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Language and tourism

Massentourismus an einem Strand in Spanien (Foto von pictures Jettcom)

Cooperation with the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB)

Mallorca is undoubtedly one of the most attractive touristic destinations in Europe. According to the Institut d'Estadística de les Illes Balears, the island receives millions of tourists from Germany every year, with a record of 4,302,465 in 2018. While there are some who consider this influx of tourists to be beneficial for the island, there is nevertheless much debate and problems related to tourism on the Balearic island; and not without reason, one should think about the long-term effects that mass tourism has and will have.

For this reason, the Chair, together with Dr. Maria del Mar Vanrell and Dr. Mercè Picornell from the University of the Balearic Islands in Mallorca, has been working on various projects since 2021, including the bilateral seminar "Lengua y Turismo" that was organised for the first time in the summer semester 2022 by Prof. Melanie Uth, in cooperation with both of the mallorcan colleagues. Students from the University of Potsdam and from the Universitat de les Illes Balears were given the opportunity to come to an exchange online about the linguistic situation in Mallorca and to talk about current problems involving subjects like mass tourism. "Portal", the University Journal from Potsdam, published an article about this project by Luisa Agrofylax, called „Kein Raum für Katalanisch. Ein Seminar über das Verschwinden der romanischen Sprache auf Mallorca“.

In addition, the group „Grupo de Investigación Sociolingüística de las Illes Balears (GRESIB)“have an offer of virtual seminars und lectures that are being published on their YouTube-Channel and that give an interesting insight on their work. One of those lectures was created und published in a cooperation by Dr. Maria del Mar Vanrell and Prof. Melanie Uth and has the title „Multilingüismo y turismo: visiones desde Yucatán y Mallorca“. One of the goals of this lecture is to compare the impact of tourism on regional and minority languages in both of the regions and to uncover differences that might have their source in the respective local linguistic dynamics.

The cooperation between the two universities also manifests itself in an excursion to Mallorca that was carried out in October 2023. More information is given further down on this page. Since recently, students also have the possibility of an exchange with Erasmus+.

Massentourismus an einem Strand in Spanien (Foto von pictures Jettcom)


In October 2023, the cooperating parties organised an excursion to Mallorca in the context of the topic "language and tourism". From an interdisciplinary perspective, students and lecturers from the University of Potsdam, the Universitat de les Illes Balears in Palma de Mallorca and the Philipps-Universität Marburg discussed different topics concerning tourism and its impact on languages and cultures.

The goal of the project was to establish contacts between students and lecturers from the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature at the University of the Balears and students from other universities. In addition, the project was designed to promote the forming of opinions and exchanges of societal and economic processes like tourism and globalisation. For this purpose, a divers programme was created that includes lectures on subjects like language, society and tourism from Barcelona to Yucatán. The participants also went on field-trips in Mallorca which gave them the opportunity to get a divers picture of the island. You could participate in the excursion in combination with a master seminar on the same topic in the winter semester 2023/24 or independently. A detailed schedule and more information can be found on the website of the UIB.