Monday, October 26, 2009
As always, when the subject of regional languages such as Occitan and Catalan comes up one wonders what the current linguistic situation would be if France and Spain had been united respectively around those languages instead of French and Spanish, considering their similarity to each other. You can always tell that two languages are similar when articles in one language on the other have to list the differences between the two instead of their similarities.
Here's part of the article:
More than 10,000 people turned out in a festive atmosphere Saturday afternoon in Carcassonne for the defence and revival of the Occitan language. Behind the banners saying "Occitan lenga oficiala", "libertat per la lenga, per el pais", and "l'occitan a l'escola", the demonstrators in numerous flags of red with the Occitan cross left the centre of the city where they regrouped to head toward the medieval city, where the streets were decorated with Occitan colours.
The deputy-mayor of Carcassonne Jean-Claude Pérez and the Green european deputy José Bové were also there.
The demonstrators are asking for a recognition of the legal status of regional languages, the creation of public service television and radio in Occitan and the installation of an "ambitious linguistic politic" permitting the development and learning of Occitan. Two similar demonstrations happened previously with 10,000 people in October 2005 in Carcassonne, and 18,000 - 20,000 in March 2007 in Béziers.
Les organisateurs demandent la reconnaissance d'un statut légal des langues régionales, la création d'une télévision et d'une radio de service public en langue occitane et l'instauration d'une "politique linguistique ambitieuse" permettant notamment de développer l'enseignement de l'occitan. Deux précédentes manifestations similaires avaient réuni 10.000 personnes en octobre 2005, déjà à Carcassonne, et 18 à 20.000 personnes en mars 2007 à Béziers dans l'Hérault.