The Union for Linguistic Normalization of Girona (CPNL) is promoting the “21 days” campaign among the municipalities of the province, an initiative that involves speaking Catalan for 21 days with everyone, always and everywhere they think Have a “bad habit” of switching to Spanish to try to change that. It is, according to those responsible for the campaign, “one of the most frequent habits in Catalonia, of Catalan speakers automatically changing language when someone speaks to them in Spanish or, simply, when they address , due to which his physical characteristics, do not identify as an indigenous one. Its purpose is to make people reflect on this use of the language, a behavior that they consider “fatal” for the existence of Catalan. He argues that this “does not mean that you should never change your language”: it is proposed to do so “when you see that someone does not understand it.”
According to experts in the organization in which the Generalitat and other public bodies in Catalonia participate, “21 days is the time needed to modify a practice.” That is why they propose to do with Catalan “a small and repeated gesture, the essential one, for three weeks so that the brain adapts to it and makes it its own with all normality”. In campaign documentation, they compare this action to any other daily habit you want to leave behind “like smoking or biting your nails.”
According to statistics, 8 out of 10 Catalan speakers switch languages, that is, they drop Catalan when someone speaks to them in Spanish. This practice, they maintain, is “fatal” to the existence of Catalan because it makes it disappear from all places and makes it difficult to learn and practice it for those who do not still speak it. For this reason, he says, “this habit must be reversed.” They believe that speaking Catalan with everyone means “helping those who learn it, it is making the language useful and necessary, it is giving it a chance to continue existing. And above all because languages die if they are not spoken”. Along these lines, he states that “if Catalan is hidden, it becomes dispensable” and that the result “can be seen in similar streets and establishments of many municipalities in the Girona region, where at least Catalan is spoken”. is heard.
Those responsible for this initiative say that we must bear in mind that in recent years many people have come from abroad, attending Catalan courses in large numbers, but “it is necessary that what they learn outside the classroom Find a place to practice what you’ve learned. on the street, in stores, everywhere; It is essential that we give them the opportunity to use the language” he assures, because in this way they will have “more incentive to use it and to learn more about it”.
The campaign started in Santa Coloma de Farners in November 2022, and has continued this year with visits to different municipalities such as Breda, Llagostera and Salt in Girona where it will be presented this Thursday. This will continue for the time being in Arbúcies, Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Roses, Figueres and La Bisbal d’Empordà. It lasts between three weeks and a month and the intention is that everyone participates in changing “this bad habit”. Once the campaign is over, “you just have to keep the same attitude, with the difference that there’s no more effort involved,” he says. The consortium has been in contact with some Barcelona municipalities that are interested in exporting this campaign created in Girona.
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