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Yeah, careful with the public money... ;-)

It's false. Resources put into the cultivation even of tiny languages is well invested. The plurality and mutual respect are worth it. Children who get no formal education in their native language face more difficulties in learning any other language. We are not only talking about indigenous languages, this is true for immigrants' children too.

by Katrin on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:00:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
immigrants.

But again, when we are talking about Occitan, we are not talking about a native language. No one speaks Occitan in France as a native language. Ditto Breton or most of the other regional languages in France. It's sad, but that boat sailed a century ago. So, de-emphasizing the teaching of regional languages in France simply does not deprive children in France from learning in their native language, which is either French or the language of their country of origin.

We're not talking about resources invested in regional languages, either, we're talking specifically about them in the context of public schools. There are other ways to invest in mostly dead regional languages than teaching them in the public schools.

Cohn-Bendit is simply being ridiculous, here.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:18:47 PM EST
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You're flat-out wrong about Occitan. Your ignorance is astounding.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:26:24 PM EST
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speakers under the age of 65 there are in France today?

If you can, and it is more than a rounding error of the percentage of people in Languedoc-Roussillon, PACA, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne and Aquitaine combines population, then I will consider your criticism legitimate.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:41:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You find it easier to concede the point for immigrants' languages than for indigenous ones, don't you? Funny.
by Katrin on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:51:14 PM EST
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more native eight-year-old Kabyle, Portuguese or Chinese speakers in my neighbourhood than there are native eight year old Occitan speakers in the whole of France.

We are talking about the present and future, and not the past. I apologise to all if by insisting on talking about the challenges being confronted by real working people rather than some set of people who existed generations ago this somehow makes me a "reactionary". I just don't see it.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 05:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, and in other neighbourhoods there are more speakers of breton or corsican or whatever. And they are real working people too. Probably some immigrants' children speaking Arabic and Occitan and French and in this order.
by Katrin on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 05:28:01 PM EST
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There are no multitudes of Occitan or Breton speaking youths anywhere in France.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 06:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crowd cross-section at Front de Gauche rally in Toulouse last Thursday 5 April:

Crowd cross-section at the Occitan rally in Toulouse the previous Saturday, 31 March:

While the Front de Gauche crowd looks on balance younger, there is a fair mix of generations in the Occitan crowd. Making out that there are nothing but a few very old people speaking Occitan is simply untrue.

Mélenchon drew a bigger crowd, but the Occitan crowd was all the same 20,000 according to the police, 30,000 according to the organisers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 11th, 2012 at 02:29:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Daniel Cohn-Bendit: Yesterday's man?
the regional language movement in France has typically been a traditionalist, right-wing endeavour, and certainly not a progressive one

What contact have you had with, for example, the Occitanist movement today?

redstar:

No one speaks Occitan in France as a native language.

Yes, they do. They are old people now, but I personally know quite a number (and among in-laws in my family) who learned and fluently spoke Occitan at home and in their local environment before being taught French at school.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably quite old.

And yes, I also know some provençal speakers, I lived for quite some time in the south, but none of them were native speakers, you could take it at school as a language.

I know no one in the Occitan movement, and while I'm sure they are quite admirable in their aims and motivations, I still need to say this is simply not an important issue, and my reference to Cohn-Bendit's musings here as a non-sequitur is meant to underline that very fact. Let me see...talk about the financial crisis, or talk about Occitan...what should one prioritise? Well, we see what DCB prioritises, and I simply think he is ridiculous for doing so.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:38:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But your history of regional language use patterns is wrong, and your characterisation of regional-language supporters as rightwing reactionaries equally.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:45:56 PM EST
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Re the last point, take a look at this actually far-right reactionary site for whining about how they were excluded from the 31 March Occitan rally.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 11th, 2012 at 02:48:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and, I may add, Arpitan (improperly called franco-provençal) is of similar stqtus, and I have similar experience of it.

the 19th century doctrine of stamping out regional languages, by punishment and shaming, has filtered down to the point where it's relatively rare to meet young people competent in their regional language.This has left those regions culturally impoverished,and linguistically handicapped. My experience is that those who first learned French at school,and still speak the regional language, tend to speak and write French impeccably; their children, who understand the local language but don't speak it, speak strongly accented French couloured with borrowings from the local language.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:50:30 PM EST
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Yes. Learning languages is only one side of the argument though, the other is respect for diversity.
by Katrin on Tue Apr 10th, 2012 at 04:55:33 PM EST
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