The Fight Of A Minority Language Against The Force of Globalisation


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The Fight Of A Minority Language Against The Force of Globalisation

  1. 1. The Fight of a Minority Language Against the Force of Globalisation: The Case of Catalan on the Internet Josep Lluís Micó and Pere Masip Information Society & Multiculturalism Professor Han Woo Park Presented by Azman Bidin 2009.10.29
  2. 2. Catalan?
  3. 3. Menu <ul><ul><li>1. Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Language and Society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Media System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. On the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Successful Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6. Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Transformation in spatial and temporal relationships, social practices, and forms of representation – Globalisation. </li></ul><ul><li>“ ..the age of globalisation is also the age of identity ..” Manuel Castells. Communities are distinguished by “them” and “us”. </li></ul><ul><li>The internet society is able to replace territory and hierarchy with “ will and action ” for cultural and linguistic construction . </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1. Introduction Internet advantage: participation of social agents and people but not the media groups or large economy investments. Tool for democratisation. Inconvenience Not Asset or Variety Broad social basis Media and State support Minority Linguistic communities (often seen as) Strong Cultural or Linguistic communities:
  6. 6. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Chapter Objective: to highlight the opportunities provided by the internet do develop and promote minority languages and cultural identities. </li></ul><ul><li>The progress of a language is linked to the use of technology by its speakers (Crystal 2000), the internet can be an important tool to promote or revitalise a language. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Catalan: means of communication and also symbol of identity shared official language status with Spanish. </li></ul><ul><li>Francisco Franco Bahamonde (1892-1975) persecution of the language. Catalan was repeatedly forbidden throughout Spanish history. </li></ul><ul><li>Still considered as nuisance or an anomaly instead of social richness. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 7 Million speakers (more than Greek, Portuguese or Finnish). </li></ul><ul><li>2005 given internet domain name “.cat” </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2. Language and Society (Spain) From wikipedia Co-official: Basque 2% Catalan 17% Galician 7% Aragonese Recognised Asturian Unofficial: Others
  9. 9. 2. Language and Society “Catalan Lands” Source: Internationalizing Internet Studies 2009 Pg 115 * For comparison purpose, From wikipedia South Korea Seoul 48,379,392 100,032 South Korea* 13,169,786 66,462 Total Andorra Andorra la Vella 52,000 465 Andorra Italy L’Alguer 41,000 224 L’Alguer France Perpinya 364,000 4,116 Northern Catalonia Spain Fraga 42,000 1,812 Franja de Ponent Spain Palma de Mallorca 983,131 4,992 Balearic Islands Spain Valencia 4,692,449 23,255 Community of Valencia Spain Barcelona 6,995,206 31,895 Catalonia Country City People Area (km sq)
  10. 10. 2. Language and Society <ul><li>Delicate Situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non Official Status in countries with powerful official languages such as Spanish and French </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ubiquitous presence of English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immigration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Immigration can also be seen as a good opportunity for survival as means of integration </li></ul>
  11. 11. 3. Media System <ul><li>Cultural Identities 1950’s – National Communications Systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalan Media Market – Average by EU Standard. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalan administration has limited power due to central Spanish and EU institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>1978 restoration of democracy, strategic importance of mass media was not realised. </li></ul><ul><li>Media Industry is not strong enough to compete with Spanish and international media groups. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 3. Media System <ul><li>Newspaper: 3/8 (El Punt, Avui and El Peri ódico de Catalunya). Only 25.8% (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Television: 2/7 (TV3 and Canal 33) Free and Financed by Catalan government. TV2 Second national channel only 9.8%. In 2007 to reduce budget deficit – only 30mins per day. Cable/satellite virtually zero Catalan program </li></ul>
  13. 13. 3. Media System <ul><li>Radio: Linguistic stardardisation 50.5% (increased 19.8 since the last 5 years). Catalunya Radio competes with Spanish commercial stations. Rac1 is a new radio in Catalan. </li></ul><ul><li>Cinema: 2006 about 46/467 were in Catalan including dubbed and subtitled. 30/56 in Catalan produced in Catalonia. The rest of Catalan Lands virtually zero** </li></ul>
  14. 14. 4. Catalan on The Internet <ul><li>Vitality indicator: conditioned by levels of economic and social development rather than demography. </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable platform for consolidation and promotion – overcome economic and political problem in real world </li></ul><ul><li>No single organisation defending the language. Reaching out to the “Catalan Lands” is unlawful – Broadcast license condition </li></ul>
  15. 15. 4. Catalan on The Internet <ul><li>Popular and originated in civil society social movements through series of initiatives appeared in cyberspace to defend and promote the language and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Overcome incompetent governing class, political controversies and economic pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Spread of feeling of identification : geographically, historically and linguistic Catalan Community </li></ul><ul><li>7 million websites in Catalan (Softcatala 2005). 26 th most used language on the internet ahead of Greek, Arabic and Indonesia </li></ul><ul><li>Rate websites per speaker: Catalan 1.09, Spanish 0.41, Russian 0.26, Portuguese 0.25 and Chinese 0.08 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Alexa Review …
