Russian language in Hungary: from past to future


The article deals with history, process and scientific researches of teaching Russian as a foreign language in Hungary since the middle of the XIX-th centure. The author in chronological order defines the different periods of learning the language withing the system of teaching foreign languages from the genesis upto these days dealing with the evolution components. The author pays attention on the influence of historical and geopolitical processes on the object of research. The emerging increased interest in the study of the Russian language in Hungary is due to the recent development of trade-economic and cultural ties between Hungary and Russia, strengthening Russia’s position in other areas. In the Hungarian labour market the need for specialists, fluent in Russian and able to become active participants in the ongoing process of strengthening bilateral relations increases. Teaching Russian outside the language environment makes it difficult and complicated the process of mastering it at the appropriate level needed for communication and solving professional problems. Beginners than start learning Russian immediately face with difficulties caused not only by differences of the Cyrillic alphabet from the Latin alphabet, but also the polysemy of some of the most frequently used words, flexions the Russian words, the two stems of the verb, usage of verbs of motion and aspects of the verbs.Moreover, the number of training hours significantly reduced after the transition of higher education in Hungary to the Bologna system., that puts as to students and to teachers a complex task. Currently the number of teaching hours in universties at non-philological specialties is no more than 60 hours per semester. Future economists, marketing specialists, workers in the tourism and hospitality industry expect to start learning Russian from the beginning and during the bachelor, i.e. after not more than 360 classes during six semesters, to be proficient not only in the language of everyday communication, but also to pass the state exam in Business Russian (level B 2), which, along with proven knowledge of another foreign language entitles the graduate to receive a diploma. Despite these difficulties, students choose Russian language as a second or third foreign language. The research of the process of developing teaching Russian in Hungary and the motivation to study it bases on diagnostiv methods.

Szvetlana Alekseevna Hamsovszki

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
Budapest Business School

Candidate of Pedagogy, Professor, Faculty of Foreign Trades of Budapest Business School. Research interests: methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language, testing, psycholinguistics. The author of 40 scientific articles. The President of the Hungarian Association of teachers of Russian language and literature

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