Thursday, 31 July 2008

ENG: Restaurants in Vilanova - Da Gianni

When we were still new in Vilanova, we found the Trattoria Da Gianni (address: Carrer de fruita 10; phone: 93 814 44 16) thanks to their advertising on one of my favourite radio channels. Possibly our expectations were too high and possibly the service was not as poor as we have thought about it since, but for many years we did not return.

That is until now. Da Gianni’s new outdoor terrace looked so inviting that we could not resist it. Expats with permanent residency in the comarca Garraf might feel a bit uneasy when I tell you that it is located in Plaça del Cotxes – where most of us have spent at least half a night in order to get an appointment with the Extranjería department – but you need not worry. The police have finally moved away to modern offices and while you eat you will be able to observe the beautiful square if not in a new light, so at least with a different perspective.

During our latest visit the service was surprisingly good and we were highly content with the quality of the dishes. Da Gianni offers pizzas, pastas as well as meat and fish at standard Vilanova prices. My only negative remark would be that with four people at the table it was totally crammed with plates and glasses, but that is a detail and I am confident that we will prefer to sit outside next time as well.

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Technorati tags: Vilanova

ENG: Restaurants in Vilanova - George

After a day in the sun on platja de Ribes Roges, you might want to eat something before you head home. Although the kiosks (guingueta or xiringuito in Catalan, chiringuito in Spanish) are good for drinks, I would suggest that you continue up to the beach walk if it is food you are after.

Just before you reach the lower part of Vilanova’s Rambla (Rambla de la Pau), you will find George (address: Passeig del Carme 46; phone: 93 815 20 77) . As you will see, this is not a place for fine dining, but the Dutch owner offers tapes as well as a mix of international dishes - salads, big toasts and, his specialty, crêpes - at affordable prices.

Like most establishments in Vilanova, George is open throughout the year, but what I would describe as a calm indoor sports bar during the winter becomes a busy restaurant in the peak season. This is a good place for people watching, but if you want a table on the outdoor terrace you had better reserve in advance.

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Technorati tags: Vilanova

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

CAT: Qualificació - Notable

Resultats d’examens espero sempre amb poca confiança en mi mateix. La pitjor situació de totes vaig viure fa increïblement molts anys, durant el meu primer semestre a la Universitat de Lund a Suècia, i va tractar-se d’una prova de vocabulari anglès. Em semblava exageradament dura mentres que l’omplia i vaig sentir-me molt malament quan vaig haver d'entregar-la a l'examinador. Els dies abans de saber-ne el resultat passava formulant frases per als meus pares, per explicar-los per què havia suspès i per què no valdria la pena fer-la de nou, ja que era totalment per sobre dels meus coneixements.

A Suècia aleshores examens solien estar basats en preguntes obertes, però aquella prova va ser un dels primers qüestionaris d’elecció múltiple que vaig fer en la meva vida. Per això vaig subestimar l’efecte positiu de la meva intuició quant a les preguntes on no vaig ser absolutament segur de la resposta.

Ara em va passar el mateix un altre cop. Pensava que aprovaria l’examen del nivell B de Català amb el marge més ajustat possible però no és així. “Qualificació: notable”, posa a la carta que vaig rebre ahir. Ja no tinc excuses per evitar d’apuntar-me per al nivell C l’any que vé.

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Technorati tags: Català, Wirdheim

ENG: Passed the Test for Level B of Catalan

Since May 3, when I took the Generalitat’s level B (intermediate) test of Catalan have I waited for the results and yesterday, more or less exactly on the date when it had been promised, did I receive the letter from the Secretaria de Política Lingüística. 'Remarkable' (notable, in Catalan) was the grade I had obtained. Quite unexpected, indeed!

The letter from yesterday clearly states that it is not an official certificate, so now the next milestone is October 15, when I will be able to go and collect my diploma.

And after that it will soon be time to sign up for the level C (sufficiency) test for 2009. If the schedule is the same as this year, all applicants will have to register and make the payments in February although the actual tests take place only in May.

Winter, spring, summer and autumn – the cycle of the year. Can the pace of the Generalitat’s exam calendar have been set by a religious mystic?

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Technorati tags: Catalan, Wirdheim,

ENG: Fans of the Festa Major


The pictures form part of Ordlös Onsdag (Wordless Wednesday, in Swedish).

Technorati tags: Catalonia, Festa, Garraf, Vilanova

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

ENG: Spanish in the News

Under no circumstances should my interest in Catalan be interpreted as a proof that I do not like Spanish. I love to read in this language and usually feel quite comfortable speaking it. The only reason why I have not dedicated more time to it on this blog is that so many other people already do. Having said that, my own memory will benefit if I start to occasionally comment on news related to Spanish, just like I already do with Catalan, so here are a few lines, all related to a new prize:

The Junta de Castilla-La Mancha and the Fundación Santillana are the initiators of the new "International Prize Don Quijote de La Mancha", which they want to become a reference for those “on one or the other side of the ocean” who work to defend and spread the use of the Spanish language. The prizes of € 25.000 per category will be handed over to the winners at a ceremony to take place in Toledo, in October this year.

To expose my lack of literary refinement, I admit not to yet have read any books by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. He will receive the prize for his achievements not only as as a writer but also as a thinker who promotes Spanish a language of knowledge.

Politically more interesting is the second winner, the president of Brazil Lula da Silva, who will be awarded the prize for “best institutional effort” thanks to his Ley del Español. This law requires for all secondary schools to offer classes in Spanish, although it is then up to the students themselves to decide whether they want to take them. In spite of pressure to also offer English and French, the Brazilian government focuses solely on Spanish as the first foreign language, with the explicit intention to consolidate the Mercosur co-operation with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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Related media: El País 1, 2.

Technorati tags: Spanish, Wirdheim,

ENG: Catalan Muscles Promoting Spain

Spanish sports is going through what some have called an Annus Mirabilis. So far in 2008, cyclist Alberto Contador has won the Giro d’Italia, “la Roja” – the Spanish national football team – are the Euro2008 champions, Rafael Nadal has won at Roland Garros as well as at Wimbledon and this weekend cyclist Carlos Sastre took home the victory of Tour de France.

Further triumphs will most likely be added when the Beijing Olympics start in a few days. The expectations are high and right-wing newspaper El Mundo now offers a presentation of the individual sportsmen under the headline “los nuestros”, specified as “españoles” (“ours” and “Spaniards”, respectively) when you follow the link.

At the same time, LaVanguardia reveals that 1 out of 3 (32,6%) of those who will represent Spain in China, come from Catalonia. This is the autonomous community which sends the highest number of participants (94 of 288 in total) to the games, while Madrid is number two with 40 and Andalusia third with 26.

