My man in the education department of the Generalitat de Catalunya this lengthy lunchtime: “Why the fuck would we teach them English? Then all the smart ones will fuck off somewhere else to work less hours for twice the money and the Catalan economy will grind to a halt.” The same applies to Spanish teaching, but there are places we don’t go.
A friend from my musical days now runs SME relations for a large German bank somewhere along the Rhine, and has been closely involved in efforts to fill a wide range of vacancies at local businesses with applicants from the bankrupt periphery. The Irish: excellent; the Portuguese: poor numeracy but often good English; the Spanish: terrible English, so other skills not particularly useful, and if they fail in the particular role allotted then reassignment is difficult.
Apparently a lot arrive in the belief that German can be picked up in a few months on the (apparently excellent) intensive courses offered. But if by the age of 30 you haven’t mastered the basics of the most accessible Germanic language out there, WTF hope has your ageing brain of dealing with the curious conglomerations of sounds grunted in lands where even Romans feared to tread?
I think the mad Chomskian doctrine that Universal Grammar means that all languages must be equally complex, or something, has been quietly abandoned, so here’s Madame de Staël, De l’Allemagne:
La simplicité grammaticale est un des grands avantages des langues modernes; cette simplicité, fondée sur des principes de logique communs à toutes les nations, rend très-facile de s’entendre; une étude très-légère suffit pour apprendre l’italien et l’anglais; mais c’est une science que l’allemand.
- The exonymy wars: Generalidad de Cataluña and Comunitat de Madrid on Wikipedia
I was amused to note that there are massive flames on the Spanish Wikipedia re the (political) rectitude of using the Spanish equivalent of official Catalan toponyms and babylonyms (eg Generalidad de Cataluña instead of Generalitat de Catalunya), but that there is no corresponding bad-mouthing on the Catalan Wikipedia re the use of Catalan equivalents …
- All our pupils go out from Sil School with really high linguistics skills
If Colegio Sil in Barcelona wants to sell its foreign language provision to any but the stupid it might want to consider employing people with relevant skills. “Could do better” doesn’t begin to describe this:
LANGUAGES AND IDIOMS THAT WE TEACH AT SIL SCHOOL
LINGUISTICS TRAINING AND LANGUAGES THAT WE TEACH
Our school develops a trilingüal metodology in
- “Education for the Citizenship”: deliberately poor translation from the Valencian government?
Just seen on CNN+, a Valencian teacher teaching central government’s controversial new Educación para la Ciudadanía. In Spanglish, as required by her bosses. So the first words she writes on the blackboard are “Education for the Citizenship and Human Rights”. Even Google …
- If there is a lawsuit, both parts have to left it to Barcelona court
The Catalan (National) Library is one of the worst and most surprising offenders. Here’s part of its exhibition loan policy:
Application form has to be done at least 4 months before the inauguration of the exhibition when the number of items required would be less than 20, and 6 months before if the number of items