Pyongyang Foreign Languages University to create Catalan language department
BARCELONA: The Foreign Languages University of Pyongyang will create the first Catalan language
studies department in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), an initiative that will enjoy the support of the Catalan government
and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
In recent declarations to the EFE News Agency, Alejandro Cao de Benos, Special Delegate of the DPRK
government, explained that collaboration with Catalonia will be vital to achieving the pioneering
project, as Catalonian authorities will provide Catalan language resources while financing instructors who will conduct courses in Pyongyang.
Cao de Benos, a native Catalan from Tarragona who was the first foreigner in DPRK history to serve as
a Special Delegate of the DPRK government in foreign countries, emphasized the DPRK authorities’ interest in “having cultural ties with Catalonia, one of the most important communities in Spain.” According to Cao de Benos, more than 2,000 individuals have attended the Pyongyang Foreign Languages University to learn Spanish. “I’m sure that a university chair of the Catalan language will be very interesting for
many students,” he said. Cooperation between the Foreign Languages University and the UAB commenced last semester when two professors from the university, Kim Kang Chol and Pak Chong Song,
enjoyed an unprecedented stay in Barcelona to pursue their Hispanic Philology studies. “The experience has been a success and we hope that in the future
there will be more exchanges of Catalan and North Korean teachers,” Pak Chon Song recently told the EFE
news agency. Pak has also participated in Catalan language courses. “The language, culture and history
of Catalonia have been very interesting for us. We have compiled materials and when we return to
North Korea we will pursue the creation of a university department of Catalan language studies in
Pyongyang. Also, we want to bring North Korean teachers to Catalonia to learn the language of the country,” said Pak.