I cannot help wondering how many of these sportsmen would, in fact, prefer to hear the Catalan “Els Segadors” rather than the Spanish national anthem “la Marcha Real” if they manage to make it to the top of the podium.
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Related media: El Mundo 1, El País 1, LaVanguardia 1

Technorati tags: Catalan, Catalonia,

Thursday, 24 July 2008

ENG: Festa Major 2008

I was looking forward to celebrate the Festa Major de Vilanova i la Geltrú from next week, but now flags and posters in the streets tell me that, at least officially, it starts tomorrow already.

About our carnival tradition, people from here say that you have to be a member of a carnival association (colla) to appreciate it fully. With the Festa Major it is the other way around – it is open to everyone, independently whether you live here or only visit for the day. The program is rich and includes all the elements you want to find in a true Catalan festa: traditional human towers (castellers), acrobatic human towers (falcons), almost daily processions (cercavila) of either giants, fire-spitting monsters (above all dragons) or other funny creations as well as sardana dance performances.

Last year I was ambitious enough to make a full translation into English of the program, but this year I will focus on documenting the event. The Festa Major representatives (pabordes) have created a beautiful moon inspired - since vilanovins are said to go crazy when the moon is full - web-page and I believe that you will be able to decipher the important 'whats', 'whens' and 'wheres' from the text in Catalan. There is still plenty of time because, let us be honest, what will happen this weekend is only the warm-up. The "real" party starts next Friday, August 1, and lasts until the following Wednesday, August 6.
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Technorati tags: Festa, Garraf, Vilanova

ENG: Catalan in the News – 2

Here is finally a new summary of news related to the Catalan language:

Aragon, to the crown of which Catalonia once used to belong, will carry out a language reform. Spanish will still be the only official language, but the autonomous community will be described as trilingual and the territory split into different parts based on which language was historically spoken there. The Catalan area will finally bear this name, a move which hopefully will end the tendency of some towns to give local names to the language – eg. “fragatí”, “tamarità” or “maellà” – in order to portray themelves as independent from the Catalan culture. (Avui 1)

Personally, I had hoped that the Manifiesto por la lengua común would have been forgotten by now, but recently Tele-5 signed it and offered the spokesmen of the ‘Manifiesto’ to use the TV-channel to promote their message. The Catalan Plataforma per la llengua considers this an attack on cultural diversity and requests Tele-5 to change this decision. If not, it will recommend people not to watch the channel and also to stop buying products from its sponsors. (Avui 1)

With a minimal margin (only 1 vote more than the required 3/5 majority), the French parliament has voted to modify the constitution and recognize a number of regional languages, among them Catalan, as parts of the cultural heritage. The reform does not give the languages official status, but aims to guarantee that they be preserved and allows for them to be used in education. In its support for regional languages, the state of France is far behind that of Spain but this change, proposed by president Nicolas Zarkozy, is a step in the right direction. (Avui 1, 2; VilaWeb 1)

From October 2008, the European Parliament will finally live up to its parole that languages are the assets of Europe, and add Catalan among the languages on its web-page. EU officials claim that this measure does not have anything to do with the fact that 27-year-old Miquel Català (web) on his own initiative had made available an 'as if' version already including translations of most texts. (Avui 1)

A few days ago in Barcelona, the Plataforma per la llengua arranged a high-profile meeting with the slogan “El català, llengua comuna” (Catalan, our common language) and Jordi Pujol and other well-known CiU and Esquerra politicians among the speakers. The purpose was to motivate newcomers to Catalonia to use Catalan as a language for everyday communication. We Swedes were not among the 22 groups of immigrants which co-organised the event, but let us all be happy for that. If I had had to perform a “Swedish” schottische, my face would have revealed that I consider our dance even less exciting than the Catalan sardana. Below you find a YouTube clip made to spread message from the meeting. I would not say that I like the presentation, but I do support the objectives of the initiative. And you can always focus on the nice background music. (Avui 1)



Technorati tags: Barcelona, Bilingualism, Catalan, Catalonia, Spanish, Wirdheim,
Related entries on this blog: Catalan in the News - 1

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

ENG: A Walk Through la Geltrú


The pictures form part of Ordlös Onsdag (Wordless Wednesday, in Swedish).

Technorati tags: Catalonia, Vilanova

CAT: Un repte per a mi, com també per al president

De "fer-ho cada dia millor" va prometre el president Montilla a la cloenda del congrés de PSC, com una reacció a la crítica que va rebre d’en Felip Puig (CDC) sobre la seva manera de parlar el català.

Si el president segueix millorant el seu nivell, el mateix que estic fent jo, no es podria fer un repte d’això? Jo penso que sí. Llavors, des d’ara estudiaré amb l’objectiu de parlar millor que el president del país. Sortint d’aquí a dos anys (a juliol de 2010) hauré d’estar preparat per exposar-me a comparacions.

Malgrat els comentaris negatius que hi va va fer en Puig, el president té grans avantatges al tema de pronunciació i intonació. A més, per tenir el castellà com la seva llengua maternal, no ha de dedicar tant de temps a la gramàtica – sobre tot no al subjuntiu que ens complica tant la vida als estrangers germànics. Per a mi és un repte molt dur però això no importa. Si no guanyaré a l'hora de la prova, almenys hauré millorat radicalment la meva llengua.

I ja el procés em confirmarà una hipòtesi que vaig formular durant els últims dies: que en Puig - per ser bilingüe - està menyspreant la qualitat que ja té el català del president. Els meus amics reconeixen que en Montilla parla millor ara que abans i m’identifico am ell, ja que ambdos som monolingües. De seguir fent l’esforç, tot i que sabem que mai pujarem a la primera del català sinó que per a sempre jugarem a lligues inferiors – això és un repte en si. La majoría dels adults del món es rendeixen amb menys resistència.
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Related media: Avui 1; LaVanguardia 1, 2, 3
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Technorati tags: Bilingualism, Català, Catalan, Montilla, Multilingualism

ENG: Rare Catalan Politic Unity

If his initial proposal to a new model for how to allocate public funds between different parts of Spain will not be accepted, Spanish finance minister Pedro Solbes has warned that there will not be any reform in this area. Today, when he meets the representatives from the autonomous communities, he will not get the requested approval, but still has to take up the negotiations.

Yesterday, Zapatero’s government revealed that for the first time in three years, Spain will run into a budget deficit, and to take measures he needs to build a majority in the parliament. As long as things are not worse than they are, he will not humiliate himself to ask for PP’s support and that leaves him with Catalan CiU as the least unattractive partner.

