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Aranese language becomes the 3rd co-official language in Catalonia

The Catalan Parliament approves a law that recognises Occitan language, called Aranese in the small Aran county, as co-official in Catalonia. It will also be the preferred language in the Aran county, in Western Catalan Pyrenees. The top representative of the Aranese county, Francesc Boya says it is a “historic day” and warns that Aranese language is in an “intensive care unit”.


23 September 2010 01:35 AM



Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Parliament has approved the Occitan Law for the recognition, protection and promotion of the Aranese language. Aranese is a dialect of Occitan spoken in the Aran Valley, a small county in the Western Catalan Pyrenees. The law was approved as Aranese is recognised as an official language in the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The law regulates the use of the language in institutions, schools and media, among others. The top representative of the Aranese county, Francesc Boya said that it has been \u201Ca historic day\u201D and stated that Aranese language has been living in an \u201Cintensive care unit\u201D. The Conservative People\u2019s Party of Catalonia (PPC) and the anti-Catalan-nationalism Ciutadans de Catalunya (C\u2019s) denounced the law for not complying with the Spanish Constitutional Court\u2019s definition of a \u201Cpreferred\u201D language. The parties have disputed with other groups about the contents of the law that refer to \u2018Occitan, Aranese in the Aran Valley\u2019.

In article 6.5 of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, the Occitan language is established as an official language in Catalonia, called \u2018Aranese\u2019 in the Aran Valley. The new Occitan Law is taking the next step in the recognition and protection of the language, regulating its use in administrations, schools and the media. The law aims at further developing the Aranese language, which is currently one of the 3 official languages in Catalonia.

The law establishes the Aranese language as the \u201Cpreferred language in all Vall d\u2019Aran institutions\u201D, especially in the General Council of Vall d\u2019Aran and the town halls of the county. It also establishes the language as the \u201Cregularly employed\u201D language for communication between Catalan administrations and Vall d\u2019Aran ones. As far as education, the Aranese language will be the \u201Ccommon language used for instruction in Aranese education centres\u201D. The law also asks the Catalan Government to promote public radio and television programmes in the Aranese language. The independent academic organisation, the Institute of Aranese Studies, will also be formed.

Boya talked of a \u201Chistoric day\u201D for Aranese people, mentioning the \u201Cgrave situation\u201D that the Aranese language is in. \u201CIn medical terms, today the language is sitting in an intensive care unit\u201D, he said. The area is located in the middle of territories with \u201Cstrong languages like Catalan, Spanish and French\u201D. In addition, he mentioned the importance of political support for the survival of endangered languages.


  • Photo of Aranese language becomes the 3rd co-official language in Catalonia

  • Photo of Aranese language becomes the 3rd co-official language in Catalonia