The Catalan department at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT) started out in 2010 with support from the Institut Ramon Llull. IALT is the only institute in Germany that offers a translation degree for Catalan.

enlarge the image: Gelb-Rote Fahnen in einer Straße in Tarragona
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Catalan in Leipzig

The importance of the Catalan language has increased steadily in recent years, both from a socio-linguistic perspective – around 10 million people speak Catalan today and Catalan has never been as present in so many people’s everyday lives as it is now – and from an academic perspective. This is reflected in the fact that Catalan is a subject of teaching and research at universities in many countries of the world.


Studying Catalan

Currently, Leipzig is the only university in Germany where you can obtain a translation degree for Catalan. You can choose Catalan as a second or third foreign language in the BA Translation and in the master’s programmes MA Translatology and MA Conference Interpreting. Students from other institutes and faculties can study Catalan as a key qualification or an elective within the Humanities and social sciences.  These offers are of particular interest to students of Romance philology.

In addition to regular classes, there are intensive summer courses with a focus on culture, society, and translation. You can write your bachelor’s or master’s dissertation on the Catalan language or the culture of the Catalan‑speaking regions – the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Catalonia, etc. You can also complete a doctorate in Catalan linguistics and translation studies.

In cooperation with the Institut Ramon Llull, we can award several scholarships for participation in a one-month summer school in Barcelona in July or the two-week course “Campus Interuniversitari de la Llengua Catalana” in Girona and Andorra. The courses are designed for beginners and advanced students and include a wide range of cultural activities and excursions in Catalonia. They give you the chance to get first-hand experience of life in Catalonia and Andorra and to enhance your language skills and cultural knowledge.

Catalan Department Extracurriculars

Lectures, Stammtisch, film nights: Apart from taught courses during term, the Catalan department offers plenty of extracurricular activities you can take part in.

The Leipzig Catalan Summer School takes place during the semester break in September. At the summer school, you can improve your language skills – Level B2 to C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). You will deal with different subject areas such as translation, sociolinguistics, language history, languages for specific purposes or literary history. You can also obtain an additional certificate for the “Catalan Language and Culture” programme, which is supported by the Institut Ramon Llull as well. Anyone who is not a member of the University of Leipzig and students from other universities may take part in the intensive course as guests.

You can study at a university in a Catalan-speaking region for one or two semesters. IALT has Erasmus+ agreements with more than ten universities in Catalan-speaking regions as well as internship agreements with Catalan companies and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona. Lecturers taking part in the exchange make valuable contributions to the Catalan department’s courses in many ways. Lecturers from partner universities offer classes in their fields in Leipzig, while lecturers from Leipzig teach in Catalan-speaking regions. This exchange also helps deepen the relationship between the Catalan and German language communities.

Every year, the Catalan department offers the official exams to obtain the Certificats de llengua catalana for levels A2 through C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The exams take place at the University of Leipzig. Anyone who is not a member of the University of Leipzig and students from other universities may also register to take the exam. For more information, visit the website of the Institut Ramon Llull.

Cultural activities

Activities on holidays and commemoration days

To celebrate important holidays like Sant Jordi, the day of books and roses on April 23, or anniversaries of the birth or death of famous writers, the Catalan department organizes events such as lectures, film nights, colloquia, or workshops for students to take active part in. Films and documentaries presented by the department include “Pa negre”, “Adéu, Espanya?” or “El Bulli: cooking in progress”. On occasion of the 100th birthday of Catalan poet Salvador Espriu, the Catalan department organized an “Espriu Week” at IALT, cooperating with many lecturers and students to honour one of the most important Catalan poets.

Lectures and readings

The Catalan department’s cultural offering also includes lectures on current Catalan topics and readings by artists from the Catalan-speaking region. Our culture courses welcomed singer Anna Roig from the “Band Anna Roig i l’ombre de ton chien” in May 2012 and the Valencian songwriter Pau Alabajos in May 2013. Both of them gave talks and performed their songs. We regularly invite lecturers and researchers working in the fields of Catalan philology, sociology, and translatology. In December 2012, Professor Josep Enric Rubio from the University of València contributed to our mock conference with a talk on daily life in medieval València. In June 2013, Maria Cabrera, a researcher at the University of Barcelona, gave a lecture on Catalan phonology.

Culinary experiences

The University of Leipzig’s Catalan department joins the Galician and Basque departments and students of all three of them to hold a culinary extravaganza at least once a year. Students prepare and try typical dishes of Basque, Galician, and Catalan cuisine.


During term, the Catalan, Basque, and Galician departments host a Stammtisch taking place every two weeks. Students from the different departments can deepen their language skills by practising with each other as well as with the teachers.

In regular intervals, the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology (IALT) at the University of Leipzig and the Institut Ramon Llull evaluate the activities of the Catalan department and discuss its future. On October 21, 2019 Prof. Dr. Carsten Sinner met Iolanda Batallé, director of Institut Ramon Llull (Barcelona), and Sílvia González, head of Institut Ramon Llull’s Berlin office, to talk about the continuation of the cooperation.

Find out more

Catalan Summer School in Leipzig (German link)

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Marià Villangómez guest professorship (German)

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Iberian Languages Departments (German link)

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