In the view of that, the unity between Catalonia’s political parties must be annoying and even more so since the core of their agreement is l’Estatut, established and voted through by Zapatero’s own government. The four parties who now say no to Solbes’ proposal are PSC, ICV-EUiA and CiU – which all supported the Estatut - as well as Esquerra, which voted against it but accepts it as a minimum for what to expect from the Spanish government. The Catalan branch of PP is being left out of the formal discussions as long as their party do not take back their appeal against the Estatut to the Constitutional Court.

What we see is probably an exception, but Catalan politicians are in fact proving to be able to look beyond political differences and retreat to common ground. It would be nice if they could maintain that position for a while.

Up-date 1: (July 22, afternoon) Things are starting to heat up. Solbes now accuses the Catalans for trying to impose their model and for not respecting that the agreement must be 'multilateral'. Is he trying to evade the Estatut which stipulates "bilateral agreements" between Catalonia and the Spanish government?

Up-date 2: (July 23, midnight) On the one hand Solbes seems to try to dilute Catalonia's right to a "bilateral agreement", but on the other he promises that his proposal can be adapted to the Estatut. His conclusion from today's meeting was that all autonomous communities except for Catalonia, plus those ruled by PP, were prepared to start negotiations from his model.

Among the Catalan parties Esquerra has made it clear that they will not accept an agreement which CiU does not support, which means that the tripartit government will have to co-ordinate with the oppositon. At the same time CiU promises not to start direct talks with Zapatero - as they did in the final discussions about the Estatut - which in turn means that Zapatero cannot take PSC's votes for granted and focus all energy on getting CiU's support. The Catalan unity seems to last - at least for now.
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Related media: Avui 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; LaVanguardia 1, 2, 3, 4; El País 1
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Technorati tags: Catalonia, CiU, Estatut, PSC, PSOE, Spain, Zapatero

Monday, 21 July 2008

CAT: Que m'equivocaré un altre cop?

Fa una mica més de mig-any vaig preveure que els problemes que teníem aleshores amb rodalies – sobre tot amb la línia 2 que connecta Vilanova i la Geltrú amb l’àrea metropolitana – li costarien molts vots al Zapatero. El que després va passar era el contrari: a les eleccions estatals va donar la nostra ciutat un suport més fort que mai al PSC. Per a un estranger com jo és difícil d’entendre com el partit ha aconseguit aquesta lleialtat.

Fins ara penso que PSC ha sabut integrar el catalanisme al partit, no obstant això, ara vindrà la gran proba. El defícit pressupostari de la Generalitat creix cada cop més rápidament i alhora han demonstrat les balances fiscals del mateix govern espanyol que el país paga desequilibradament molt més a l'estat que en rep.

Als meus ulls, deu haber-hi condicions perfectes per un gran compromís entre els principals partits polítics de Catalunya per demanar que això es corregeixi. Si no ara, llavors quan? Tocarà al PSC de demonstar-nos si era veritat això que va dir en Montilla al Zapatero durant el congrés, que "Els socialistes catalans t'estimem molt, però encara ens estimem més Catalunya" “

Per si de cas PSC votarà un acord amb PSOE que no serà a favor dels interesos catalans, espero que per fi l’electorat reaccioni. Però, com ja sabeu, jo m’he equivocat abans.
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Related media: LaVanguardia 1; Avui 1, 2, 3
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Technorati tags: Catalunya, Montilla, PSOE, PSC, Vilanova, Zapatero,

ENG: Zapatero v.s. Catalonia?

Some political parties try to change their profile and present new ideas to win votes. For PSC, the Catalan sister party ot Zapatero’s PSOE, it is the other way around. The electorate's support for them is stronger than ever – in the latest elections to the Spanish parliament, four of five new seats for the socialists were won in Catalonia and, at the Generalitat, Montilla manages to hold together his tripartit government, in spite of internal convulsions within his coalition partner Esquerra – but what are their visions for the future?

This weekend I thought that I would have a chance to learn more, since PSC held their congress, but I was disappointed. For example, to remedy the current crisis, it is well known that they want to invest more in infrastructure, but what progress can be made as long as they rule together with parties which are firmly against the planned fourth ringroad around Barcelona and the high-tension connection with France (el quart cinturó and la línia de molt alta tensió (MAT), respectively, in Catalan)?

Instead, media as well as the party’s own web-page seem to focus on the allegedly firm message which Montilla sent to Zapatero: That the Catalan socialists like him but that they like Catalonia even more. That PSC are discontent with what they have seen from Spanish finance minister Pedro Solbes’ draft on how to change the allocation of public funds between the autonomous communities. And that Zapatero must stand up for the statute of autonomy of Catalonia (l’estatut) since he is taking pride for being one of its creators.

During the congress, PSC decided to continue to form part of the socialist group of the Spanish Parliament, and not to create a separate one. Critics interpret this as a signal that the party does not want to be independent from PSOE but, personally, I do not care much about such symbols in politics. Instead, I look forward to the coming discussions on the public finances.

PSC is in charge of a Catalonia which has a big and growing budget deficit, but at the same time transfers a lot of money to other autonomous communities, which receive funds since they are considered poor but still manage to run surpluses in their budgets. To make the central governments’ allocation models more generous to Catalonia might not be Zapatero’s dream project, but for PSC it is a necessity and absolutely in its own interest. Today, representatives of PSC and the main Catalan opposition group, CiU, will meet up to try to agree on a common Catalan approach for the coming negotiations in Madrid.

To sum up, the congress did not answer whether PSC will dare to mark their independence from PSOE, but the coming few months will. And Montilla will have to reveal his sympathies – are they with Zapatero or, above all, with the citizens of Catalonia?
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Related media: LaVanguardia 1, 2, 3; Avui 1, 2, 3
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Technorati tags: CiU, Catalonia, Montilla, PSOE, PSC, Spain, Zapatero,

Sunday, 20 July 2008

ENG: Phonetic Writing

B A L E
A M K U B I
D A R A S

These were the letters my five year old had written on a piece of paper. To me they made about as much sense as those of a sight test at the optician’s, but my son explained that it was an important message. “You see, I want to go to my friend’s birthday party, so I have written that he must invite me: 'Em convidaràs, vale?'" (“You will invite me, will you not?”, in Catalan).

He had started writing “Em convidaràs” to far down on the paper and, therefore, put “vale” on top. Word order does not matter, does it? “Vale” is a castellanisme, but why should he not use it, when everybody else here does? And, of course, he writes “vale” with a /b/ and not a /v/, since that is how Catalans just like Spanish speakers tend to pronounce the word.

