Languages create disputes?
Language dispute and blame

December 24, 2021

Last week the German Costa Nachrichten (Costa News - CN) published an article titled: „A language causing troubles“. This article was accompanied by a picture and the statement: „Supporters of the far-right Vox party in Catalonia demand teaching in Spanish in Catalan schools.“

The picture shows the demonstrators holding up a sign that reads: „Els nens no es toquen“, which roughly means: Leave the kids alone! What is most peculiar is that the demand on this sign is made in Catalan language instead of Spanish.

Thankfully, my letter to the editor on this was printed. But why along with an article „All Catalan children make wee-wee“?

The CBN headlined: „A language that divides“. WHICH language divides? Now the trouble starts!

The term „Leitspache“ (leading or guiding language) used by the CN in this context for a regional language is also completely new to me. I searched for it on the internet and found nothing that really explained it. Is this an approximation of the term „Leitkultur“ (leading culture)? According to Wikipedia, this term was „first introduced in 1998 ... and from 2000 onward the term figured prominently in the national political debate in Germany about national identity and immigration.“

The following applies: Cultures do not divide either! They are no more acting subjects than languages. If one understands Leitkultur as traditional/conventional culture, then there have always been and still are invasive cultures. There is no such thing as a pure culture in this sense; there are always historical developments.

Personally, I am a fan of the English/American rock culture. In my youth, this was definitely cause for conflict in my environment, which was also still influenced by National Socialism. Negro music? That was „forbidden“ and I was not allowed to wear jeans to school. My wife's mother had to force the school to accept my wife to wear trousers instead of a dress to school in the cold winter. Today, no young person can imagine that.

Conflicts only arise when someone thinks they have to impose their culture, religion, etc. on the other person.

Languages divide just as little. Many politicians divide and when it comes to extreme nationalism, language imposition is almost as helpful as religion and culture. I can't see a single „leading“ language in either Catalonia or Valencia, and certainly no reason for claiming or creating one. That's what Franco tried to do with his compulsory use of Spanish. Now Spanish politicians are using it the other way round and certain German politicians want to force gendering on us (as a guiding language?), which is divisive!

The PP affiliate in Galicia is imposing Galician instead of Spanish. The PSOE offshoots are doing the same in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia with compulsory use of Catalan/Valenciano/Mallorcan instead of Spanish. What is the PP doing? Instead of asking its Galician affiliate to end the imposition of Galician, it merely opposes the language imposition in Catalonia. For me, this is hypocrisy tenfold!

In all Spanish autonomous regions with regional languages, the majority of the resident population has Spanish as its mother tongue. Why do regional governments take the right to impose their minority language on this majority and deny the right to a good education in the mother tongue? After all, you learn best in your mother tongue.

There can only be a solution to this conflict if parents, rather than politicians, are given the right to decide on the language used in the education of their children. 100% Spanish is just as good as 100% regional language or even 50/50, a solution for which the organisation „Hablamos Español“ is currently collecting signatures for a bill for the freedom of choice of language in the Comunidad Valencia. On you can find out: „Teaching in the mother tongue is neither right nor left, just good!“ and where the next signature collection will take place, in which foreign registered residents can also participate.

Many have already signed in Jávea. No wonder with an experience like the following: Parents have asked teachers at the ESO in Jávea (public school from grade 6 onwards and classes mainly in Valenciano) for information from the school to be sent to them in Spanish and have been told that they should have these messages translated by their children. An impertinence like the EU Commission's guideline to eliminate „Merry Christmas“ in favour of „Happy Holidays“.

Even as an atheist, I would rather wish all readers Merry Christmas!

A scary comment

I did not comment on the adjacent comment and the above picture of the demonstration in the letter to the editor. There is room for it here.

I don't know where the picture of the article was taken. With the demand „Els nens no es toquen“ it shows that the participants have no fear of contact with the Catalan language. Why should they? One is not against a language. One is against language imposition. It is a fact that Vox supporters support actions against language imposition, so they are also accepted on these demos. This does not make all protesters Vox supporters. This borders on defamation.

This defamation is also clear in the commentary. There it says: „Of course the parents are in the right - but they carry the crazy world from outside into the perfect microcosm of the classrooms. In doing so, they are doing wrong. In Canet de Mar, the lessons ran smoothly“. That is absurd. You only have to accept your kid not to learn proper Spanish and then everything runs smoothly? After all, the Catalan government would only have to abide by the law and both Catalan and Spanish rulings, then the lessons would be adapted and nothing would disturb this strange peace, which is still full of separatist indoctrination.

The commentary goes on to say: „No criticism of the immersion model was heard either from Catalonia or from Valencia“. Forgotten or deliberately ignorant? The CN itself had already reported demonstrations against the language imposition and for the freedom of choice of languages in the Comunidad Valenciana.

All Catalan children pee, but are they allowed to?

In the adjacent article from today it says: „For example, PP leader Pablo Casado claimed the day before that those who speak Spanish in Catalan schools are not allowed in the loo“.

That is probably a clever forgery of quotes. I wasn't there. But I read that he said the children had to ask in Catalan if they could go to the toilet. If they ask in Spanish, the answer is NO! This fits in well with what many parents here in the Comunidad Valenciana have already told me. In Valencian-led lessons, e.g. maths, social studies or science, if an answer is given in Spanish, it is assessed as wrong.

I would like to point out the following quote in this article: „The call of the citizens' initiative Somescola - 'We are school' is also followed by the Catalan President Pere Aragnoès, who clearly said: 'Our school will not be touched'. Also separatist parties ... as well as the left-wing party Unidas Podemos advocate the motto 'Now and always school in Catalan', which can be seen again and again on green posters“.

It betrays the mindset of the separatists. It is their school, not that of Catalan parents and children. The result of a survey that „28% of pupils...never converse in Catalan outside class“ is no consolation. 1. not only do these children not learn in their mother tongue and are thus at a disadvantage compared to the other children, which affects their grades, and 2. they only learn their own mother tongue as a foreign language, which is not enough to acquire the skills that are understood as mastering a culture language.

Many English tell me, that I have a good command of the English language. But not good enough and I am aware of my shortcomings. Recently I told a friend about a house that „consumates“ less energy than it produces, making him grin a lot. I hope you don't find any such mistakes in this article that can give you an idea of what mastering a culture language means or how a lot of Catalan parents feel about the Spanish language their kids have learned.

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