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Link: ““Los insultos y las conversaciones en catalán nos suenan a broma””

Original post found at: https://es.ara.cat/sociedad/insultos-conversaciones-catalan-suenan-broma_130_4137236.html

Interesting article about teenagers in Barcelona, and the reasons why they largely prefer to speak Castilian (Spanish). Those include the perception that Cata­lan is a “teachers’ language”, or that you can’t be serious in Cata­lan, it’s a jokey language (even though a group of boys quoted here also claim there’s no good ways to rib your mates in Cata­lan, while a girl quips that Cata­lan is such a sweet and rhythmic language, how could she be expected to speak it with these boys, hahaha). But further points are made about how Castilian is in such wider use – there are way more TV shows and movies etc. produced in Castilian, the online “influencers” and the famous actors the teenagers know of are all Castilian-speaking – and it just seems like Castilian evolves more rapidly with the times while Catalan feels more staid and academic.

For what it’s worth, I studied Cata­lan for two years and I have a huge appreciation for the diversity of language, so my own preference would be to see Cata­lan thriving (and compared to many other minority languages, it totally is – why else was I even able to study it at my university in Australia!). But you also can’t really blame young people for preferentially speaking a language that most of the media they consume comes in, or is way more common globally, linking them to people through most of the Ame­ri­cas. And you’d have to think as well that if Catalan did change faster to “keep up with the times”, that would probably mainly mean a lot of borrowings from Span­ish (much as my uni tutor railed against “cas­te­llan­is­mes”, heh). I’m not sure that there really is an “answer”, or that there’s even a point looking for an “answer” – languages are there to be used by people, after all, they’re not things that exist independently of us. And especially in the rest of Catalonia (outside Barcelona), Cata­lan seems to be doing fine.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.