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SPANISH LANGUAGE & CATALAN/MALLORCAN

In this article I will not be discussing the political and polemical side of the Spanish language, it is not my intention to compare languages. It is just that a sign of interest has aroused among our visitors and students. Our school, ELE USAL Mallorca, a Spanish language school, makes it denotable that we do speak Spanish as the main language, a language taught and spoken in many countries around the world. For instance, we usually ask “do you speak Spanish?”,as the “Castellano” or Castilian is the official language in Spain, according to the Spanish constitution of 1987.

The Castilian became the language used by the catholic monarchs during the “Reconquista” of Spain, and also during the conquest (or discovery, whatever you want to name it) of what we know as south America, therefore it had a huge expansion in a short period of time, that made, due to the distance between Spain and the “new world”, the evolution of the language and the appearance of lots of neologisms, so the Royal Spanish academy (RAE) was founded in 1713.

Nowadays both terms are accepted and considered synonyms, although for reasons of ambiguity we use Spanish to define the language spoken for over 400 million people worldwide, and Castilian the one used in Spain, sided by the co-official languages, Catalan, Basque, and Galician.

As for the Catalan we consider that came to the Balearic Islands with the conquest of those in 1229 by King James I of Aragon, and the arrival of noble families during the repopulation.

Therefore, in Mallorca, the Island we are stablished in, we use Majorcan (a dialect of the Catalan) and Castilian, as both are taught in the school since 1979.

It has not always been like that, since the Decree of New Plant (1915-1918) abolished the Majorcan Institutions, replacing them with new ones, and then later the King Carlos III ordered that the teaching will be exclusively in Castilian, although Majorcans refused to stop talking in Catalan, so they kept using it daily.

The XIX century is considered the golden era of the Catalan language thanks to many writers and poets from Catalonia, whom thought the resurgence of the language was coming, but Franco ended any illusion of recovery, since its use was officially banned since 1975, when Franco died. Since 1978 the constitution allows Catalan as the language of Catalonia, and the Balearic Islands (With the dialectal varieties: Majorcan, Minorcan, and Ibizan dialects).

 

Altos Estudios de Español

 

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