Two years and a half ago Catalan culture and literature was the centre of one of the most important Book fairs in the World: the Frankfurter Buchmesse. This fair was an excellent platform for Catalan writers to expand to the European -and world- market. It also was a good opportunity to show the world our culture, our language, our traditions.
The text reads: "Catalan culture, singular and universal".
Within Catalonia this was conceived as a great event and cultural organisations became really involved in it. Since it was publicly known that Catalan culture would be the guest of honour in Frankfurt's fair, great broadcasting of the event began. And also debate and discussion. Which writers would go to the fair? Only Catalan writers who wrote in Catalan? Catalan writers who wrote in Spanish? Both? As always, the never-ending sociopolitical discussions on language exploded. These are so recurring that I do not even remember how they ended.
Time passed by and the day arrived. The square outside the fair's facilities were the scene for parallel cultural activities, as for example, human towers exhibition, traditional music, theatre, etc. The things that were culturally and linguistically origianl were highlighted, like for example, in writing, characters like ny (read like Spanish ñ, Portuguese nh or Italian gn), ç (which also exists in French and is read as s) and l·l (two l pronounced together).
Inside the building, Quim Monzó, a great contemporary Catalan writer was the chosen one to perform the inaugural speech. He build a sublime ironical text about Catalonia and Catalan.s It is so brilliant and well-structured that the best thing one can do is reading it to get an idea of how modern Catalan society thinks. And to have a great great laugh (it is something Catalan usually do: laugh at themselves...yes strange sense of humour, but really funny). It is absolutely hilarious. The text was translated into four languages: Catalan, Spanish, German and English. I strongly recommend you read it. And they say the translations are really good, specially, they praised the German translation of a very typical Catalan tongue twister. Click here to read it. At the end of the pdf you will find information about Quim Monzó in German and in English.
Here you have the video of the inaugural speech (so you will know how it sounded like):
And finally, you can find all sorts of information related to the event here (in Catalan, Spanish, German and English).
I enjoyed looking at the different translations of the Salvador Dalí tongue twister. I also liked hearing it in the video.
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