Monday, September 23, 2019 – 09:24
What with xenophobic malice they call foreign language has become the most used.
It is common knowledge that those who defend at all costs that Catalan must be the only vehicular language in our educational system always use the same argument: Catalan is our own language and the language of social cohesion and, therefore, must be the preponderant in schools. It is understood, then, that in those places where one’s own language and social cohesion is different and not Catalan, the same argument will be valid. If we choose, for example, a territory like Northern Catalonia, where French is the language of cohesion and the vehicular language, the ones who reason in that way will not hesitate and demand that the French language be the only and vehicular language in that region.
Let us see, then, what literally requires from the French government the Platform for the Language, the so-called ‘NGO of Catalan language’, which has received millions of grants from the Generalitat and huge financial aid from our Government to boost Catalan on the Balearic islands. In short: more presence of Catalan, even reaching bilingualism.
But, if in this case they cannot use the wild card of their own language, how could they convince Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Minister of Education? Very simply, betraying his own nationalist ideology and turning to science. Read carefully why the linguistic immersion in French should cease: «Science has shown that early multilingual teaching favors a better cognitive development of students and, at the same time, contributes decisively to the economic, business and professional progress of the territory». It could be a phrase by José Ramón Bauzá and his government team when, a few years ago, they tried in vain to introduce a trilingual teaching in the Balearic Islands. How is it possible to deny for our community what is claimed, with scientific foundation, for others? What kind of science is that, which works in Northern Catalonia and is unfeasible in our archipelago?
And what is more important: if what is really worth is science, that is, pedagogical multilingualism, what is the point of appealing to one’s own language?
These considerations are relevant because they dismantle the network of fallacies and contradictions of the ‘cultural organizations’ that advise and determine the linguistic policy of our Government and, with it, of our own legislation as an Autonomous Community. More clearly: these fallacies and contradictions are those of the PISB, Més y Podemos, so allegedly progressive and devout of multiculturalism, as long as the Catalan sacred cow is not touched. And since we talk about science, let’s focus on the dossier published a few days ago in the Arabalears newspaper about the ’40 years of teaching one’s own language’, signed by Elena Navarro and blessed by Gabriel Bibiloni, linguist and professor at the UIB, and Lluís Segura, our Insular Director of Language Policy. And I say this for a simple reason: what comes next are the conclusions that are derived from the data and studies of those who advocate Catalan mono-lingualism in all public areas of the Balearic Islands. And, according to them, despite the enormous efforts wasted, Spanish is already the most used language on the islands: «Catalan has lost value as a usual language in favor of Spanish».
This radical finding should have historical consequences: if we agree that the territories do not have their own language, but it is the speakers who have a common language that is realized and embodied in the use, then it has no feet or head to affirm that our own language is Catalan.
That, today, is already an anachronism. Continue affirming as automatons that our own language is Catalan while, on the other hand, we ensure that people prefer Spanish, it implies not understanding what a language represents and its function, which is to communicate. What some, with xenophobic malice, continue to call foreign language, has become their own, the most used and favorite of most speakers. Obviously, taking into account these arguments, the language of social cohesion cannot be Catalan anymore, since it is impossible for anything to be united through a language not spoken by citizens.
Insulting and despising those who freely use Spanish, calling them ‘cowards’ and ‘hung ups’ for not choosing Catalan to communicate, will not improve the situation. On the contrary: it will transform a process that seems unstoppable into irreversible. The laws change. They can be adapted to new realities and new uses. Only then can they be fully fair. Therefore, our Statute of Autonomy, where it is sung that Catalan is our own language, has become obsolete. Shielding in its current state is equivalent to shielding itself in an entelechy. And who legislates based on a fiction does not impart justice, but condemns society to schizophrenia.