2011/08/02

The legislation affecting the Catalan language is different depending on what state you are speaking

One of the inconveniences of living or doing business on Mallorca over the last decade has been language legislation which, unless like Palma-based Air Berlin you are big enough to ignore the law, has required all (ie not just customer-facing) public employees to speak fluent Catalan and all businesses to provide all consumer information and, where your head count > 2, Catalan-speaking staff. (Similar, Franco-era legislation exists for Spanish, but it is not afaik enforced.)

The perception that this stick is too big and perhaps illegitimate (not to mention economically damaging), and that perhaps carrots have been rather neglected, cannot but be accentuated by the piss-poor translation that has gone into this effort to explain language and legislation by the Consejo de Mallorca/Consell de Mallorca, the island council. If they don't take The Language seriously, then why should anyone else?

[
The title quote is surreal rather than grammatically incorrect:

Do I hate you? No! Not hate?
Hate's a word far too intense,
Too alive, to speak a state
Of supreme indifference.
Once behind your eyes I thought
Worlds of love and life to see;
Now I see behind them nought
but a soulless vacancy.
(William Wetmore Story, "Black eyes", Graffiti d'Italia (1868)
]

(H/t the excellent Mr Clarke.)

2 comments:

Candide said...

The German version is even worse, and that's keeping in mind that "Mal.lorca " is practically a Bundesland.

Or do we see here some passive-aggressive resistance of the few remaining locals against northern colinialism?

Candide said...

Hey, your "If they don't take The Language seriously, then why should anyone else?" has made a great quote for my latest entry. That is just the way to put it.

Duly credited.