Monday, November 21, 2016

Tha Catalan language in Sardinia

Italy has a number of linguistic enclaves, including those where German, French, Greek or Albanian are spoken. Of these, only the German-speaking area (Alto-Adige/Suedtirol) in northeastern Italy has a strong chance of surviving linguistically. This is due to their numbers, and to their history of social and political action.

The New York Times has an article today on a little-known language minority, the speakers of Catalan in Alghero (hard g, accent on the second syllable.) Alghero (in the photo above) is a small city in northern Sardinia.

Not familiar with Catalan? It is a Romance language originating in Catalonia in northern Spain, but it is not a dialect of Spanish, it is a separate language of which the Catalans are very proud and protective. Here's a sample:

Tots els éssers humans neixen lliures i iguals en dignitat i en drets. Són dotats de raó i de consciència, i han de comportar-se fraternalment els uns amb els altres.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. 
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

And here is a man from Alghero speaking the local dialect of Catalan: