More linguistic repression in Catalonia

Fining businesses for using Spanish is a crucial element in the neo-Francoist campaign to outlaw public use of the mother tongue of half of the Catalan population. La Razón lists (via Bye, bye, Spain) various examples dug up by Daniel Sirera, including a 1,200€ penalty for a business displaying “No Smoking” in Spanish. If only the same zeal were applied to the enforcement of no-smoking policies…

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  1. Although I agree that the same vigor should be applied to the non-smoking laws, because I live here in Barcelona and I hate being around smokers, there is no “linguistic repression” here in Catalonia. That’s a bunch of B/S. I’m American from California and I speak both Catalan and Castilian and I can guarantee you, I’d have a lot more problems living here only knowing Catalan, than someone who’s lived here their whole life and only knows Spanish.
    I think it’s incredibly ironic that the Spanish pushed their minority languages to the brink of extinction, and now they play the victims.

  2. If there’s no linguistic repression, how come people are being fined for using their mother tongue or the tongue of their choice? What do you think “repression” means?

  3. Nobody is “fined” for using any language here in Catalonia. That is a complete exageration. In my office everyone communicates with one another in English, and nobody has been fined. Establishments are fined when they do not publish signs in Catalan because Catalan is the official language of Catalonia, therefore anything that could cause public confusion must be posted in Catalan.
    What country are you from and how long have you been in Catalonia? Do you speak Catalan? The only people that I have ever met who complain about such issues are the people that are too lazy to integrate into this society and learn both Catalan and Spanish. If you think there’s repression against the Spanish language here, try moving to Salamanca and demanding that your children be educated in the Catalan language.
    Or, better yet, try moving to London and refusing to learn English because “you don’t like the way it sounds” and see how far you get.

  4. Spanish is also the official language of Catalonia, yet people are fined for using it, while they are not if they use (as I do)Arabic or English on commercial websites or on shopfronts. In the Raval, apart from civil servants there are about four people who speak Catalan and about four people who don’t speak Spanish. What possible logic is there in fining business people for trying to make their services available to the maximum number of clients?

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