Friday, July 06, 2007

You want Catalunacy? We got Catalunacy. Esquerra Republicana (ERC), our local national socialists, say they want to force all teachers to speak only Catalan at school. Not just in class to the students, but in the teachers' lounge and cafeteria, in conferences with parents (who may not know Catalan), and when talking with the janitors and other workers (who may not know Catalan). Well, actually, that last bit wouldn't be true anymore, because they want janitors and lunch ladies to pass a Catalan test or lose their jobs. Also, even outside class, teachers (even, like, math teachers) will have to monitor students' speech and correct them if they use incorrect Catalan. Students will have to address teachers only in Catalan.

Completely. Fucking. Ridiculous. Language. Fascism. There is nothing guaranteed to piss off Spanish-speakers as much as attempts to force them to renounce their own native language, the second- or third-most spoken in the world and the co-official language of Catalonia, for a comparatively minor language, the 88th-most spoken. Coercion won't make people want to learn Catalan, it'll put them off.

More ERC language fascism: They want to ban speaking Spanish on TV3. Specifically, they don't want TV3 to invite Spanish-speaking talk-show guests or interview Spanish-speaking people on the news. If a Spanish-speaker must be allowed to appear on TV3, then everything he says must be subtitled in Catalan. No Spanish-speaking characters in sitcoms or dramas or soap operas will be allowed.

And then the Cataloonies complain that many people in the rest of Spain don't like Catalans in general. Yes, that's ignorant prejudice; it makes no more sense to dislike Catalans than, say, Americans or Iranians or Bolivians or Laotians. But the Cataloonies, though a small minority, make so much unpleasant noise that other Spaniards automatically identify all Catalans with Cataloony linguafascism.

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