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Stereotypes about Catalonia - “We ask ourselves if Catalan is really important on an international level”, says Brit

The president of the Institute of Catalan Studies, Salvador Giner, responds, “Catalan is spoken by 10 million people in 4 different countries”.

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19 November 2010 07:13 PM

by

ACN / Laura Pous / Maria Fernández

Barcelona (ACN).- Louise Getting is a 26-year-old British woman. She wonders how important the Catalan language is if it has little relevance on an international level. \u201CIt is almost never used in academic papers nor is it a language used for business\u201D, says Louise. The president of the Institute of Catalan Studies, Salvador Giner, said that Catalan is spoken by 10 million people in 4 different countries (Spain, Andorra, France and Italy) and what it needs is more diffusion and protection because it does have the mechanisms of a state. \u201CWe are a normal European language, but we often face difficulties because we continue to be recognised with languages from other smaller states\u201D, he explains.


Louise is a native of Wales and understands Catalans\u2019 desire to protect their own language. \u201CI know that speaking the language and keeping it alive is very important in Catalonia\u201D, she says.

However, she does not predict much interest from an international community for the minority language. \u201CWhile it can be important for your identity and sense of community, we must ask ourselves if it is really so on an international level. Catalan is not used in academic journals nor is it a language for business\u201D, she says.

\u201CCatalan is spoken by many people, but we do not have a state\u201D

Salvador Giner believes that it is necessary to \u201Cfight for the survival of Catalan\u201D. He assures that the Institute is working \u201Cto make our language known as a European language, such as Dutch, Danish or Finnish\u201D. Moreover, he adds that Catalan is spoken by more people than other European languages. Louise, however, thinks that the importance of Catalan is merely local, and that to defend the Catalan language abroad is of little utility.

\u201CCatalonia is a nation without a state and we must explain what our language is and what it means\u201D, says Giner. \u201CCatalan is spoken by many people, but we do not have a state. This is why we defend its use in universities\u201D, he argues. Giner considers it a \u201Cmatter of justice\u201D that Catalan become recognised on an international level.

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  • Salvador Giner, President of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, the Catalan language academy (by M. Fernández)

  • Louise Gettings, from the UK (by L. Pous)

  • Salvador Giner, President of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, the Catalan language academy (by M. Fernández)
  • Louise Gettings, from the UK (by L. Pous)
“We ask ourselves if Catalan is really important on an international level”, says Brit