhD, Chair of the Division of Iberoromance Studies. On this occasion, he donated twenty valuable volumes of monographs on Portuguese literature, culture and history, in hope they would serve to the teaching of the Portuguese language at the University of Zadar.

It is important to mention that the meeting at the Rectorate, as well as the meeting with the Head of the Department and the Chair of the Division and the ambassador's press statements, since the Institute's fellow was unable to attend, were successfully translated by Tamara Bianca Vranješević, a first-year graduate student of French Language and Literature and Hispanic Studies. Although the ambassador speaks English and Spanish, besides adhering to the diplomatic protocol, the choice and engagement of the graduate student demonstrates a high level of knowledge of Portugese acquired at the University of Zadar.