Read in Catalan

The question of language has been present in the Catalan independence trial from the start. All the defendants (if not the witnesses) have the right to testify in Catalan rather than Spanish if they so wish. The court has provided Catalan to Spanish interpreters for just this purpose. Defence sources, however, have suggested that the offering of consecutive, not simultaneous interpretation is impractical for a trial and that they worry nuance from their statements might be lost in translation.

Now this Tuesday, former minister Jordi Turull, during his testimony, found himself having to act as a Catalan-to-Spanish interpreter for public prosecutor Jaime Moreno, who didn't understand some of the words used in a document he was presenting as evidence. Apparently no one had produced an official translation of the document in advance of the trial. "I didn't think I'd have to be a Spanish translator from Catalan for you," joked the defendant.

The public prosecutor tried to provide a running translation of the document shown on the screens in the courtroom, but stumbled over words in the Catalan text which might be less transparent to a monolingual Spanish speaker, notably "esmentades" ("citadas" in Spanish - "mentioned") and "preses" ("tomadas" in Spanish - "taken").

English subtitles are available on the above video.

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