Read in Catalan

The supremacy of the Castilian language continues to advance, each day a little more. During the period from 1 April to 30 June this year, the regulations imposed in Spanish, and to exclude Catalan, have almost doubled over the previous three months.

If in the first quarter of 2017 there were 16 rules approved that relegated the Catalan language in Spanish territories where the native language is, in the second quarter the figure reached 28 rules of linguistic discrimination. In particular, in the last three months the institutions of the Spanish state have approved 17 discriminatory regulations, whilst the European bodies have approved 11. These come from the daily analysis of the Official State Gazette (BOE) that has made the Platform for Language during the last weeks.

All 17 linguistic regulations of state origin are explicit impositions of Spanish, both where it is its own language and where it is not, and do not provide any kind of protection for Catalan. On the other hand, of the 11 European rules, four are indirect impositions of Spanish – they provide obligations related to the official languages of the member states, whose status does not enjoy Catalan – and 7 are implicit exclusions of Catalan – regulating the official languages of the European Union, a status that does not include Catalan either because the Spanish state vetoes it.

The new legal regulations belong to varying fields, such as grants, education, labelling, requirements and documentation, but it is in the latter area that more impositions are concentrated. Thus, 10 new rules (7 from the state and 3 from the communities) require that all kinds of documents be written in Spanish and 4 (all European) provide that they can be in an official language of the European Union, but not Catalan. A total of 3 more rules regulate labelling but contain linguistic obligations that exclude the possibility of using Catalan in the documentation.

The count since 2014

The 17 regulations of state origin imposing Spanish at the expense of Catalan this quarter and 10 from the previous ones must be added to the 243 that the Spanish government has approved since the Platform for Language was compiled in 2014. It is a very varied set of laws, resolutions, ministerial orders and royal decrees that reserve the supremacy of Spanish over the rest of the native languages of the state, and assign a series of rights over the whole territory, not even planned for speakers of other languages in their own territories.