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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?


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
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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
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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
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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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