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Nine million forgotten

Recerca | 23/11/2010

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A study concludes that the existence of the Catalan language is a reality evaded by the private Spanish television channels. Not only is no content broadcast in a language with nine million speakers, but also the declarations of Catalan speakers included in news items are in Spanish and the contents which include dubbing or subtitling in Catalan are offered only in Spanish.

The private Spanish television channels represent an anomaly in the European context. It is not a question of contents or budgets, but rather of linguistic diversity. A study carried out by the Pro-Language Platform and the Escacc Foundation, and promoted by the Centre d’Estudis de Temes Contemporanis, reaches a categorical conclusion: Catalan, a language spoken by nine million people in Spain, does not deserve the slightest consideration by these channels. We are far from the time when Telecinco carried out a disconnection with news in Catalan or Antena 3 broadcast some episodes of the Simpsons in the language of Josep Pla.

After analyzing the broadcasting of private Spanish television channels one thing is clear: all the contents are in Spanish. When these contents could be broadcast, at no extra cost, with a dual system dubbed or also subtitled in Catalan, the option does not appear. The immense majority of Catalan speakers who make declarations on these channels also do so in Spanish, and not even the webpages of these media can be consulted in Catalan.

The result of all this is that the very existence of the Catalan language is concealed, or even evaded, on the private Spanish television channels. This situation contrasts with other multilingual European states, where the private offer represents, to a different degree, the linguistic options of their inhabitants. 

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