The University of Technology has always recognised the importance of the teaching of foreign languages, including technical language. The Bme Centre for Modern Languages of the various faculties were combined into the Institute of Modern Languages in 1970. As its responsibilities expanded, the institute assumed a new name: BME Centre for Modern Languages. Today the centre is an independent organizational unit within the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences with 58 lecturers and language teachers and 23 administrative staff working full-time at the Centre, along with 40 freelance language lecturers and hundreds of accredited examiners who support its language testing work. The Centre’s task is to develop the students’ written and oral communication skills in foreign languages. Its objective is to provide them with language skills that, along with the knowledge of their profession, will enable them to keep pace with the latest developments of the rapidly changing scientific world throughout their studies, and later to participate in international scientific life.
The centre conducts wide-ranging research activities in terms of the diversity of projects it undertakes. The centre’s main focus of activity (foreign language education) means that a prominent role is given to studying the methodology of language competence evaluation, the results of which then are incorporated in the language teaching at the institute. Another related activity of the centre is preparing and updating teaching materials for various courses, which requires continuous materials development work. The research fields of faculty members who possess, or are studying for doctoral (PhD) degrees include: linguistic aspects of technical language education, research into technical language teaching methodology and studies of features of intercultural communication. The results of research into contrastive linguistics are primarily applied in the centre’s work training technical translators and interpreters. Other research fields of the centre include language testing and quality assurance. Within the framework of the Workshop of Applied Linguistics at the Centre for Modern Languages, internal training sessions are organized on current areas of research, including professional seminars which provide a forum for PhD dissertations to be presented. Every year, on average, 25-30 students participate in the language sections of the Conference of Students’ Scientific Circles organized by the Centre for Modern Languages in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. The centre provides consultancy on specific topics in cooperation with lecturers of various departments.
Our Centre maintains active professional relationships with numerous foreign institutions, including Lessius Hogeschool Antwerpen, ISIT Institut Catholique de Paris, Haute Ecole Leonardo de Vinci – Institut Libre Marie Haps Brussels, INSA de Rennes, Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Linguistici di Milano, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad de Valladolid, Universitate Regensburg, Spokane Falls Community College and Université de Strasbourg ITI-RI.
I. specialised translator and interpreter training
The Centre for Modern Languages (INYK) (www.inyk.bme.hu) is an independent unit working within the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (GTK). It is made up of four components: Language Teaching, the Language Examination Centre, the University School of Languages and the Centre for Interpreter and Translator Training (TFK). INYK provides a comprehensive range of courses in 9 foreign languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Japanese and Hungarian as a foreign language) for a total of 5,500 students per year and tailor-made to fit students’ individual needs. It has over 50 instructors (both full-time and part-time) who run general and specialist language courses at six different levels (from A1 to C1+). The Centre also organizes accredited general language examinations at three levels (B1, B2, C1) and examinations in language for specific purposes (LSP for Economics or Engineering) at 40 different venues across Hungary and examines over 14,000 candidates each year.
The Centre for Interpreter and Translator Training (TFK) (www.tfk.bme.hu) is one of the leading translator and interpreter training centres in Hungary with a 25-year history. Relying heavily on the solid professional background provided by INYK, it works in synergy with the other three components and enjoys the benefits of multilingualism, networking and a highly charged intercultural atmosphere.
TFK offers five study programmes in translation and interpreting as well as conference interpreting for trainees with one B, and two or three C languages:
- Postgraduate Programme in Specialised Translation (in combination of one foreign language and Hungarian; available languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish). It is a two-year part-time course (with evening classes) that has run continuously since it was established in 1990.
- Postgraduate Programme in Interpreting and Specialised Translation (in combination of one foreign language and Hungarian; available languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish). It is a two-year part-time course (with evening classes) that has been on offer since it was established in 1990.
- Postgraduate Programme in Specialised Translation in Two Foreign Languages (in combination of two foreign languages and Hungarian; available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish). It is a one-year full-time course with 26-30 hours per week. The course has been available since it was established in 1997.
- Postgraduate Programme in Conference Interpreting with Two Foreign Languages (in combination of two foreign languages and Hungarian, available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish). It is a one-year full-time course with 18 hours per week. The course has run continuously since it was established in 2001.
- Postgraduate Programme in Conference Interpreting with Three Foreign Languages (in combination of three foreign languages and Hungarian, available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish). It is a one-year full-time course with 24 hours per week. The course has run continuously since it was introduced in 2001.
II. examination centre
The BME Centre for Modern Languages has been an accredited language examination centre since 2000. The centre’s general bilingual exam system in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish was also accredited by NYAT at this time. Within the ‘LSP for Engineering’ exam system, the monolingual Hungarian as a foreign language exam was accredited in 2001, then its bilingual English, French, German and Russian exams followed in 2002. The centre also developed ‘LSP for Economics’ within its LSP exam system and gained accreditation for English exams in 2004, and for French and German in 2006. Today BME exams can be taken in almost 40 locations, providing nationwide coverage. On average the number of candidates taking BME language examinations is over 10,000 a year. In 2013 the BME’s general monolingual examination system was accredited in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
III. language school
The BME Language School is the language school of the Centre for Modern Languages which organizes general examination preparation courses and refresher courses including ones with undergraduate course content in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish for external students. The centre also offers mock BME examinations at pre-arranged times, which can be registered for in person or online at the above address. The Language School also organizes on-site courses for companies.
The activities of the Centre for Modern Languages also cover a broad range of research fields, such as translation and interpreting studies, terminology and applied lingustics.