The 32nd Portuguese Language Summer Course, organized by the University of Macau (UM) Department of Portuguese, opened this week. According to the UM, this year’s course attracted a record number of 461 students from around the world, six of whom are Macanese residing in the United States and keen to return to their ancestral home to learn one of their heritage languages.
During the opening ceremony on Monday, Hong Gang Jin, dean of UM’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and course organizers Ana Nunes and Mário Pinharanda Nunes, welcomed participants from different parts of the world. Dean Jin said in her speech that UM has “Asia’s largest Portuguese department, and over the years the department has produced many Portuguese language professionals.” She also relayed the message she received this morning from UM Rector Yonghua Song and Vice Rector Rui Martins, who are now in Angola to attend the annual conference of Portuguese-speaking universities, that the two Angola-based Chinese officials who hosted Song and Martins had in fact participated in UM’s summer program and training program in 1985 and 1998, respectively.
The three-week summer course, which will last until August 3, aims to enhance participants’ Portuguese language skills and increase their understanding of the Portuguese culture. Students will be able to learn more about the linguistic, historical, social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Macau. The 460 students attending this year’s course come from Australia, the United Kingdom, France, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
The course has six levels: beginner, basic, intermediate, advanced, superior, and translation in Chinese/Portuguese. It seeks to provide participants with an in-depth knowledge of the language and its cultural variety and complexity. There will also be extracurricular activities, such as folk dances, Portuguese films, sports, choral singing, and creative writing, to make learning an enjoyable experience.