At the University of Oxford, Romanian language is taught

August 25, 2022 by


As a Romanian living in the United Kingdom for some years and with a curious journalist’s blood running through my veins, I have always been interested in the implications of Romanian culture in various aspects of British life.

We are well aware that Romanians have gradually become the second-largest nationality in England over the past few years. According to official statistics (though somewhat variable), there are approximately 500,000 Romanians in England, but many sources confirm that we are actually over a million strong in the Anglo-Saxon territory. What’s curious is that, despite facing one of the toughest barriers set by the British – Brexit – it seems that the initial wave of Romanians returning home (mainly out of fear and uncertainty) was not very significant, and as such, the number of our compatriots has not substantially diminished.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting that, based on the aforementioned fact, we can extrapolate and imagine the thought process of politicians and luminaries in the country’s leadership who have attempted various programs and actions over time to integrate Romanians into British society.

Obviously, despite these efforts, as is known for various reasons, a large majority of Romanian immigrants still speak very little English…

So, the British bigwigs shrugged their shoulders and scratched their heads, wondering what else they could do… And as we know, one of the most enterprising nations in the world, they thought of another solution.

For this, it seems evident to me that they took after their old and wise proverb “If you can’t beat them, join them” and thought it was time to adapt to our style…

So, you can imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that the old and famous University of Oxford teaches none other than official Romanian language courses.

Now, I firmly believe it’s time to take a brief pause to realize the real importance of this fact, and I’ll briefly present (or remind you) of the magnitude of this institution.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the entire English-speaking territory (i.e., the entire old British Empire, or broadly speaking, the current Commonwealth) and the second-oldest university in the world. There is evidence that education began here as early as 1095.

The institution is one of the most prestigious in the world, with extraordinary prestige, especially in the fields of research, art, and archaeological discoveries. The University of Oxford is composed of many buildings with various educational purposes and has a total vast area, including the oldest museum in the world and the oldest university press in the world!!!

In fact, I recently visited there and all the buildings, through their superb architecture, and the museums, through the richness of the exhibits and the way they are organized, simply take your breath away. You are literally paralysed by the sight of the heights to which the human spirit can soar…

But getting back to our point, considering the vast scale of these institutions of the highest rank globally, to find out that the language of our homeland, spoken by all burned and torched by the fire of history, is taught in full courses at this university…, it gave me chills for some time…

Scouring through online information, I found that these courses were actually launched a few years ago and have since offered open access to the learning of our beautiful language to the general public.

The courses are offered within the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the university and were started with major support from the Ministry of Education in Romania.

So obviously, being practical by nature, the English thought that in the end, it’s not a bad thing to please both parties, and I believe that over time they even started to like our ancestral language, as it seems that in recent years about a hundred students have enrolled in these courses.

I will try to return soon with more interesting information about everything related to these courses in another more detailed article.

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