Cataluña and the Spanish language

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Cataluña and the Spanish language

The news from Cataluña is electrifying. A pride of politicians at the peak of politics have decided that education in Catalan schools shall be conducted in their regional language – Catalan or Catalá. Reading, writing and arithmetic; children of Catalans may learn English if they like, or German, or even Mandarin in the state schools. Catalan fee-paying schools (the almer mater of the pride of politicians) may continue learning the three Rs in Spanish as well if they like. At fee-paying schools it is the parents who pay who decide.

The fact that the Catalan Constitutional Court has ordered education to be conducted in Spanish and Catalan is of course of little importance to that diminutive pride of politicians.  Más (private educated as are his children) and Trias (private school) and others of even greater self-importance ignore Spanish institutions such as their own Constitutional Court.

But hey! The news from Catalunya has inspired the following: In the United Kingdom the Cornish from Cornwall have voted to educate their children in Cornish, a Celtic language still spoken by a few. The English language is to be banned from Cornwall, except on the tele, where even the Cornish prefer their tele-filth to be expressed in a common language

The news from Belgium is similar. Belgians speak Belgian-French or Low Country Flemish (an ancient tongue), but the Belgian Parliament* opts for the banishment of French altogether. Now everyone in Belgium must speak Flemish. If the family has to move from north to south or out altogether in order to accommodate this indulgence, all the better – the Belgians too have discovered globalism.

But wait! Others follow suit – in France the people from the South have remembered that they have Provençal! And the Bretons Bretonnais, which even Roman Consuls had to understand when Gaul was being divided into three parts. In Normandy the more hysterical I mean historically-minded politicians have suddenly been reminded of their Viking past (Normandy  once pullulated with Forkbeards and Magnussens). So Le Français must vanish from state schools from Cherbourg to Caen to Courtonne-la-Meudrac.

In the United States, where English has always been murdered, astute politicians now advise their President that it would be wise to return to Siouxan, though there may be trouble with the Apaches, who prefer their own clicking version of the Castellano they learnt in the fifteenth century from Iberian soldiers with funny helmets. While in Canada, half the enormous country has decided to return to Quebec French, which is really Louis Quatorze’s French but with an American accent.

In New Zealand, classes are starting up everywhere in Maori. In China there are so many regional and provincial tongues the Chinese Government has decided to introduce English as a national language, with Mandarin as a tolerable option.

Back in Spain, however, politicians from a northern region of great beauty called El País Vasco where their own tongue is older than Latin, have realised that forced teaching of that antique language to the entire population under ten might possibly be just a little bit stupid, especially when all Basques, like all Catalans, speak Spanish to each other from birth. The only difference is that the Basques do not (so far) think it wise force Catalans to speak/write Catalan at the cost of Spanish. Perhaps the Basques, who have never been irrational, consider the Catalans insane. They are too polite to put it like that. And besides, to use one of ex-President Zapatero’s favourite phrases, the immense majority of Catalans are not in agreement with these privately-educated, self-important, mal-intentioned, proud, selfish, self-centred satraps at present in power in Barcelona. But they too, are too polite to say so.    

* Now wait a moment, at present there isn’t one)

By | 2011-09-25T12:14:03+00:00 September 25th, 2011|Today|5 Comments

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.


  1. silvio September 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I am from Spain but not from Cataluña and without saying from where I am I can say that we all feel a bit nationalist sometimes, specially when you discover that not all CCAAs pay or receive the same percentage from the Central Government. We all want more money in our autonomous Communities…

    Eather way, coming back to languages, I believe that what Cataluña is doing is wrong, because they are imposing their language to Spanish but, Spain’s central government is also doing wrong by NOT admitting that Spain is just an amalgam of different “villages” that used to have their own language sinces ages before the creation of what we now call spain..

    Look at the Vasques, for example, they say we don’t even know how old their language is. Euskera, when listened to, has no similarities whatsoever with Spanish. It sounds like nothing else but Euskera. It is the oldest and strangest language in Europe.

    I belive in an open Spain… a Spain that not only allows and preaches all its languages (Catalan, Euskera, Galego, Bable and Castellano…) but that it feels proud to have them and be part of such a wonderful country that speaks at least four different languages that, who knows, might become important languages in a couples of centuries…

  2. admin September 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I do not understand why four of Spain’s languages that are not Spanish might become important languages ‘in na couple of centuries’, when they are already centuries old and have never enjoyed the least importance. Sorry, but there it is.

  3. anna October 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I am sorry, but have you ever lived in Catalonia? I don’t think so. Or, at least, you have not understood anything. Moreover, several statements in your article are wrong. I don’t want to be rude, but people talking about things they have no idea make me nervous.

    • admin October 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Anna, people can express their own opinion in this blog. This is an opinion. I am Spanish and we do not need to live in Catalonia to be able to give an opinion about it.

      El hecho de que no seas canaria por ejemplo, no te impide opinar sobre una posible Independencia delarchipiélago, y mucho menos siendo española.


  4. Dean Swift October 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Excuse me Anna, but what is ‘Catalonia’? Do you mean ‘Cataluña’ or perhaps Catalunya? And why do I have to live there in order to know something about the place? Perfectly sane professors living in Cambridge write clearly and succinctly about Manchuria, but they do not live there. I have written at great length about New Zealand for this blog but I have never been there. And your last sentence should read ‘and people talking about things ABOUT WHICH they have no idea MAKES me nervous. Please examine your syntax before writing.

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