The sentence has many orthographic errors, but if we disregard an /n/ which has been left out, it is phonetically correct. I have had to learn to pronounce the pronoun “em” (‘me’) as “am”, but my son will one day have to learn the opposite, i.e. that you do not spell it as you pronounce it. While I have to remind myself to pronounce an unstressed /o/ as /u/, my son will never have that problem. Finally, we have the /k/ where with the time he will have to learn that this sound is written /k/ in Swedish and /c/ in Catalan. And, afterwards, that this is a general rule to which both languages have plenty of exceptions.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

ENG: FIMPT - a Popular Festival in Vilanova



This weekend, the 28th version of FIMPT - Festival Internacional de Música Popular Tradicional - takes place here in Vilanova, so except for our nice beaches there is yet another reason to come here for a visit.

My own taste of music is sadly underdeveloped, but I guess that I am not too wrong if I call this a World Music Festival (Mali, Trinidad, the Balkans, Ireland and Catalunya) although I, at the same time, must admit not to have heard of anyone of the artists before.

Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be concerts on selected squares of the town from 11 a.m. until after midnight while on Sunday the program starts at 19.30 and continues into the night. Folllow this link for the full program.

WARNING: In case you are allergic to Swedish, please, do not click on the YouTube screen.

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Technorati tags: Catalunya, Vilanova

Friday, 18 July 2008

ENG: Catalan in the Constitutional Court

On August 9, 2006, the new statute of autonomy (l’Estatut) of Catalonia officially came into power, but still today many aspects of the Generalitat's new authority reamain to be developed. This is largely due to a need to agree on all details, where the Spanish state does not see the same urgency as Catalan politicians do to reach agreements. Other reforms can only be carried out after changes have been made to how public funds are shared among the autonomous communities, another process which has started but is expected to take time. Finally, seven articles of the text are currently being examined by the Spanish Constitutional Court (CC) to establish whether they are constitutional or not.

The role of the Catalan language is one of the areas where CC might want to make clarifications. Fortunately enough for those of us who support the existing integrated and bilingual school system of Catalonia, it is unlikely that CC demands this to be changed for one where students can choose between Spanish or Catalan. However, there seem to be reluctance to acknowledge Catalan the status as the preferential language (lengua de uso normal y preferente, in Spanish) of the administration and judiciary.

Personally, one the one hand, I consider it natural that civil servants be operational in Catalan, but at the same time would not want for the courts to run bigger back-logs of pending cases than they already do, by demanding that judges give priority to documenting their language level. Since here CC’s revision is rather about how to interpret the text than its actual wording, I trust that common sense will prevail.

And, in the end, the article in LaVanguardia which inspired this entry suggests that this is all politics. Or was it pure coincidence that the Manifiesto por la lengua común happened to be issued when CC started to discuss the role of the Catalan language?
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Up-Date: Maybe I should stop being irritated with myself for not having understood the implementation process of the Estatut. In Avui today (July 21, 2008), Iu Forn makes an ironic comment about how difficult it would be to explain it to someone from Mars.
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Acknowledgement: Thanks to a comment from a reader, I have been able to improve on the quality of this text. Personally I do not yet understand how big modifications CC can possibly make, so further support on that matter, as well as all other corrections, are highly appreciated.
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Related media: LaVanguardia 1 2
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Technorati tags: Bilingualism, Catalonia, Spain,

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

ENG: Who Questioned Catalan Solidarity?

"Those at the Ministry of Finance have gone crazy", is the headline of a LaVanguardia comment on what happened yesterday. Throughout modern Spanish history has it been considered foolish to reveal which autonomous communities pay more to the state coffers than they receive back and which are the main beneficiaries, but not any longer. After broken promises by various governments and many delays, the fiscal balances have been made public.

The government stresses the fact that all calculations depend on subjective evaluation. “Who benefits from one kilometre of high-speed railway in the province of Soria” asked its representative rhetorically and then answered that it was not only the citizens who live there, but also those in Madrid and Barcelona.

For that reason, the analysis and assumptions of 25 experts was presented in no less than 6 alternative versions, but all reveal the progressiveness of the transfers. Areas with a high income per capita - Madrid, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia - are net payers, while Extremadura, Asturias and Galicia are the biggest receivers. (The net flows from the Basque country and Navarra, the 2nd and 3rd richest regions of Spain, respectively, are not easily captured since they, for historic reasons, have separate fiscal systems.)

To my surprise, comments on the outcome are relatively moderate, so far. As could be expected, Newspaper ABC (close to PP) underlined that Madrid and the Balearic Islands contribute more than Catalonia. Catalan TV3, on the other hand, chose to present the calculation version where resources spent on state institutions are counted as benefits to Madrid, and not to all citizens, and could therefore claim that the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia were the top contributors of the current system. It was not explicitly said, but by showing the resembling flags of these three communities, the presentation conveyed a message of unity between the so called “Catalan Countries”.

The autonomy charter of Catalonia (l’Estatut) requires for Spain's model of public finances to be revised so, within governing PSOE and main opposition party PP, voices are being raised that the publication of the fiscal balances must not influence that process, but it is obvious that it will. As long as Catalonia forms part of Spain, it has to show solidarity with the economically weaker regions – just like rich states support poorer ones within the EU. However, an absurd effect of the current system is that public services tend to be of better quality among the receivers than among the net payers. That imbalance the Catalans will not allow to continue to exist but, honestly, who would?
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Related media: LaVanguardia 1 2 3 4 5 6; Avui 1.
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Technorati tags: Catalonia, PSOE, Spain,

ENG: We Happen to Live Here

The picture forms part of Ordlös Onsdag (Wordless Wednesday in Swedish).

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

CAT: Un suec reflexiona sobre el congrés de CDC

This is a reflexion in Catalan related to an earlier entry in English.

A la política catalana, no parlem de l’espanyola, em falta un partit de centredreta que no tem describir-se com liberal. Fins ara he tingut moltes esperances en Convergència – al final pertanyen a l’Alliança dels Liberals i Demòcrates Europeus - però després del congrés estic menys convençut.

Desafortunadament, el liberalisme no atreu el votant mitjà i per això ho veig natural que CDC no parla d’aquesta ideologia. El que m'estranya és que un partit que té tants coneixements de les tendencies de mercat ha escollit de presentar-se com la Casa Gran del Catalanisme. Per la coherència amb el seu principi pot ser que es vegi com una bona idea dins del partit, però és una estratègia per quanyar vots?

Hi ha bons exemples de moviments que han tingut èxit polític per canviar el seu missatge, però aquests han modificat la seva polítca segons consells d’especialistes de marketing, de manera que han “triangulat” l’electorat. En Bill Clinton va guanyar la majoria per – en assumptes que els interessava als votants - ser “més republicà que els republicans”. A Europa va guanyar en Tony Blair eleccions per reinventar el seu partit com “New Labour”, adoptant unes linies polítiques de la dreta, i al meu país, Suècia, va ocórrer el contrari quan en Fredrik Reinfeldt va presentar els “Nous Moderats” (Nya Moderaterna, en suec), encara com un partit de la dreta però defensant un model d’estat de benestar més bé socialdemòcrata.

