In the past few months, Catalonia has been very much in the news. And it’s got me thinking about the Catalan language. For one thing, as a French speaker, I’m very much aware of what happens to other languages in France, including Catalan’s close relative, Occitan. And if a failed bid for independence leads to loss of autonomy for Catalonia, as seems to be happening, will the Catalan language also suffer in the crackdown?
While Catalonia is widely discussed, it’s not the only place where nation states are fraying. Of course there is Scotland, which hasn’t quite been ready to leave England but hasn’t been enthusiastic about staying, in a manner not entirely dissimilar to England’s attitudes toward Europe and the E.U. At the same time, though, Lombardy and Veneto just declared, in non-binding resolutions, that they’d like more economic and cultural autonomy from Rome. Emiliana-Romagna may be next. And local languages persist, in rural areas, in all three of these. Will there be a bounce-back for reasons of local pride? It may be that the European Union is creating enough of an umbrella for Europe that the umbrella provided by nation states seems less necessary.
As a language learner, then, it’s an interesting and scary time. Will the minority languages of Europe flourish under the EU umbrella, or will the nation states within clamp down on them? At any rate, it’s exactly the kind of time where language addicts start thinking about all their languages again. So, it’s old, but here’s a post someone wrote on learning the major Romance languages:
And do check out the latest developments at Glossika, now at ai.glossika.com. They’re moving from the old model of selling audio programs to a web app with similar audio content but more flexibility in how it’s delivered. And to try it out, they have free access to some minority languages around the world including Catalan, Welsh, Manx and Sorani Kurdish.