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    STUDIA PHILOLOGIA - Issue no. 1 / 2006  
  Article:   FOREWORD.

  Abstract:  In October 1996, upon returning from a period of training and research in Japan, I was encouraged to introduce in the curriculum at the Faculty of Letters a selective course in the Japanese language, open to any student of Babeş-Bolyai University. Over 100 participants registered that year, among them not only students, but also members of the teaching staff – colleagues from several different departments. Important steps were subsequently taken, at a steady pace. In 1997, selective courses in Korean language and culture were initiated. The Japanese Library, comprising over 4000 titles, was set up the following year. In 1998, selective courses in Chinese language and culture were added to the academic offer. In 2000, a Korean Library was officially opened. In 1999, a specialisation in Japanese language and literature was introduced, in the double specialisation system of the Faculty of Letters, producing its first graduates in 2003. These three lines of study (Japanese, Korean and Chinese) form the present Program of Oriental Languages, organized within the Department of Theoretical Linguistics and Semiotics. It is only appropriate that a new thematic issue of Studia Universitatis „Babeş-Bolyai” should mark the 10 years that have passed since the initiation of the Program, with Japanese as its core component. Several features of the issue bear witness to our intention.  
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