Tabarnese Voices - Free and independent voices

The battle for language begins

- -
The PSC's proposal to make "immersion" more flexible again puts the focus on language imposition policies
Voces Layetanas
David Martín 25/11/2019 1814
The hegemony of the language is one of the key objectives of Catalan nationalism, to a much higher degree than the case of Basque nationalism. The use of language as a differentiating tool has always been a priority for the independence movement, and only the need to broaden its social base has made it possible for a party as firmly monolingual as ERC (just remember when the former ERC leader Joan Puigcercós refused to respond in Spanish to another Catalan, live and on television, arguing that he "did him a favor") to tolerate the presence of the Spanish language to the point of making it possible for the party's main spokesman to be Gabriel Rufián, a Spanish-speaking "charnego", something that its barely tolerated by an important part of his party and that the nationalist politician tries to be forgiven day and day also defending with fury the marginalization of his own mother language.
But this objective, which is rarely questioned, discussed or even mentioned, has been officially questioned now by the party that so far less could be expected to do so: The PSC.
Because the Catalan socialists, with Iceta in front, had so far been characterized by defending linguistic immersion in Catalan. Such legislation, imposed by nationalism and which has never been endorsed by the citizens of Catalonia, had been possible thanks to the powers assigned from Madrid by the majority parties, and until now it had only been confronted by Ciudadanos, although this opposition was made increasingly weaker according to the party of Albert Rivera, he ceased to focus all his efforts on refuting nationalism and dedicated them to compete with the Popular Party for its electoral space, with the results we all know.
However, this past week the leader of the Catalan Socialists has unexpectedly picked up a proposal to "ammend" the "immersion" so that the Spanish language can once again become a vehicular language in some classrooms and in some schools making Linguistic Immersion "more flexible", reinforcing Catalan in some centers (although if it's already 100% I can't see how it can be possible), reinforcing Spanish in others and English in all cases.
I don't know if Iceta's motivations are genuinely to improve the quality of education in Catalonia or if he's assuming some of the premises of Ciudadanos to expand his electoral base. If it's the latter, I can't deny that the play is smart. It's well known that the Linguistic Immersion has as its defenders the most identitarian Catalan-speaking nationalists, but that if voted on in a referendum it would surely be rejected by the majority of Catalans, many independentists included, because they don't want their children to be deprived of a powerful Communication tool such as the second most spoken mother tongue in the world after Chinese. And that lack of consensus is the reason why nationalism has never allowed it to vote.
Iceta's proposal would improve the current situation, but it's not by far the ideal one. Allowing each center or each municipality to regulate the application rate of the Language Immersion would only increase the difference between Catalans. There are many better formulas, such as the trilíngual teaching proposed in its day by Ciudadanos in which Spanish, Catalan and English had the same weight. Other more asymmetric proposals could grant 25% to each of the three languages ​​leaving the remaining 25% freely available to each center. Such a proposal would allow 25% Spanish, 50% Catalan and 25% English in deep catalan villages, while in Hospitalet or Castelldefels the Spanish could reach 50%, with 25% of Catalan and 25% English. Special cases such as the Aran Valley, which has an additional language could have 25% for each language and dedicate the remaining 25% to Aranese. If Iceta's proposal were in that direction, asymmetric but with solid minimums, we would be faced with a proposal with the ability to establish itself as an adaptive but not divisive educational model.
Another intelligent movement is not to present it to the nationalist parties as a repeal of the "immersion", but as an "adaptation" or "flexibilization", since the hardest and most identifiable nucleus of nationalism has as one of its most sacred axioms "Don't touch the language".
Those who have run out of words are the constitutionalist parties, possibly because they didn't dare to propose this initiative (or to defend it adequately in the case of Ciudadanos). Many Spanish-speaking parents (more than half of Catalans, according to the Generalitat itself) would welcome this flexibility, which would allow the PSC to scratch a good percentage of Spanish-speaking votes from Ciudadanos or the "Commons" in the next Catalan elections thus overcome Esquerra Republicana.
Be that as it may, the doubt is that putting the linguistic question back on the table has several interesting consequences in the immediate future:
- The spiral of silence on the subject of language has been broken, something that must be reflected in the associations of parents, political parties and associations for the rights of Spanish speakers such as "Hablamos Español".
- It'll make the nationalist parties react fiercely defending their territory and denying their claims of "this is about democracy.." because this really is about cultural supremacism.
- It'll make the constitutionalist parties enter a struggle to defend something as sensible as the right to bilingualism in Spanish communities that have that cultural wealth.
Finally, and given the pertinent of the subject, I'll allow myself to finish this article with the recent video of the monographic series #HablemosClaro in which we analyze the use of language by nationalism.
And given that in this medium we DO apply trilingualism it's worth noting that both this article and the video are made in Spanish, Catalan and English, so you only have to change the language in the top menu to read or view the content In the language of your choice.

Onda Layetana News: Related Posts