The Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages
Moscow State Linguistic University

Anniversary of the Department of Portuguese


On September 21, 2023, the one and only department of the Portuguese language in Russia celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The celebration was opened by MSLU rector Irina Kraeva, who welcomed the guests of honor: the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr. Rodrigo de Lima Baena Soares and representatives of the embassy, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Alfredo Cristovao Gomes Lopes, Minister Plenipotentiary, Advisor to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola, Mr. Gaspar Custodio Domingos da Silva, Advisor-Minister of the Republic of Mozambique, Mr. Vincente de Jesus Manuela, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Mr. Heriberto Obiang Asumu Mbasogo.

The event was attended by honored guests: Acting Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Trojansky; Vice-President of the International Alliance of Strategic Projects BRICS Andrey Kurguzov; professors and heads of departments of Romance languages of Moscow State University, MGIMO, Military University, Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, multilingual information portal of the TV BRICS network -

MSLU rector noted: “The department of Portuguese not only preserves traditions, but is expanding and becoming younger. The teachers of the department are highly qualified specialists in teaching, translation and science.”

International contacts with the Portuguese language are also increasing. In addition to MSLU's long-time partners - the Federal University of Brasilia, The Fluminense Federal University and the Federal University of São Paulo, new agreements were signed with universities in Brazil - the State University of Southwestern Bahia and the Federal University of Minas Gerais. “One of our new partners, the Federal University of Minas Gerais, has a focus on Portuguese as a foreign language. Very soon our students, future teachers of the Portuguese language, are going there for an internship,” said Irina Shokina, head of the department of international cooperation and internationalization of MSLU. She also noted that during her visit to Brazil it was pleasant to meet graduates of the department who work at the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation, the Embassy of the Russian Federation, the media and other organizations and retain the warmest memories of their alma mater.

“I would like to conclude more and more such agreements, so that your students visit Brazil more often and so that our students visit Russia. In addition, we are already attracting young people to participate in our cultural events. They come both as spectators and as volunteers. We are seeing more and more students at our embassy. This shows interest in Brazil, its culture and history,” emphasized Rodrigo de Lima Baena Soares, Ambassador of Brazil to Russia.

Then, a round table “Lusophonia: studying, researching, translating” was held with the participation of Portuguese scholars from leading research institutes and universities in Moscow.

The anniversary was held in a creative atmosphere: Portuguese fado and Brazilian bossa nova were performed on stage, students read out prose and poetry from Angola, São Tome and Principe and Guinea-Bissau.

“It is imperative to understand how culture works, how various Portuguese-speaking countries live. Therefore, concerts are needed for this, and communication with foreign students and with teachers who lived and worked there,” noted Ekaterina Pokholkova, dean of the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting.

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