Thursday, 24 July 2008

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

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