Conference on German Language in Tehran

Conference on German Language in TehranConference on German Language in Tehran

The University of Tehran is hosting the ‘German Conference 2016’ organized jointly by the Office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Tehran and the university’s Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, from May 28-June 1.

Mostafa Maleki, senior advisor and program officer at the DAAD office in Tehran and coordinator of the rare event talked about the meeting with the Persian-language newspaper Donyay-e-Eqtesad.

What is the focus of the conference?

There has been a long tradition of academic ties between Iranian and German intellectuals and scholars. The German departments in Iran’s universities play an important role in the bilateral cultural and scientific exchange. Recent developments in political relations have given further impetus to scientific, economic and cultural relations.

The promising developments have apparently brought new opportunities and challenges. As such, it is necessary to gain an understanding about German language as an important medium for dialogue and cooperation. The meetings will debate the influence of the language from this perspective.

Could you elaborate?

We have received proposals on different themes regarding German as a foreign language including teaching in Iran, German literature with a comparative focus, linguistics in intercultural or interlingual comparison, translation studies as well as foreign language policy.

The language of the conference will be German and more than 240 professors and scientists, doctoral candidates and students of German language are expected to attend.

An estimated 30 delegates from Europe and neighboring countries, namely Germany, Austria, Afghanistan and Tajikistan will be present.

We attach importance to teaching German language with a view to effective integration into the labor market. Collaboration between the financial and industrial sectors in the nations demand adopting new approaches. Learning German will help job seekers to make informed career choices. The language, for special purposes such as professional career, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, arts and tourism can and should be on the agenda of the new approach of teaching and learning German in and outside of the academic context.

What about international collaboration?

Other areas of focus include close cooperation with universities in Germany as well as regional collaboration. Since 2006, the German Department of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature at Tehran University has built ties with the Institute of German Studies at the University of Potsdam, which is supported and funded by DAAD.

The meeting will have two panels. In the first, representatives of science, praxis, industry and politics will discuss the current situation and future of the German language in Iran. For the second panel we have invited guests from German departments form other countries, specially the Farsi-speaking countries in the region, who will expound on opportunities for collaboration in the region and with Germany.

In recent months Iran and Germany have displayed interest in building normal economic and trade ties. The prospects have increased ever since Iran signed a historic nuclear agreement with the six world powers that included Germany. Officials and independent experts in Tehran have often called for close industrial relations with top German industrial giants, namely high-tech firms.