Friday, 8 August 2008

ENG: Catalan in the News – 3

FC Barcelona is currently on a pre-season tour in the United States and, when going there, they decided not to travel by an LTU-plane, owned by Air Berlin. The club prefers not to comment on the matter, but the action is being interpreted as a protest against the German owned airline. Interestingly enough, FC Barcelona will only be able to recuperate 50% of what they had paid for the flight. This might be seen as a waste of money untypical for Catalans, but judging from blogger reactions it has been a great investment in public relations.
(Avui: 1; Examples of satisfied bloggers: 1, 2)

The Balearic islands have decided to come back as a partner of the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which promotes the Catalan language and culture on the international level. In 2004, the PP government of the islands decided to leave the institute, but their current representative, Albert Moragues, has declared that that was only for political reasons. The financing of IRL is calculated based on the population of the geographical areas of which it is made up, currently Catalonia, the Balearic islands and Andorra. Other parts of the ‘Catalan Countries’ (Països Catalans) – the Franja del Ponent in Aragon, the autonomous community of Valencia, 'Northern Catalonia' (Pyrenées Orientales) in France and the city of Alghero on Sardinia (Italy) – are not yet partners of the institute. ( LaVanguardia: 1)

The Catalan supermarket group BonPreu (store brands: BonPreu, Orangutan and Esclat) has joined the campaign “Speak to me in Catalan, please” (Si us plau, parla’m en català) and sent out 2.500 pins for their employees to wear on a voluntary basis. It is a non-intrusive way for foreigners among the staff who want to learn the Catalan to remind customers not to switch to Spanish when they address them, and also an invitation to non-native Catalan speakers among the customers to try to use this language, although most of us are more fluent in Spanish. The group BonPreu is a bit of a pioneer in this area since text on their private label products are in Catalan. Maybe it is not surprising that our local BonPreu was the first store where felt comfortable to move over from Spanish to Catalan but, clar, that was long before this pin campaign. (Avui: 1)

On time for the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, ‘TermCat’ – the Catalan centre of terminology – has made available of summary of terms to be used when reporting on different sport events. Here, among other things, we can learn that xaleco salvavides or jaqueta salvavides (two alternatives for life vest) are in fact castellanismes, while the correct expression in Catalan is armilla salvavides. Not only words influenced by Spanish are to be avoided – sport journalists should stop talking about mountain bikes, and instead write bicicleta tot terreny or, alternatively, BTT. Now that is joc net (fair play), is it not?

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Related earlier blog entries: Catalan in the News Part 1, Part 2

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Technorati tags: Catalan, Catalonia, Wirdheim

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