Mentres que New Labour i Nya Moderaterna van fer seves noves idees que es sabia eren atractives per a l’electorat, la Casa Gran vol estar oberta a tothom i resulta que s'apropa al centreesquerra, el mateix lloc on es diu ser el PSC. En comptes de fer publiques propostes populars entre els votants, el congrés de CDC va contentar-se per no prendre decisions que es poden veure com radicals, com ara el sobiranisme.

A més, New Labour i Nya Moderaterna van treballar molt amb la seva imatge i les líders tenien aspectes que creaven confiança en el canvi dels partits. En el cas de Convergència, a mi m’impressiona molt els vestits d’alta qualitat que sol portar l’Artur Mas, però, siguem honestos, a quin europeu transmiteixen una sensació d’un representant de centreesquerra?

La meva experiència és que catalans fora de la política activa veuen els dos moviments de CiU com partits de la dreta i aquesta opinió no es canviarà fàcilment, sobre tot no entre els votants que s’han fugit a ERC. També dubto si el catalanisme avui en dia funciona per atreure més simpatitzants. Si el PSC no tingués res de credibilitat com defensor dels interesos catalans, seria d’acord, però penso que no és així (a Vilanova es parla sobre tot català al carrer, no obstant això, i malgrat els problemes que va sofrir la nostra ciutat amb rodalies l'any passat, va votar més que 50% dels vilanovins a PSC en les últimes eleccions estatals).

Que va ser un “gran congrés com correspon a un gran partit” és que ara semblen repetir els convergents. Tant de bo m’equivoqui jo i tant de bo tinguin raó ells. Jo mateix penso que Catalunya necessita una Convergència forta, però ja veurem. La próxima enquesta de les preferencies polítiques del electorat català ens donarà una indicació.
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Actualització: "...donde menos democracia hay es en el interior de esos mismos partidos democráticos", escriu la Pilar Rahola sobre els molts congresos que se celebran en aquests dies i preveu que els partits hauran d'aceptar més de rebel·lió interna. De rebels vam veure poc durant el congrés de Convergència però el partit té uns quants militants molt valents. Això em dona confiança per al proper pas de l'organisme.
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Premsa relacionada: LaVanguardia 1 2 3 4 5 6; Avui 1.
Entrades anteriors sobre CDC (totes en anglès): 1 2 3 4 5.
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Technorati tags: Catalunya, Convergència, PSC, Vilanova

Monday, 14 July 2008

ENG: Convergència's Congress

The so called federation Convergència i Unió (CiU) is the single biggest force of the Parliament of Catalonia, but their influence on politics extends to the state level. Since they hold the balance of the Spanish parliament, coming autumn they will play a key role when Zapatero’s socialist government needs to build a majority in order to pass a number of important bills.

This weekend, CiU's main faction, Covergència, held their congress and re-elected party leader Artur Mas is sending a clear message to Madrid: Zapatero will only have CiU’s support if there is an agreement acceptable to Catalonia on the financing of the autonomous regions, if the charter of autonomy (l’Estatut) is finally being fully implemented and the central government stops intervening in Catalan school policy (in specific the third hour of Spanish).

Within Catalonia, Artur Mas, for a change, did not criticise the sitting tripartite govern but claimed to be open to start a dialogue in order to improve on three weak areas: trade and industry (el teixit productiu), the welfare state and the Catalan identity.

On a more visionary note, Convergència now explicitly has the ambition to develop into ‘la casa gran del catalanisme’. For that reason – and contrary to speculations that it would put an end to the CiU federation – the congress informally suggested that Convergència and Unió merge into one. La casa gran is to be a movement where people from the left as well as from the right, those who want an independent Catalonia as well as those who want a federal Spain, can feel that they fit in. Personally, I have my doubts that this initiative will be successful. How the Catalan electorate will respond remains to be seen.

Up-date: For technical reasons, I have removed the link to the video from CDC's congress. Here is the link, in case you want to see it again.
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Related media: LaVanguardia 1 2 3 4, Avui 1.
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Technorati tags: Catalonia, CiU, Convergència, Independence, PSOE, Spain, Unió, Zapatero,

Saturday, 12 July 2008

CAT: Documentació del meu nivell de català

This is a comment in Catalan on an earlier entry in English.
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Encara no tinc els resultats de la prova del nivell B però ja existeix una documentació del meu català oral - els videos de les taules rodones de les Jornades de la Penedesfera.

Amb el fort accent suec que tinc en la meva presentació, em sembla que hauria de fer-me actor. Llástima que es fan tan poques pel·lícules en català, ja que jo dec tenir el caràcter ideal per rols com estranger.

Tant de bo sigui amb les llengües com amb la tonalitat: diuen que tothom podem aprendre de controlar la veu sempre que nosaltres mateixos sentim si el to que cantem és afinat o no.

Ara puc escoltar el meu accent i analitzar els molts errors gramàtics i de vocabulari que faig. Precisament per això estic tan agraït al Daniel García Peris que va prendre l'iniciativa de filmar i fer públic aquests videos. No digeu res, el repte és de millorar - això em queda clar.


penedesfera: taula cultura i blogs from Jordi Torà on Vimeo.
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Des d'ara, divideixo les llengües en entrades separades i les uneixo amb enllaços quan penso que això afegeix valor per al lector. L'enllaç a la entrada original trobeu a l'oració anglesa al principi del texte.

Technorati tags: Català, Penedesfera, Vilanova, Wirdheim

Friday, 11 July 2008

ENG: Documenting my Language Level

Today I have a reason to come back to the Penedesfera meeting which was held in Gelida, June 13-14, since the recordings of the round table discussions have been up-loaded. The one I took part in had the name “the Penedes blogging culture” and, by chance, was I first out of all presenters.

The old management phrase ‘Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance’ comes to my mind when I see how I struggle with the computer and my only defence is that we all did. And, at the end of the day, this was my first presentation ever in Catalan, so I guess that I did not do too badly.

For all my pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar mistakes, the file serves as a document of the language level which I have reached after 2,5 years’ daily exposure to Catalan followed by 1 year of active studies. It would have been interesting to compare it with my other languages. What a pity I do not have videos of those.

(Elteuvideo.cat does not allow for direct hyperlinks, so in case you would want to watch the video, look for it under ‘Videos de la Penedesfera’ and download the file related to ‘Cultura blocaire al Penedès’. Alternatively, click the vimeo link of the entry in Catalan.)

