language diversity

Aragon's Parliament renames Catalan language spoken in its territory with the acronym 'LAPAO'

May 10, 2013 12:43 AM | CNA

The opposition has denounced “the insult to intelligence” and the “ridiculousness” of changing the official name of the Catalan language in Aragon. Catalan has been spoken in the eastern part of Aragon for almost a thousand years. In addition, the regional parliament has also changed the name of Aragonese, a minority language also spoken for many centuries in Aragon’s Pyrenean valleys. The People’s Party (PP) and a minority regional party called PAR have changed the law ruling Aragon’s official languages. Spanish is now considered the only official language in all Aragon and LAPAO (formerly Catalan) and LAPAPYP (Aragonese) are secondary languages. University experts have strongly criticised this decision which goes against all scientific criteria. From Catalonia, the situation is perceived as another attack on the Catalan language and an attempt to eradicate it from certain areas.

Catalan Euro MPs ask European institutions to take up a stance regarding Catalonia's school model

April 12, 2013 12:38 AM | CNA

Four Members of the European Parliament representing three Catalan parties have asked the European Commission and the European Council to declare their position regarding the linguistic immersion model in place in Catalonia’s schools. The four MEPs are reacting to a series of court decisions deriving from Spanish Supreme Court sentences and to Spanish Government initiatives against the current Catalan school model, which has been in place for the last 30 years and guarantees knowledge of both Spanish and Catalan. In fact, this model has already been praised by the European Commission, in 2007. The four MEPs represent the Centre Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC).

Wolof language courses taught to bring Catalan and Senegalese cultures closer

August 7, 2012 09:00 PM | CNA / Marc C. Griso / Núria Torres / David Tuxworth

The Conca de Barberà County does not want to neglect the high number of immigrants living in Catalonia and is organising Arabic, Chinese, and Wolof language classes with native speakers as a pilot project. Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania and has over 13 million speakers. The courses are designed to focus on the language, although there are aspects of tradition and custom taught in order to enhance the student’s exposure to other cultures.

PEN International’s Girona Manifesto defends linguistic rights and diversity

June 6, 2012 01:02 AM | CNA

PEN International has presented at the Catalan Government’s Palace in Barcelona the Girona Manifesto on Linguistic Rights. Catalonia’s President regretted that the Catalan language still “suffers from the intolerance or belligerence of some bodies of the [Spanish] State”. The manifesto, which had its origins in the World Conference on Linguistic Rights held in Girona in 1996, aims to defend linguistic diversity throughout the world. The Manifesto has already been approved by the PEN General Assembly. The 10 point document has already been translated into 18 languages.

Schulz tells Mas he will “work hard” to permit the use of Catalan at the European Parliament

March 21, 2012 11:58 PM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, met with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, in Brussels. Mas told the press that Schulz had stated he would “work hard” to enable the use of Catalan at plenary sessions. However, Schulz did not confirm neither “any date” nor can he “guarantee that he would achieve it, as it does not only depend on him”, explained Mas.

The new President of the European Parliament will allow MEPs to address the plenary in Catalan

January 17, 2012 01:42 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Despite being the 13th most widely spoken language in the European Union, Catalan is not an official EU language. Special agreements have been signed with all EU bodies to allow for the minimum use of Catalan; however, the European Parliament, representing EU citizens, is the only one where Catalan has been completely banned. The new Parliament’s President, the German Social-Democrat, Martin Schulz, is committed to allowing Catalan MEPs address the plenary in their native language. The measure will not represent any extra cost as many of the Spanish interpreters are Catalan, and can do both jobs.