Linguistic aspects of neo-tribalism

If you make a mistake in Spanish, you just say: Hey, dude, don’t oppress me and my national-historic surreality, that’s a Catalanism / Asturianism / Malagueñism / whatever. If you make a mistake in Catalan, however, they cut your balls off.

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  1. They’re funny aren’t they?

    I’ve been having great fun at the Sardinian wikipedia (how many hits on google for that sentence?) with the defenders of Catalan linguistic purity and (above all) unity.

    In that elite publication, articles on towns and settlements have texts in the local dialect and in Ammalgamated Sardinian (or whatever the official name of that witch’s brew of grammar and lexis may be). All well and good until we come to the entry on Alguer, which featured, alongside Sardinian, text in the phonetically interesting local variant of Catalan. Visitors from .cat kept “correcting” the “errors” of grammar and orthography in the Catalan text and leaving snippy comments along the lines of “Aixo no es Catala, collons!”.

    Eventually the Algueres version was protected, leading to infuriated howls from the circling pack of Pancatalanists (none of whom seemed to be from Alguer, curiously enough).

    I would have thought the contradiction inherent in their position would be obvious to them, but in a country where a crowd carrying Senyeras can chant “Patriota, Idiota” without a trace of irony, the fact that it wasn’t doesn’t surprise me.

  2. It’s Monty Python, reënacted for real. If only it were free.

    Europeans quite properly accept as a basic human right the desire to live in a lunatic asylum, but it’s more difficult to obtain recognition for the wish NOT to. There are, after all, some quite nice beaches near Barcelona which deserve to be available to all of humankind and not just those with four red stripes painted on their jaundiced willies.

  3. It’s quite interesting to watch the effect the nationalist bollox has on Ex-pats. People generally start off sympathetic to the alleged plight of the oppressed natives, becoming bemused after a few months by the fact that the supposedly oppressed language seems to be the only official one. They then begin to react negatively as they notice the paranoia, absurdity and selective historical memory that permeates the Catalonia’s state media and education systems. The terminal phase (often kick-started by the immigrant’s acquisition of enough Catalan to understand what Catalans say when they think nobody’s listening) involves a violent rejection of everything Catalan.

    Still, I might move back there when the housing bubble bursts, I just won’t read any newspapers or watch TV.

  4. That’s exactly what happened to me. I still read in Catalan–no press or telly, but a considerable volume of books–and write it with a couple of friends, but I wouldn’t dream of using it again in public until the persecution of all that is Spanish ends. Sounds silly, but that’s how it is.

  5. I only ever speak it if I’m after something. Returning worn clothes to the shop goes a lot smoother
    if you do it in Catalan. The shop assistant probably won’t be a native speaker but she will immediately assume you are a person of quality, and not to be trifled with.

    Similarly, the Mossos get itchy baton hands when they hear my South American/Yorkshire accented Spanish, but love me when I speak Catala.

  6. I already see a very good reason for the housing bubble not to burst. So pls. boynamedsue continue where you are that I have heard that nobody misses you in BCN.
    And I am sure that Trevor would love to go to those beaches he alludes to, but a couple of mistakes in Catalan left him without the platform where to draw the 4 red vertical lines (It would have been a challenge even before that happened!).

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