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This content is taken from the Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona's online course, Getting to Know Catalonia: An Introduction to the Catalan Language, Culture and Society. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds So Anna, how long have you been here in Barcelona? Six months already. Oh, and what about Catalan language? Do you distinguish it or have you heard many people talking about it? Yes, everywhere. Like in the bus, in the metro, everywhere. And do you understand something? Si, entenc el català i el parlo una mica també Oh, quite good. So, that you have been studying catalan! Yes, a bit. Before coming here. Yeah. Oh! So, at Vienna? Yes, at Vienna. Why? My professor said it’s really important, like when you’re going to Barcelona to Catalunya, it’s like, the language here is catalan. And do you feel it’s a useful language for everyday life here? Yes, of course.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds Because if you want to hear what people are feeling what they’re really thinking then you do it best in Catalan. Oh, nice. So lots of people come here to improve their Spanish and maybe… It was your case? Did you discovered another language? Yes, that was exactly what happened to me when I came here. Okay, so let’s watch a video about language, art and Catalan culture? Great! Hello! I’m Teresa Cabré. Hello, I’m Eva March. My name is Enric Gallén. Emeritus lecturer at Pompeu Fabra University. Lecturer of History of Art at Pompeu Fabra University. And I will be speaking to you about the Catalan language as the region’s strongest expression of identity.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds I have come to talk to you about Catalan literature through the ages, from the Middle Ages until today. And I will be speaking to you about Catalan art. There is no better way to look at the history of a people than through their culture. Artistic expression allows us to better understand what stirred the mind and soul of artists throughout time and undoubtedly becomes a reflection of the concerns of a society at any particular moment in history. Firstly, we will show how Catalan has been a vehicle for culture over the years and how it is an element of enrichment for anyone who wishes to learn it.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds We will also discover that Catalan is not a language spoken exclusively in Catalonia Rather, we can find it in different regions across Europe as well Similarly, it is not the only language spoken in Catalonia which we will see to be a rich and multilingual land where Catalan takes on a key role for cohesion. For a more comprehensive view we will take on a historical perspective regarding the use of Catalan focusing on its evolution as a Romance language and its situation over time its times of great strength and those of great weakness. It is also important to stop to analyze the status Catalan has held how it fluctuated between a language of prestige and a language spoken mainly in the street.

Skip to 2 minutes and 58 seconds In relation to this, we will look at the relationship between cultivated and popular culture while studying their coexistence and the synergies between them. We will not treat Catalan culture as something independent from or alien to its surroundings however, but rather as one of the many pieces making up Western culture. So, anyone willing to follow along through this week will gain an overall view of the evolution of culture and language throughout Europe and will also discover how the Catalan people have reacted to varying trends as well as what their most relevant contributions have been throughout history.

Introduction to Catalan Language and Culture

In this video, Anna and Màrius introduce you to the first week of the course.

This week, you’ll meet the following experts:

  • Teresa Cabré
  • Enric Gallén
  • Eva March

They will help you understand Culture and Society, and an Introduction to the Catalan Language and Culture

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This video is from the free online course:

Getting to Know Catalonia: An Introduction to the Catalan Language, Culture and Society

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona