Thursday, March 22, 2007


I studied linguistics in graduate school. I learned about languages on the verge of extinction, dominant cultures, and the efforts some countries, governments even, have made to wipe out minority languages. And then later, finally, to preserve them.

But can it go too far?

And I'm not talking about the goofy translated word for word movie titles in Quebec.

This morning while driving to work, I heard on the radio (and it was FranceInfo, kind of like NPR at home, not some cheeseball station) that, in an effort to preserve and promote Catalan, a director has been given a grant of €15000 to make a film in Catalan.

A pornographic film. In Catalan.

The government official interviewed said that their wish was that people realize that Catalan touches chaque petit recoin de la vie. I doubt he realized that saying every little nook and cranny while talking about a pornographic film undermined the seriousness of his message.

Anyone know how to moan in Catalan?


gina said...

THAT is hilarious! And ridiculous. Who's giving him the grant - the government? If so, won't some citizens be upset that they are helping to pay for porn? Oh, what am I thinking (smacks forehead) - it's FRANCE! Though I think it would make even more sense if it were Italy subsidizing a porn film. ;-)

Nicole said...

Actually, it's the Catalan part of Spain. But still. And yes, it's the government that's doing it.

beth said...

A grant to pay for porn - now I've heard of everything.

Lorraine said...

Fortunately, moaning is a universal language. Wait. How much dialogue is there in a porn film? Yeah. This isn't a very good idea.

Nicole said...

Beth - Oh yes, but all of the interest of preserving linguistic diversity and heritage...

Lorraine - The director did say he was going to try to include as much dialogue as possible. So maybe there'll be a 'oh yeah baby' in Catalan before the moan.