Lliçó 28 - Control de Temps: Language - National Symbols (Font: gencat.cat)
Exercicis de Control de Temps.
1. 93.8% of the citizens of Catalonia understand Catalan, the official language along with Spanish and Aranese. To these nearly seven million people that understand Catalan, we can add those from other territories where it is used as the everyday language, particularly the Valencian Community (where it is called 'Valencià'), the Balearic Islands and part of Aragon, the Franja de Ponent.
2. It is the only official language in Andorra and its use extends to the south of France and the city of Alghero, Sardinia. As a result, it is calculated that there are a total of nine million people that speak Catalan and 11 million that understand it. It is therefore situated ahead of 14 official languages of the European Union and it is the ninth most spoken language.
3. Catalan is the common language used at school and its use is standardising the media, financial world and cultural productions. A survey carried out by the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (IDESCAT) in 2007 indicated that three out of four residents in Catalonia can speak and write Catalan. With regard to Spanish, nearly all citizens understand (98.9%) and speak it (96.4%).
4. Catalan was established between the 8th and 10th Centuries as an evolution of Latin, as were Spanish, French, Italian and the other Romance languages. Every year, 10,000 titles are edited in Catalan, which is the tenth most translated language in the world and taught in 166 universities.
5. The Catalan language is very much alive on the Internet, so much so that CANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) authorised the .cat domain in 2006, which groups the Catalan culture and language community websites together. In just over two years, there were 30,000 domains registered.
6. The Flag. The four bars derived on the flag of Catalonia appears on a seal by Ramon Berenguer IV in 1150, although its mythological origin is also linked to Wilfred the Hairy when, after a battle, Frank King Charles the Bald wiped his fingers in the blood of the nobleman.
7. And drew four red bars on his golden shield as an emblem. This set was different from the Counts of Barcelona and, while in some eras the lines were drawn horizontally, they ended up being vertical, which is made official in the Statute of Autonomy of 1979.
8. Els Segadors: National Anthem. Els Segadors was declared the Catalan national anthem by an Act of the Catalan Parliament in 1993. Based on a popular idyll from the 17th Century, which had been collected by linguist and writer Manuel Milà i Fontanals, the current lyrics are by Emili Guanyavents, who won a competition in 1899 for this purpose by the Catalanist Union, motivating passionate polemics.
9. The music was put to it in 1892 by Francesc Alió, who adapted the melody of an already existing song. The Anthem makes a reference to the blood-stained Corpus Christi, the movement that took place in Barcelona on June, 7th, 1640 and which led to the War of the Segadors, the struggle of the Catalans and the troops of Felip IV. In the text, we can note illusions to the countrymen, the land and to freedom.
10. The National Day of Catalonia. The National Day of Catalonia is celebrated on September, 11th and on this day, the Catalan people remember the loss of Catalan freedom and institutions due to the defeat in the War of Succession in 1714. With this commemoration, the desire to conserve the Catalan identity is remembered. When Franco's dictatorship fell, there were great demonstrations for independence on September, 11th.