Currently, twelve full-time teachers are employed at the Department of Foreign Languages. The primary task of our unit is to teach languages at a high standard and, in the meantime, let our students get a glimpse into Hungarian culture and traditions. The students of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Public Health at the University of Debrecen receive similar training in both the Hungarian and English Programs. As the aim of the university is to ensure a versatile, modern, internationally recognized program for the students, it is our special duty to contribute to the success of these programs by teaching specialists-to-be the authentic language of their ‘trade’. This way we can empower them to communicate with patients in a foreign language, use their chosen language actively at conferences or when writing publications.
The members of our staff teach in the summer intensive Hungarian language courses for the 1st year foreign students year after year. In the later years, foreign students are given the opportunity to attend both general and professional courses in Hungarian organized by the Language Department. They can learn more about Hungarian culture, the use of everyday language and the ways of communication with patients.
Due to the well-earned international reputation of the UD, more and more students of general medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physiotherapy are attracted and admitted each year. It is a serious challenge to teach the enrolled multicultural student population special Latin and English based on the best European traditions. Medical Latin is offered in the 1st year of training to immediately help students with their studies in basic medical science, including anatomy, physiology, internal medicine, etc.
An even greater challenge is to make the students speak Hungarian, one of the most difficult languages in the whole world! To meet the demanding requirements, the teachers at the Language Department do their best, which is widely appreciated by the students, who also do enormous work in their attempt to learn Hungarian to the best of their abilities. Classes in Hungarian are attended in the two-week intensive crash course before the 1st semester of academic studies and further compulsory classes in general Hungarian are included in the schedule in both semesters of the 2nd academic year. The 5th and 6th semesters of language training at the university are entirely devoted to learning special Hungarian, i.e. doctor-patient communication. To brush up or broaden their knowledge students are also invited to attend elective courses of Hungarian.
Finally, special mention must be made of some of the recent changes: To our greatest pleasure, since May 2010, the staff of language teachers has been working in a renewed modern building in a comfortable and inspiring environment.