Studies & Degrees in Romance Language and Literature
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A study in romance languages and literature encompasses all languages historically derived from Vulgar Latin. These languages form a subgroup of the italic branch of the Indo-European language family and include French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. The course educates students on the history of these languages and explores their development in relation to one another.
A typical way to study romance languages and literature is through a college or university. Often, these institutions will possess a romance language department with a corresponding interdisciplinary major. Earning a degree in one or multiple romance languages – such as Portuguese or Italian – is not the same as a romance language and literature study, since it will not examine the language’s history and relationship to other romance languages. All romance language and literature programs include a study abroad or other language experience requirement, usually in a European or Latin American country.
Universities and private companies are known to offer online programs where romance language and literature can be studied. There are also several study abroad opportunities for interested students, sometimes from private companies but often in partnership with a university or college.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Romance Language and Literature
Studies in romance language and literature are offered primarily at higher education institutions, and so candidates must meet their admission requirements. This usually means obtaining a secondary school completion certificate or passing a standardized aptitude test or entrance exam. To pursue a master’s or PhD, a student must first hold a bachelor’s degree.
It is particularly useful in this field if candidates already speak a second language, or have an extremely high aptitude for language learning. Students should also be respectful, appreciative and open to other cultures. Excellent communication, pronunciation, penmanship and interpersonal skills are essential. Students should be able to pay close attention to detail and analyze text on various literary levels.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Romance Languages and Literature
Upon completion of a romance language and literature study program, graduates will be able to:
- Meaningfully connect certain artistic, political or religious aspects to a language.
- Speak, write and read fluently in a romance language (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan, etc.).
- Compare and contrast two or more romance languages.
- Identify common roots and linguistic characteristics of various languages.
- Understand the cultural aspects and customs surrounding a romance language (Italian culture, etc.).
- Understand the historical aspects surrounding a romance language (Italian history, etc.).
- Identify cannon and classic works of literature in a romance language.
- Identify significant literary works from specific centuries.
- Translate and interpret between one or more languages.
The best locations for romance language and literature study (if majoring in specific languages) are in countries where the language of choice is the everyday spoken tongue. Those pursuing French, for example, will find excellent schools in Paris, while students learning Portuguese could study in Lisbon, Portugal, or even in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Careers for Studies in Romance Languages and Literature
A completed course in romance language and literature allows graduates to work in many countries across the globe. They may find employment in government agencies; global corporations; airlines; media industries or any other internationally recognized organization as interpreters, translators or writers. They can even work in medical fields, research facilities and universities as professors or cross-cultural communicators. Graduates can be employed anywhere from government intelligence agencies to manufacturing companies, non-profit organizations to primary schools.