Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Catalan language row sets Spanish tongues wagging

Demonstrators hold a banner reading “in Catalan” during a protest in Barcelona, Spain on Dec. 13 last year.

Photo: AFP

Tensions between Spain’s Catalonia region and the central government have flared over a national education reform that targets the sensitive issue of Catalan language teaching in schools.

In a sign of how dear the right to teaching in Catalan is to inhabitants of the northeastern region, Barcelona Football Club — one of Catalonia’s most powerful institutions — spoke out to defend it.

“FC Barcelona wishes to express its active support for the Catalan language and the model of linguistic immersion which has been employed in Catalonia over the last 34 years,” it said in a statement.

“The Catalan language and its teaching in our schools form part of our identity and are key elements for social cohesion and coexistence within our country.”

Catalonia’s leaders and media jumped on the defensive after national Education Minister Jose Ignacio Wert proposed an education reform focusing on Spanish language teaching in all regions.

Wert proposed to stop obliging students in Catalonia to speak Catalan in order to study at universities there, and to make the region pay for private schooling in Spanish for children whose parents demanded it.

“It could only come from a total ignorance of Catalonia or simply from bad faith,” said the regional government’s spokesman Francesc Homs. “If it is necessary to appeal to the Constitutional Court, we will do so.”








1. flare v.

情勢惡化;發怒 (qing2 shi4 e4 hua4; fa1 nu4)

例: Tempers flared after a three-hour delay at the airport.


2. jump on v. phr.

立刻採取某種作為 (li4 ke4 cai2 qu3 mo2 zhong3 zuo4 wei2)

例: My friend asked me if I wanted tickets to the game, and I jumped on the opportunity.


3. bad faith n. phr.

不守信用 (bu4 shou3 xin4 yong4)

例: She accused her landlord of bad faith because he had promised to paint the apartment but never did it.





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