  17. 17. 4. Catalan on The Internet Catalan Society Report by Manuel Castells and Imma Tubella Among Internet users with a marked Catalan identity, majority are young people. Those who do not use the Internet are mainly Spanish speakers Highest rate of internet use also highest ratio to website production: Icelandic, Estonian Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish. All with states except Catalan 21.8 20.6 Social Purpose 11.1 11.8 Technological 13.4 14.9 News 27.1 30.3 Leisure 2.6 4.8 Political/Union 17.2 21.3 Education 9.4 12.1 Online Purchase 23 29.6 Practical Use 17.2 21.9 Professional Purpose Does not Share Strong Catalan Identity (33.4%) Share Strong Catalan Identity (38.4% of population) Percentage Use of the Internet
  18. 18. 4. Catalan on The Internet <ul><li>Catalan web presence is erratic (WICCAC; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities 95.24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theaters and Dance Companies 91.23% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engines 80.95% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Car Industry 2.9% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large companies and multinationals 19.44% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation 23.33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spanish Gov and EU 27.08% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary work agencies 34.78% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telecommunications, electronics, mobile telephony and technology 39.47% </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. 4. Catalan on The Internet <ul><li>All universities in Catalan Lands have their websites in Catalan except University of Perpignan </li></ul><ul><li>Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) founded in 1994; educational project conceived in Catalan been exported worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>- The only all-inclusive university in Spain that is not attendance-based. </li></ul><ul><li>- Valuable element for normalisation and spreading of Catalan </li></ul><ul><li>- Now with over 20,000 students, it’s open nature has led to offer courses in Spanish to the rest of Spain and Latin America. Also projects in English, Chinese and Arabic </li></ul>
  20. 20. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Catalan Initiatives on the Internet can be associated with Protest due to persecution and contempt treatment. Unlike Spanish as it culture and language are in a secure position. </li></ul><ul><li>Conventional Media needs huge financial investment, licensing issues from the administrators. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet needs less investment and independence of political power. Overcome the limitation imposed by law and available everywhere. </li></ul>
  21. 21. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Collaboration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> : Guiding people who wish to avoid consuming trademark products that are not labeled in Catalan. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : students, programming engineers, philologists, designers and translators non-profit & cooperative spirit. Started in 1997. Full computing experience in computing. Responsible for translation of software as Open Office, Mozilla and Google. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Publication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>El Temps (written in Catalan) digital publication in 1994 through Servicom then the internet. Then a year later the top three followed , , </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vilaweb ( ) founded by Vicent Partal the first completely electronic medium in 1996. Worked in El Temps in 1995 created Infopista a directory which eventually led to the born of Vilaweb. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>863,796 monthly visitors; at municipal, neighbourhood or international level. Australia Vilaweb and New York Vilaweb </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Publication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1999 LaMalla ( ). Focused on local news and multimedia contents and promoting active audience. Initiated by journalists Toni Esteve and Oriol Ferran had to convince Diputacio de Barcelona. Won Net Media Award. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalan Broadcasting Corporation. News Sports children and Leisure </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Mobilisation </li></ul><ul><li>The main obstacles from big transnational companies and Spanish Government despite of economic presence. Ikea, Metro and Carrefour ended up “Catalanizing” their websites due to popular protest campaigns via emails. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet, emails and mobile phones played central roles in campaign initiatives i.e. participation in Iraq war after news manipulation by the central government Madrid attact March 11 2004. </li></ul>
  25. 25. 5. Successful Examples <ul><li>Mobilisation </li></ul><ul><li>1996 Prof Amadeu Abril from University Ramon Llull attempt to obtain “.ct” was rejected since Catalonia is not an independent state. </li></ul><ul><li>March 2004 PuntCat Association (founded in 2001) requested ICANN for “.cat” as a sponsored domain. Based on language not territory. Supported by 68,000 individuals messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Sept 15, 2005 succeeded to get “.cat” as TLD. First time TLD granted for specific language and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>April 23, 2006 the domain registry was open for individuals. More than 10,000 requests to register in April 2006. </li></ul>
  26. 26. 6. Conclusion <ul><li>Small part of the activity and research that is being carried out in Catalonia is now Visible. Not published in English made these activity and research ‘invisible’ but they are not lacking in quality. </li></ul><ul><li>The opportunities provided by the Internet to develop and promote minority languages and cultural identities got Highlighted. Globalisation can make local realities to be stronger if the opportunities available are well manipulated. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet offers previously unimaginable possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>The youngsters are the most active group on the internet in defending the language and culture in the case of Catalan thus guarantee the strategy for the defense of the language and culture in cyberspace will continue </li></ul>
  27. 27. Thank You <ul><li>Gràcies </li></ul><ul><li>Terima kasih </li></ul><ul><li>감사합니다 </li></ul><ul><li>Gracias </li></ul><ul><li>谢谢你 </li></ul>