The Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz was originally founded in 1477. After its closure in 1798, due to the defeat of the first Mainz Republic, the university reopened in 1946, authorized by the French Allies in Rhineland-Palatinate. Today, it is a full university, including faculties for Music and Fine Arts, with 10 faculties, about 150 institutes, 35,000 students and a staff of 5551 academic employees, 529 of them professors.
One of its first alumni was Georg Forster, the natural scientist, world traveler and founder of modern travelogues, who studied in St. Petersburg, with good relations to Catharine the Great, and translated Nikolaj Karamzin writings into German.
The Faculty of Applied Translation, Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Germersheim, originally a separate State School of Interpreting (Staatliche Dolmetscher-Hochschule), founded in 1947 by the French Military Administration (boarding school, 300 students), was integrated into the university as a separate faculty in 1949. As the largest institution in Europe to educate translators and interpreters, it is situated 100 km South of Mainz in the town of Germersheim (20,000 population, 10% Russian-Germans; near to Speyer (14 km), Karlsruhe (42 km), Heidelberg (58 km) and Strasbourg (96 km).
At present, the Faculty of Applied Translation, Linguistic and Cultural Studies (FATLC) offers BA/MA teaching programs in 13 languages, most of them full, some only partial (full: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, partial: Chinese, Dutch, Arab, Contemporary Greek, Turkish). The MA-Conference Interpreting program (MA KD) is offered in 8 languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish, Contemporary Greek, Dutch).
Apart from the BA/MA Study-programs offering language-training, translation and interpreting programs (to differing extents), there is a varying number of additional languages to be learnt as a third foreign language as facultative modules (Finnish, Swedish, Czech, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Hungarian, Bosnian et al).
Besides the departments of languages, there are 2 separate translingual areas of teaching-programs: 1) 3 translingual departments: General and Applied Linguistics and Translation Technology; Interpreting Studies, and Intercultural Communication; 2) course-programs in practical subjects of applied translation (economy, technology, law, internet-technologies and medicine).
There are 20 professors and 170 lecturers in the staff of FATLC. Of the approximately 1,800 regular students, 600 are foreign students – with German as first foreign language – from more than 77 countries. So, most of the students are enrolled in English and German (as a foreign language), followed by French and Spanish, three of them being basic foreign languages taught at German high schools. The faculty holds 140 partnerships with universities and institutions around the world.
The BA-program (Bachelor of Languages, Culture and Translation) requires 3 years, the MAT (MA of Translation) and the MA-program of Conference Interpreting requires 2 years of study. Approximately 250-300 students graduate from the faculty each year. Teaching hours for the BA amount, depending on modules, to 74-102 hours (45 min). For the MA Translation/MA-Conference Interperting-programs it is 64 teaching hours. One module requires between 230-300 hours of independent homework/(self)study.
There is a number of approximately 300 different modules (each module is offered to be completed within 2 semesters, i.e. one year) to choose for individual preferences within the study-programs. With about 2/3 of obligatory and 1/3 of facultative courses, students develop their individual course-programs.
The community of our faculty offers a place for intercultural education and scholarly work in an open-minded atmosphere. Our central task we see in offering teaching and research in all aspects of translation and interpreting as well as neighboring fields of translation, i.e. mediating languages and cultures. To keep and preserve a maximum diversity of languages is part of our foremost goals. A high qualification should be secured by translingual teaching-programs in addition to language-specific training in translation and interpreting. Inter- university and international cooperations are core-fields of our integrated study-programs. In addition to the regular study-and teaching programs the faculty also engages in offering further qualification courses and programs covering the whole range of subjects (summer-schools, special courses).