diumenge, 16 de novembre de 2014

The Catalan Language Issue

I am not a circus animal whose trainer has taught to speak Catalan so I can show the public and get some applause, fish or peanuts in return as a prize for my ability. I am used to participating in other cultures, I have two master's degrees and am capable of having a social life. I feel deeply saddened and ashamed when reading a newspaper and see a black or a Chinese with headlines such as: Chinese Man Speaks Catalan, even if he just mutters two words. The issue is not if he speaks or how he speaks Catalan but the fact that speaking Catalan is just natural and his choice only. We should not make a spectacle of that.

I realize in Catalonia the language issue is complicated. Catalan has to struggle to avoid being overcome by Spanish and survive. However, instead of showing some special cases we should naturally assume that Catalan is spoken in this land and do it anywhere; any foreigner speaking Catalan means they have learned it the same way they would learn English if they lived in England.

I speak Catalan because I live in Catalonia. No more reasons are needed. When a person goes to a country, not as a tourist, but to live, it is natural that they should learn the language. No one can force them to learn it but it is the way to respect the culture they are living in.

I am a Pole who speaks Catalan, but I also speak Spanish and English. It is one of the many abilities I have acquired during my life and I hope to pick up others in the future.

Anita Janczak

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