Barcelona, a photo a day

Catalan vs Spanish: BIG trouble in little Catalunya!

This is what Wiki has to say:

Catalan (English pronunciation: /kætəˈlæn/, /ˈkætəlæn/, /ˈkætələn/; Catalan: català, IPA: [kətəˈɫa] or [kataˈla]) is a Romance language, the national and the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian (valencià, IPA: [valensiˈa]), as well as in the city of Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia. It is also spoken, with no official recognition, in the autonomous communities of Aragon (in La Franja) and Murcia (in Carche) in Spain, and in the historic Roussillon region of southern France, roughly equivalent to the current département of the Pyrénées-Orientales (Northern Catalonia).
Although recognized as a regional language of the department Pyrénées-Orientales since 2007, Catalan has no official recognition in France, as French is the only official language of that country, according to the French Constitution of 1958.                  

OK, thank you Wiki. Now… BIG trouble! Since 1982, teaching in catalan schools, kindergardens, universities, is in the Catalan language.
But since there are some Spanish people (…) living in Catalunya as well, some of them protested. They want their kids to be tought in Spanish, the language of Cervantes and Lorca.
So, what happened? This week,the highest tribunal in the country (meaning Catalunya, not the other one, not Spain) decided that, to respect a tiny minority’s wishes, teaching will from now on be done exclusively in Spanish, in schools, universities, kindergardens, etc.
The Catalan majority literally exploded, as you can imagine!

To be continued…

Meanwhile, in Barcelona… I took this photo in February, long before this story started. The owner of this shop, with an originally Spanish sign, tried to ‘ catalanise ‘ it, transforming escritorio into escriptori, papeleria into papereria. He might be a member of one of the few political parties here fighting for independance from Spain.

Many economists say that without Catalunya, Spain would long be bankrupt… As I said earlier, TBC. We’re living interesting times.

11 responses

  1. Not an easy one.
    In a way I'm happy that our French system saves us from such headaches. Admittedly it is detrimental to our local languages (Catalan, Basque or Breton just to name the three major ones) but it saves a lot of trouble and kids can still learn these languages at school as a second language.


    September 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

  2. B

    How crazy! I hope this gets sorted out soon.


    September 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  3. For my part I just know that Barcelona is a great place to visit! 🙂
    God bless you!


    September 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

  4. Oi, what a big set-back for some, a big relief for others.


    September 11, 2011 at 5:16 am

  5. That's right, anonymous, as it says in the quoted text.


    September 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  6. Anonymous

    BTW, valencia is valencia and catala is catala!


    September 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  7. I like the angle of this shot. Those vertical signs draw the eye in.


    September 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

  8. I don't understand Rob, this sounds like a huge problem, you'll have to let us know how it pans out!


    September 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

  9. indeed, we are living in 'interesting' times.


    September 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

  10. As far as I know, it's supposed to be pretty immediate. But don't panic yet, almost everybody in Catalunya is against it,and things might move very soon.


    September 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

  11. Do you know when this is supposed to come into effect? From a personal point of view, given that my son has struggled to learn Catalan, switching to a new language is an absolute nightmare.

    For the Catalan community though, it's devastasting. They must be thinking they've been transported back to Franco's days.

    Sad times.


    September 10, 2011 at 7:39 am