Faculty of Modern Languages

Reflection on present-day problems and the quest for greater enlightenment invariably involve consideration of the major intellectual impulses from the past.
The Youth's Magic Horn
Heidelberg is a centre of German Romanticism. It was here that the famous song collection "The Youth's Magic Horn" was compiled. Modern language studies first took shape 200 years ago and represent the major concern of the Faculty.

The Faculty of Modern Languages provides, on the one hand, the traditional courses of study relevant for students aiming at a career in teaching or working for a Magister degree. These are located mainly at the Departments of Germanic Studies, English and American Studies, Romance Studies and Slavonic Studies. But the Faculty is also notable for courses of a more applied nature, such as translation and interpreting, computer linguistics and German as a foreign language.

This combination of tradition and innovation constitutes the specific complexion of the Faculty, with a scope ranging from historical language study and literary historiography to the latest developments in contemporary linguistics. Alongside its commitment to the education of prospective teachers, the Faculty is pre-eminently concerned with the design of research-related doctoral courses. It has also acquired remarkable expertise in issues related to the internationalisation of studies.


a profil in teaching
The Teachers

The Institutes

The Faculty in the Internet:

Germanic Studies

In a mansion once frequented by Goethe, German language and literature is taught in all its richness, from Old High German through mediaeval German language and culture, the literatures of the Renaissance, Baroque and the Classical age, all the way up to modern literature and present-day literary theory. The Heidelberg Department of Germanic Studies prides itself on its endeavour to represent the entire range of Deutsche Philologie on a scale largely unparalleled at other universities. The Department is engaged in a number of prestigious research enterprises, including major dictionary projects, scholarly series, surveys of literary history and editions of the works of individual authors. The curricula reflect an in-depth approach to historical and systematic aspects of linguistics, intercultural perspectives on mediaeval studies, drama research and various aspects of literary criticism and scholarly editing.

The Department of German as a Foreign Language complements these courses with programmes designed for international students of German language and literature. The Department has students from nearly 40 different countries, not only prospective German teachers but also future decision-makers from the dynamic threshold nations of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Foreign languages and literatures

The various courses at the Departments of English and American Studies, Romance Studies and Slavonic Studies (German) build on the history of these languages from the Middle Ages to the present. Research interests are equally diversified. Operating across the traditional frontiers between the individual subjects, the linguistics divisions are remarkable for their outstanding research profiles in the fields of lexicology, lexicography and the study of language varieties. Noted dictionary projects involving almost all the languages represented at the Faculty (partly with support from the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) are a prominent instance of this endeavour. The literature divisions of the various departments display an unswerving commitment to traditional core domains.

Theatre performances
Theatre performances at the "Romanischer Keller" are among the many events with which the institutes of the Faculty enhance cultural life in Heidelberg.

Major emphasis is given to Shakespeare and English drama, American Transcendentalism, the Italian and French Renaissance, Spanish Baroque and 19th and 20th century Slavonic literatures. In addition, research and teaching also extend to non-European literatures.

The Department of Mediaeval and Early Modern Latin Studies is the second oldest of its kind in Germany. Research and teaching are devoted to writing, language and literature in Latin from late antiquity to the end of the Baroque era. The Department boasts an excellent library with some 12,000 volumes.

Institute of Translation and Interpreting
With its modern facilities the Institute of Translation and Interpreting provides expertise in intercultural communication at the highest international level. Graduates from the Institute have excellent job prospects both in Germany and abroad.

Internationalism and the language professions

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (German) provides both traditional Diplom courses in Translation Studies and Interpreting Studies as well as BA and MA courses such as the internationally oriented BA in "Translation Studies for Information Technologies". Research at the Institute focuses on translation theory, the cultural history of translation, lexicography and translation for special purposes. Teaching at the SÜD is closely geared to an international perspective and to professional concerns. A further link-up between the Faculty and to the field of information technology is assured by the chair of computer linguistics with a course that engages with the latest issues and progress in machine language-processing.

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Latest Revision: 2010-10-11
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