dimarts, 17 de febrer del 2009

The new campaign in favour of Catalan

All Catalans face this situations, almost no exception. When in the street or in a shop we met an immigrant we tend to speak to them in Spanish or switch if they address us in this language. This, I think, should change. I am one of those who switch -and I am very pro-Catalan-, but if I always switch, what is the use of it? Newcomers won't never ever feel the need to learn Catalan and it will lose public terrain and the us, Catalan native speakers, will have a responsability in this.

From the government, or the Departament de Política Lingüística (Language Policy Department) Efforts are made to change that with a campaign that started a few years ago called "DÓNA CORDA AL CATALÀ" (Give a way to Catalan - approx.), which tries to give the use of Catalan a positive sense, it tries to make Catalan an attractive thing and a perfectly suitable language to develop one's everyday life with. Now the campaign is called "ENCOMANA EL CATALÀ" (Pass Catalan on) has shifted its focus, and it addresses native speakers, encouragin them to speak Catalan to everybody. They use a very symbolic image: a Latin American person, which would probably have Spanish as its mother tongue.

They have also invented a pet, a wind-up mouth called "Queta" (pronounced "keta"), which relates to the campaign's name ("Donar corda" means to "make a wind-up thing work")

This is the new video, which so far, as usual, has given rise to many critics because they say the government has spent too much money in the campaign (and it is worse now that we are inmersed in a crisis). I think the ad's not bad! :)

In it you can see Queta jumping on the lyrics.

And this is the first ad of "Dóna corda al català", broadcasted some years ago (I do not remember exactly when):

And here I introduce you to Queta :

2 comentaris:

anna ha dit...

That sounds like an interesting campaign. I think a language is very important for the identity of a country.
On the other hand, I wouldn't worry to much if you talk Spanish to foreigners or tourists. Otherwise, they might just have to talk in English, which isn't really better. But of course, immigrants should really learn some Catalan after a certain time (as immigrants should adapt everywhere).

Could you maybe explain a little bit about the differences of Catalan and Spanish? I mean, I know that some things are similar, but I don't understand in what way. For example, would a person that can only speak Spanish be able to understand or read a little bit of Catalan? Or the other way round? There are slight connections between German and Dutch, and I sometimes understand a little bit of Dutch. Written Dutch I can make out even better..

Anna ha dit...

The difference between Spanish and Catalan is the same as German-Dutch, to use your example :D.
Both Spanish and Catalan are Romance languages (ie= they both come from Latin). A Catalan WILL ALWAYS understand Spanish without problems, because we are taught Spanish alongside Catalan since we are children. But not the other way round. A Spanish will be like you with Dutch (or the same with me with Italian or Portuguese): s/he would catch some words and would read better.

Maybe, what sounds strange is: why campaign in favour of a language? Why isn't it taken for granted? This same ad is not conceivable in Spanish, for example. I think I will rerewrite the entry...I realise there are many things missing now...

You see, the thing is that Spanish and Catalan is a complicated issue with lots of implication in it..And this complications would be better explained in a post. I take note of your comment :D.