More on the metro announcements in Occitan in Toulouse (Tolosa), France

Monday, October 12, 2009

From an article here in French.

It has been the subject of discussion for 15 days in the Toulouse Metro. Some users are quite happy; others find it ridiculous. The rest simply don't understand: "What's this language, Spanish?" No. The announcements of "Capitoli" (Capitole), "Font de l'Estanh" (Fontaine-Lestang) or "Borda Roja" (Borderouge) are languedocien (Occitan).

The movement for the revitalization of Occitan was able to make street signs in the region bilingual in 2001, and since then the plan has been to bring in a phonetic aspect as well as a visual one, so the metro was thought to be ideal. It took four years of effort for the bilingualization of the metro to go from plan to implementation.

Apparently the announcements in Occitan were done as a test and will end the 25th of October at the end of the Occitania festival, but elected officials will meet on the 7th of November to make a decision on whether to continue with them, and at the same time they may bring up the discussion on whether to bring in other languages (English and Spanish) at the same time while they're at it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is funny tha you speak about it there. I live in Toulouse and these surprised by these announcements. On the beggining I thought it was a bug. It made laugh people that's right. The strange thing in this situation is hat occitan is actually not very spoken in Toulouse and the rest of the South-West. Arabic is much more spoken in the underground that occitan. So these announcements comes too late, whan the majority of people don't understand it's goal. It' not that which will make revive the language of our grand parents.

Anonymous said...

The goal is to bring back Occitan to the "public sphere", which is vital to continue the efforts in order to avoid its death, among the calendretas, the plays, the occitan radio stations, the bumper stickers... it do makes a lot of sense to me. Probably TISSEO should've communicate more about it in order to instruct the users.

Trencavel said...

Occitan language has been spoken in Toulouse and in most of Southern France for more than 11 centuries until now. French was made compulsory within that area much later (1519. After World War 2 until 1990, because of its absence in Wireless, Papers, Cinema and TV, it started diminishing drastically as other languages in France did (Breton, Bask, Corsican, Catalan, Alsacian, so on). Between 1990 and today a strong revival started so that it is currently no more "too late". 3 million people understand Occitan and 1 million speak it. Every year new bilingual schools are opened. All the French Southern Regions and main Cities do have now a new Occitanian cultural policy. Toulouse is the first City with a "House of Occitania" (Ostal d'Occitania), with the streets named in French and Occitan and now with the Metro speaking altogether both its native language: Occitan and French. As regard with the side idea of also having English, Spanish or Arabian being spoken in the Subway, this has no sense as those languages are not the historical and native languages of Touloouse and Occitania. So Good luck again to the Return of its genuine language in Toulouse! Posted by Trencavel, Toulouse.

Anonymous said...

Well done! Visualization of the discrimination is the first step for achieving equal rights. Here in Barcelona in 1970 no foreign visitor could know that he or she was visiting Catalonia.

Lifting the prohibition against the language is not enough, though. People has to regain self-respect for their own culture after centuries of being told that they were a bunch of rednecks if they did not speak French. This brainwashing is hard to fix. The first step is understanding that the French have done the same in Occitania, in Algiers and in Vietnam: substitution of the local culture for a foreign culture: first you win a war, then you displace the population, and finally you set a cultural apartheid for the survivors.

But Catalonia or Israel are examples that, after centuries of prosecution, if there is a will to survive, national pride can be regained even though total freedom has not been reached.

Mars said...

Thank you for supporting. I added your page in the press clipping I make for the TisseÒc website.

cafaristeir said...

Sellamat Dave !

This afternoon, I heard on the radio an interview of J.F.Laffont (one of the promotors of the project) who said that 3/4 of the people from whom he had gotten some feed-back were satisfied with this measure.

Olivier
http://sambahsa.pbworks.com/

Anonymous said...

Well done! Visualization of the discrimination is the first step for achieving equal rights. Here in Barcelona in 1970 no foreign visitor could know that he or she was visiting Catalonia.

Lifting the prohibition against the language is not enough, though. People has to regain self-respect for their own culture after centuries of being told that they were a bunch of rednecks if they did not speak French. This brainwashing is hard to fix. The first step is understanding that the French have done the same in Occitania, in Algiers and in Vietnam: substitution of the local culture for a foreign culture: first you win a war, then you displace the population, and finally you set a cultural apartheid for the survivors.

But Catalonia or Israel are examples that, after centuries of prosecution, if there is a will to survive, national pride can be regained even though total freedom has not been reached.

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