More panic-mongering from the linguacrats: Carme Junyent, director of the low-activity Group for the Study of Threatened Languages at Barcelona University apparently believes that UNESCO says that any language with less than 30% social use is on its way to extinction, and that since the social use of the official language of Andorra, Catalan, is now 29%, this means that Catalan is on its way to extinction.
- I don’t know where the 30% figure comes from, but Junyent doesn’t seem to have read relevant UNESCO literature, which establishes nine criteria for determining language vitality, of which the proportion of speakers in the total population is only one. I happen to believe that most of what UNESCO publishes on the issue is scientific bollocks designed to elevate the rights of languages above those of humans, but that’s by the bye.
- Andorra is only nominally independent and borders on a principally Catalan-speaking region of Spain. Saying Catalan is endangered on the sole basis of Andorran stats is a bit like saying that Spanish is doomed because its position is under challenge in US states bordering with Mexico.
Where do they find these people?
- Language use survey
While nationalist politicians continue to exaggerate hugely the number of Catalan speakers (think: lobbying, EU official languages), the new Idescat figures
- French regional and minority language policy
If you believe that Brussels is more than happy to see powerful member states neutralised by internal division–as is increasingly Spain’s
- Official languages
There’s a lot of fuss at the moment in the land of the free about attempts to make English the official
- Top 10 Catalan cities
An example of the complete bollocks with which travel sites think you’ll be satisfied is to be found on Travelcreek, which
- Catalan speakers the 15th most productive Wikipedists
Congratulations on Catalan users for hitting 50,000 articles on Wikipedia. Although quantity isn’t everything–articles in English are almost invariably far better