Technorati tags: Catalan, Vilanova, Penedesfera, Wirdheim

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

SPA: El talento malgastado

“Eres casi bilingüe”, me han dicho españoles más de una vez cuando me han oído hablar inglés. “En absoluto no”, es siempre mi respuesta. “Pedidme que os explique las reglas del deporte que practico, los pasos a seguir de una receta de cocina o – lo peor de todo – que os cuente un chiste y ya os daréis cuenta”. Aunque me gustan mucho los idiomas y he conseguido un cierto nivel en unos cuantos, soy y seguiré siendo monolingüe en sueco. Por desgrácia, se podría añadir, porqué en el cerebro humano no existe competencia entre idiomas que se aprenden de una manera natural. Al contrario se ha confirmado que personas bilingües tienen mejores capacidades para alcanzar dominio de un tercer idioma que las que son monolingües.

Por esta razón observo con mucho interés la situación lingüística de Cataluña. Antes de mudarme aquí, las únicas personas bilingües que conocía eran niños de inmigrantes en Suecia. Mientras que uno de sus idiomas era una herramienta para integrarse a la sociedad donde vivian, el otro estaba reservado para la familia y viajes a la patria una vez al año. Contrastemos esto con Cataluña donde tanto el castellano como el catalán nos hacen pertenecer a este lugar y a este momento.

Lamento que parecen existir residentes en Cataluña que no aprecian esta realidad. Los catalanohablantes – conscientes de que hablan un idioma tan pequeño en el mundo como el sueco – normalmente quieren aprender el castellano como un idioma global. Más preocupacion tengo por el grupo de castellanohablantes que, según pienso yo, están buscando argumentos racionales para evitar de profundizar sus conocimientos del catalán. Dicen, por ejemplo, que es más importante estudiar el inglés que el catalán. Si una cosa exluyera la otra, estaría dispuesto a escuchar esta idea, pero recordémos que suelen ser los bilingües los que tienen más facilidad para aprender nuevos idiomas.

La oportunidad de hacerse bilingüe existe en Cataluña para los dos idiomas oficiales, nada más. Con la obvia excepción de las Ramblas de Barcelona, el inglés no se habla en la calle, tampoco es un idioma significativo en los medios de comunicación y como no es un idioma natural de nuestro entorno, tenemos que estudiarlo.

La posición del catalán es distinta. De este idioma sí se puede aprender mucho ya por tener la miente abierta y los castellanohablantes de aquí lo hacen. Es una vergüenza reconocerlo, pero la mayoría de ellos tienen un vocabulario de catalán mucho más amplio del que tengo yo de inglés. La diferéncia es que mientras yo estoy orgulloso del nivel de mi segundo idioma, estas personas suelen menospreciar sus conocimientos del catalán y decir que lo hablan mal. ¡Que talento más malgastado!

“¿A ver si me lo tiras?”, le oí preguntar a nuestro hijo mayor a su hermano. Como mi mujer también es sueca hablamos sólo sueco en casa y en la escuela a su edad de cinco años se habla únicamente catalan. No obstante tomamos nota de más influencias del castellano, un idioma que además le gusta mucho – tiene más opciones de programas para niños en la tele y, como ha empezado a leer, sabe que los textos en colores vivos sobre yogures, brioches u otras cosas están escritos en este idioma.

Si cuando llegamos a España hubiera existido la posibilidad de ponerlos a los niños en guarderias y escuelas castellanohablantes, confeso que lo habríamos hecho. Es verdad que la política lingüística de la Generalitat es intervenista, pero si no fuera por ella, nunca podrian aprender nuestros hijos los dos idiomas igualmente bien, con la consecuencia que no podrían formar parte y disfrutar plenamente de la sociedad catalana donde viven.

Con el ritmo que el catalán está recuperando su fuerza, se está creando toda una comunidad bilingüe - por el número de residentes probablemente la más grande de Europa. Cuidemos de ella. A diferencia de la defensa del monolingüismo expresado en el ‘manifiesto por la lengua común’, es un proyecto adaptado a Cataluña tal como es. Además es un proyecto atractivo.
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Artículos relacionados: Pilar Rahola en LaVanguardia.
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Actualización 1: Pere Gimferrer, miembro de la Real Academia Española, explica su opinión sobre el tema en LaVanguardia.
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Actualización 2: José Álvarez Junco, catedrático de Historia, escribe en LaVanguardia, que el manifiesto quiere ser una voz de alarma cuando en realidad es el catalán que corre riesgo de desaparecer.

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Actualización 3 (22/07/08): L'Associació d'Actors i Directors Professionals de Catalunya señalan en Avui que en Cataluña se puede vivir 24h en castellano, cosa que no es posible en catalán.

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Technorati tags: Spain, Catalunya, Català, Spanish, Catalan, Catalonia, Bilingualism

ENG: Government Sponsored Graffiti


The picture forms part of Ordlös Onsdag (Wordless Wednesday, in Swedish).
Technorati tags: Català, Catalan, Vilanova

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Fooled by a Splog / Desmotivat per un splog

Returning visitors to Wirdheim in Vilanova will have understood that I am working to give this blog a clearer profile. Last week I thought that YouTube-reports could be the key to a more popular and less academic touch and even started to look forward to making such about our town but also about our children.

Now all that excitement is gone. During the weekend I found all my videos on a Spanish blog called Xàtiva (supposedly after the Valencian town with the same name but to avoid improving its visitor count I will not link back to it). I would not have had anything against this – rather the opposite, in fact – if the blog had presented some kind of reflection on my YouTube-work. Well, it does not, nor are you allowed to leave comments or contact the owner another way. This must be what they call a splog, where the blogger is not a physical person but a software doing blog scraping in order to maximise the number of entries and generate traffic.

Now I do not know where to go next. To have my children on an automatically created blog probably is not more harmful than to show them here, but I am simply not comfortable knowing that they will turn up there as soon as I upload a new videoclip of them.

'Create, share and re-use'. Please, do not tell me that I have been naive seeing only the beautiful side of all web 2.0 buzzwords - I have already realized that. And although I will regain my motivation (I can always write about politics and language learning, right?) I cannot help feeling deprived of a project which I had started to like.
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Em diuen els meus amics que encara que tornen a Wirdheim in Vilanova, pensen que la majoria de les entrades contenen massa texte. Personalment vull que sigui així. Si intento comentar temes polítics de Catalunya a lectors que no viuen per aquí, és imprescindible presentar no únicament l’assumpte sinó també les circunstancies. A més, penso que cal afegir el més possible d'enllaços, per que una persona interessada pugui formar la seva pròpia opinió.

Ara bé, tot això no deu interpretar-se de la manera que vull un bloc acadèmic – jo mateix vull que contingui elements amb un caràcter més lúdic, coses que poden fer-los gràcia a gent que hi ve amb regularitat tot i que no tan sovint. Per aquesta raó vaig ser molt content fa unes setmanes quan em va ocórrer de fer reportatges i petites pel·lícules a
YouTube. Per la mateixa raó, ara em sento desmotivat pel món de la xarxa 2.0.

