Thoughts from Spain on language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Mar 5 14:50:53 UTC 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007
Now heres a Nationalist policy some will consider worthy of more
consideration . . . In line with its policy of promoting the local
language in every medium, the Catalan government has given 15,000 euros to
a maker of porn films. I wonder if these will end up on our late-night TV,
dubbed into Gallego. Though theres only so much you can do with a sequence
of groans, of course. Still, it keeps someone off the streets.

On a more serious level, its emerged that Spain is in an EU minority of
one in supporting the Russian attitude towards the proposed independence
of Kosovo. I haven't seen anything about this in the Spanish media but I
suspect that, for obvious reasons, Spain backs any attempt to stop Kosovo
achieving this. If the comment I read the other day is accurate
Independence will probably be seen as a mistake one day but appears to be
a fait accompli  then Madrid surely has a real fight on its hands.
Meanwhile, though, politicians in Catalunia and the Basque Country [and
possibly even Galicia] must be salivating over reports that The new Kosovo
would have the right to enter into international agreements and apply for
membership of the UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. I fear
it can only end in tears.

The Spanish media has, of course, reported Mohammed Fayeds victory in
getting a jury for the final[?] inquest into the death of Princess Diana.
Fayed is, of course, quite mad and so can't see that, if the all-powerful
Establishment he accuses of murder really existed, it would surely have
stopped this happening. But what is logic to a conspiracy thinker of the
highest order? I look forward to being entertained by his loopy comments
when the jury decides it was an accident.

Galicia Facts and Perspectives

February was rather warmer than average here but the rainfall, at 24
litres per square metre, was close to the norm. However, averages are not
awfully useful for the Atlantic coast; over the last 30 years the range
has been 11 to 567 litres. You have been warned.

Foreigners now represent almost 10% of the Spanish population of 44
million. But not here in Galicia, where we can only muster a paltry 2.7%.
Only poor old Estremadura has fewer immigrants. Or less, as almost
everyone in Britain wrongly says these days.

Well, they can't be accused of poverty of ambition. A group of Gallegos
has decided its not enough for Galicia to be either an historical
nationality or a national reality. Calling themselves the Fillos de
Galicia [Sons of Galicia], they've decided the Galician diaspora deserves
the label Galician Global Nation. And heres their web page to prove it.
Here you'll find, for example, their proposed flag for the new virtual
community. I suppose it had to happen. Impressively, you can opt to read
the page in Spanish or English as well as the original Gallego/Galego.
Unfortunately nothing happens when you exercise this choice but this is
not uncommon in Spain.  I've registered [as breoganbritanico] and will
offer to do the translation gratis [perhaps with help from Carlos and Xoan
Carlos] but I fear that, as ever, I wont get a response to my kind offer.

Well, I think I've registered. Having provided the small mountain of
information requested and clicked the button, the screen went blank.
Perhaps Ill now get confirmation to my email address. Vamos a ver.

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain
Random thoughts on Spain from a Brit living in the North West - An
introduction to life in Spain - For those with a deeper interest in
Galicia, please try my website -


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