Traitors to the language

Everyone always knew that the previous, “moderate”, nationalist government was engaged in a campaign to remove, step-by-step, Spanish and its users from public life. However, due to its clannish habits, strategic smoking guns were scarce. Now a bunch of illegally-funded, Stasi-like surveys and reports have been found in government house providing information on “traitors” and their families and friends. One of the more amusing discoveries (free registration): a blacklist of linguists at (the strongly nationalist) TV-3 and Catalunya Ràdio, accused of attempting to introduce a style of Catalan closer to popular speech, running the risk of converting it into–horrors!–a Spanish dialect. In a huge report investigating ways and means of imposing purity, the linguistic study group, Grup d’Estudis Catalans, are described as “bad students” and of being “completely sceptical and opposed to Catalanism”. Here‘s a petition you can sign if you would like to oppose the fascists and see linguistic pluralism anchored to some degree in the Catalan regional statute.

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Comments

  1. I’m not sure I can add anything to this debate but I’ll mention this. My flatmates are foreign students on Erasmus programmes who have come here to study Spanish literature and culture. It seems the majority of their teachers, even knowing that half the class are international students, refuse to conduct the classes in Spanish when asked. I’m all for greater autonomy for every region in Spain but I think this kind of stubborn attitude really lets Catalonia down. I understand that after the terrible repression of the language here last century, Catalans wish to protect their language and culture more than ever before. But I also think there is a danger that if this kind of inflexibility continues, it will end up alientating much of Europe, or at least young Europeans that come to study here. I have to say, frommy own experience of attending political meetings, Catalans are more than happy to convert to Spanish if they realise just a few people will struggle although the longer I live here, the more I cringe at asking because I should speak it by now. Shame on me too then.

  2. I apologise for my last comment. What I meant to say was something along the lines of:

    Thanks Tom. You clearly believe that the state in this region will only achieve full legitimacy when it reflects an exclusivist ethnic agenda. To the extent that you’ll ever be able to pin the word “nationalism” onto my posterior end, it will be with the word “civic” tacked on in front. Now sod off and celebrate the individual freedom bestowed upon you by liberal democracy by trolling someone else.

    I hope that clarifies things somewhat.

  3. Trevor, thanks for linking me to the appropriate thread. But do you know any more about this grouplet, Grup d’Estudis Catalans, or were they just one more bubble rising to the surface in the language wars?

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