Hi ha un bloc amb el nom
Xàtiva (no us dono l’enllaç per no fer-li publicitat a un enemic) que va publicar tots els clips que vaig pujar a YouTube fins ara. Aquest fet m’hauria agradat si almenys hi hagués alguna relació amb el meu treball, per no n’hi ha res i, clar, tampoc s'hi permeten comentaris. Es tracta d’un splog, un programa que treu contingut pertot arreu de la xarxa i el publica amb l’únic objectiu de generar transit gràcies al gran nombre d’entrades.

Fins ara no he decidit com seguir amb aquest projecte. Si faré un clip sobre Vilanova no me molesta gens que es publica a un bloc impersonal. Però, si vull ser un bon pare, puc pujar videos dels meus nens, quan ja sé que immediatament i automàticament sortiran a almenys un bloc que no puc controllar?

Monday, 7 July 2008

Catalan in the News / El català a les noticies

In Sweden, news related to the Swedish language rarely makes big headlines in media. Here in Catalonia it is the other way around. Language issues are regularly being used as a starting point for political debate, and since I take interest in following this, every now and then I will make a summary for those who do not follow Spanish and Catalan media on a regular basis. Here is what has happened during the last few days:

The 'manifiesto por la lengua común' was started off by a group of intellectuals close to Rosa Díez’s party UPyD, who originally seemed to want to maintain a politically independent profile. However, conservative PP was fast to join the manifesto while Zapatero’s PSOE has taken the opposite position (defending the co-official languages and citing Catalonia as Spain’s best example of language policies for bilingualism). By allowing itself to be identified with one of the two main forces of Spanish politics, I am convinced that the manifesto will lose any opportunity to gain a broad appeal in the Spanish society.

This weekend, branches of PP held congresses in the autonomous regions the Balearic Islands and Catalunya. In Catalunya, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho was elected the new regional leader. Her main opponent, Montserrat Nebrera, managed to win a surprisingly strong support (43% of the delegates) and since her candidacy was largely a protest against the local PP organization taking orders from Madrid, some interpret the nomination of Camacho-Sánchez as signal that PPC will not change to be more Catalan (I have not yet found sources worth quoting which support that idea). On the other hand, in the Balearic Islands, the re-election of Rosa Estaràs was a small victory for the Catalan language, since her opponent, Carlos Delgado had built his campaign on ridiculizing the co-official language.

The Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Catalunya (TSJC) has ruled that the Generalitat has to implement a law by the Spanish parliament to introduce a third hour of Spanish into the curriculum of primària 3 (pupils at the age of 8). However, most likely the change can be postponed to the school year 2009-2010 – a necessity for Montilla’s three-party government, which coalition member Esquerra threatens to leave if the measures are carried out. Both Catalan nationalist parties, Esquerra, on the left, and CiU, on the right, see the law to strengthen the role of Spanish in Catalan schools as symbolic, since they do not want the central government to overrule the one of Catalonia on issues of this kind.

Up-date: Convivencia Cívica Catalana, the organization which originally brought the issue of 'the third hour of Spanish' to TSJC, has decided to warn Ernest Maragall, Catalan councillor of Education, that he risks being disqualified from his functions unless he complies with the TSJC-ruling.
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Intentaré fer un breu resumen de noticies dels últims dies que d’una o altra manera influeixien o poden influir a la llengua catalana. Ja que seguint els enllaços podeu trobar els articles originals, en català em limito a fer un curt comentari.

Penso que el
'manifiesto por la lengua común' perdrà tota possibilitat d’atreure simpatitzants fora dels partits polítics, després de que van acceptar el soport de PP amb la conseqüencia que PSOE s’ha declarat en contra. (LaVanguardia 1; Avui 1, 2)

Les candidates a liderar el PPC van competir en catalanitat i he sentit comentaris que la victoria de la Camacho-Sánchez significa la continuïtat d’una política negativa a la llengua catalana, però fins ara no he pogut trobar fiables fonts d’informació que confirmen que la candidata alternativa, la Montserrat Nebrera, estigués millor d’aquest punt de vista. Alhora, que la Rosa Estaràs va guanyar sobre el Carlos Delgado sí és una petita victoria per al català a les Illes Balears. (LaVanguardia 1, 2; Avui 1)

Sembla que amb el verdicte del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Catalunya (TSJC), el Govern haurà d’implentar la tercera hora del castellà. No obstant això, segons interpreta la decisió en Joan Ridao d’Esqurra, les mesures poden esperar fins a l’any 2009-10 amb la conseqüencia que en Montilla pugui evitar un crisi de Govern. (LaVanguardia 1,; Avui 1)

Actualització: Convivencia Cívica Catalana demana al conseller d'Ecucació, l'Ernest Maragall, que compleixi amb la resolució del TSJC perquè sino corre el risc d'estar inhabilitat de les seves funcions. (LaVanguardia 1)

Per al meu proper resumen, rebo amb molt interès cada mena de noticies relacionades amb la llengua catalana que mereix estar traduïda per a un públic internacional.

Technorati tags: Catalonia, Catalunya, Catalan, Català

Friday, 4 July 2008

The Odd Intellectualism of the 'Manifesto' / Intel•lectualisme estrany

In the expat community there are many people who consider that the Catalan language has a too strong role here and therefore can be assumed to agree with the Spanish intellectuals (Mario Vargas Llosa, Fernando Savater and others) who recently took the initiative to the Manifesto for the Common Language (manifiesto por la lengua común). Since I do not, I have decided to explain why.

The manifesto is a reaction against what it sees as discrimination of those who are monolingual in Spanish, but live in autonomous regions with a second language. Its message is that the regional governments should have the right to motivate people to learn the local language, but must not take for granted that they want to do so, let alone already know it. This in turn results in a demand for the public school system to guarantee that parents can place their children in Spanish speaking schools.

Still remembering how I felt when we came to Catalonia, I understand that people who only speak Spanish feel like outsiders here. However, in my eyes, the manifesto mixes up a cause with its consequences. I have never been answered in Catalan by staff of the public administration when I address them in Spanish (the opposite happens almost every day, i.e. that Catalans “help me” by answering in Spanish when they hear my broken Catalan). It has happened that a form which we have needed to fill out has only been available in Catalan but, with all respect, I cannot say that we have ever had any major difficulties in doing so. On the other hand, what admittedly can feel excluding in Catalonia is that you miss out on a lot of everyday communication – between neighbours, in the shops or on the radio – as long as you are not bilingual.

To actively build that bilingual common platform is the reason for the public school system being designed as it is. I have nothing against commercial forces but they do that children as young as our five-year-old see Spanish as the “cooler” and more attractive of the two languages. By starting in Catalan only and then step-by-step adding classes of Spanish, the education system balances out the languages so that pupils master them equally well by the age when they leave compulsory school. Tests on the state level confirm that students from Catalan schools are equally good at Spanish as those who have studied in monolingual autonomous regions.

When 86% of the Catalan voters choose parties who are in favour of the existing language policy, should we – who voluntarily have moved to what we know to be a bilingual area – say that they are wrong? I do not think so. To me this manifesto is an odd attempt to ‘normalise’ a monolingual way of living in a de facto bilingual society.
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No reconoceremos a nadie el derecho a expidir certificados de españolidad”, ha declarat avui en José Blanco (PSOE). No sóc socialista, però diria que fins ara els seus comentaris és la millor defensa contra el ‘manifiesto por la llengua común’ que he vist.

Que nacionalistes com l’Àngel Colom
agrupa el manifest amb les celebracions de la selecció espanyola de l’EuroCopa i hi veu un atac al país, és una reacció que puc entendre però lamento. En la Catalunya on visc jo hi ha un immens soport per la llengua pròpia i no vull que això es dilueixi per embolicar-se amb el desitj d’un estat própi que no comparteix tanta gent.

La lluita contra el manifest no guanyem per dirigir-nos a Madrid i protestar a veu alta, sinó per fomentar la societat bilingüe que ja existeix als carrers de les ciutats catalanes. Aquest intel·lectuals han invertit temps per crear un manifest per a comunitats autonomes com la nostra. Ara cal demonstrar-les que han malgastat la seva energia i que no el volem.

Pel poc temps que fa que pertanyo als catalanoparlants, penso que tinc un missatge a passar a aquests residents de Catalunya que encara no ho fan. La meva propera entrada sobre el tema escriuré en castellà.


Technorati tags: Catalonia, Catalunya, Catalan, Català

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Pasífae and Wirdheim in Vilanova in Swedish


En text på svenska återfinns i slutet på inlägget.
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ENG: The sculpture Pasiphaë is a landmark where it stands on Vilanova’s main breakwater. Only today did I care to check up the facts and learnt that Pasiphaë is not the bull, but the woman which you can see inside of him. According to Greek mythology, she ended up there after having been cursed by Poseidon but I will spare you the weird details of the story.

Temporary visitors from abroad might interpret the bull statue as a proof that Catalonia is in fact Spain but they could not be more wrong. It is a tribute to the origins of Mediterranean civilization on the island Crete, nothing else.

I went out to Pasiphaë to get an overview over our beach Ribes Roges for YouTube and I ask you to forgive me for making it in Swedish. Not only is it my first language but it is also the mother tongue of my most faithful blog readers. My YouTube reports are for them.
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CAT: No patiu. Avui he començat l’entrada en suec, però es tracta d’una excepció. Fa uns pocs dies van aceptar el meu bloc a Hallandsbloggen, una portada de blocs de la meva provincia d’origen i similar a la Penedesfera, encara que no tan elaborada. Ja que sóc l’únic afiliat que no escric en suec, he decidit usar la meva llengua materna quan faig clips a YouTube.

Últimament he pensat molt per donar-li a cadascuna de les llengües del bloc (l’anglès i el català) una funció própia. En anglès em dirigeixo als altres estrangers (sobre tot els comunitaris) de l’estat espanyol i per adaptar-me al seu gust, des d’ara escriuré cada vegada més coses amb una perspectiva de Barcelona, en comptes de forçar-me a quedar dins dels límits de Vilanova.

Alhora, en català tinc l’esperança de poder provocar més reaccions. Serà on comentaré fenomens polítics o culturals que, ja per experiència, sé que li interessa poc al estranger corrent. Admeto que hauria de dominar millor el vostre idioma abans de llençar-me a aquest projecte, però ja no em queda paciència. És el repte que necessito per seguir endevant.

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SWE: 'Wirdheim in Vilanova' har nyligen blivit accepterad på Hallandsbloggen. För att hylla mina rötter i Halmstad har jag bestämt mig för att låta svenska bli mitt huvudspråk på YouTube. Några av er har kanske märkt att jag tjuvstartade i samband med Spaniens EM-seger men här kommer den formella invigningsfilmen.

Från och med nu kan de som inte vill läsa på engelska eller katalanska gå direkt till etiketten ”WiV på svenska ” där alla inslag på halländska (helt enligt Hallandsbloggens paroll) kommer att samlas. Rena textinlägg kommer, liksom hittills, huvudsakligen att göras på engelska och katalanska.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

La xarxa segons els vilanovins

The picture forms part of Ordlös Onsdag. Unfortunately, I cannot translate the title into English, since the short form for the Internet is the web, not the net. In Spanish it would be "La red según los vilanovins" and, in Swedish, "Nätet enligt Vilanova-borna".

La foto forma part de Ordlös Onsdag (dimecres sense paraules, en suec).

Not So Extreme / No tan extrem

Today, media are full of pictures of how as many as one million people welcomed the new European Champions to Madrid yesterday. Catalan Avui does not have the story on their front page, but that does not mean that people here are not proud.

True, many fervent Catalan nationalists do not support the “selección”, since it plays under than Spanish – and not under the Catalan – flag. However, statistics give us reason to think that the majority of people are more pragmatic and cheer for Spain, since “es lo que hay”. You will not have missed it, but it was Catalan Xavi Hernández who was named the best player of the total tournament.

According to media ratings, the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany had an audience percentage of 81% in the whole of Spain, but 71% in Catalonia. Avui tells us that final matches played by Barça apparently have attracted more interest among the Catalan viewers - in 1997 (!) and 1994 (!!). I will stick with the 71% who watched the match and conclude that the Catalans have picked quite a passive way to show their lack of interest!
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Un 46% dels lectors d’Avui pensen que no "és compatible ser catalanista i emocionar-se amb la selecció espanyola", però un 36% (molt més que jo m’imaginava) responen que ho és.

“Als televisors catalans guanya el Barça” diu un titular del mateix diari, però el periodista va haver de tornar a finals de 1997 i 1994 per confirmar la seva teoria, que el partit entre Espanya i Alemania ho els ha interessat molt als catalans.

Personalment em trobo entre els 46% dels lectors d’Avui als que "ha il·lusionat la selecció espanyola" i, com veieu, busco arguments per defensar la meva opinió. Podeu perdonar-me? Al final sóc estranger i això de 'normalitzar-me' em costa una mica.

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Related media: CAT: Avui 1 2 3 4; ESP: LaVanguardia 1 2; ENG: BBC 1; SWE: DN 1, Sydsvenskan 1; DAN: Politiken 1.