The Manifesto for a Plurilingual Spain: a new initiative to recognize effective multilingualism in the country

 

On 25 February 2016, renowned academics, politicians, writers, historians and journalists from the different regions of Spain read the Manifesto for the Acknowledgement of the Linguistic Plurality of Spain, a document approved in Valencia in November 2015 to claim more action at State level to effectively recognize the multilingual nature of the country. The Manifesto, which includes ten principles and recommendations, highlights that “linguistic plurality is not the exception but the rule in all human societies” and argues that “Spain is also, has always been, a multilingual country. The communiqué emphasized that “plurilingualism is not only about legally recognizing the multilingual character of territories. It aspires to ensure that all citizens are or feel plurilingual, that is, that they are offered the possibility to know more than one language and learn to co-exist with more than one language”.

The Manifesto comes as a result of three working sessions entitled “Interdisciplinary Seminars for Plurilingualism in Spain” held over the past two years (Madrid, September 2014; Barcelona, April 2015; and Valencia, November 2015), which served to gather the most prominent experts from different disciplines – law, sociolinguistics, political sciences, etc. – to lay the foundations for the Manifesto. The Manifesto was read in the seven legally-recognized languages of Spain (Spanish, Basque, Catalan – also known in Valencia as Valencian – Occitan – known as Aranese – Galician, Asturian and Aragonese. The next

Patxi Baztarrika, Chair of NPLD and Vice-minister for Language Policy of the Basque Country who actively participated in the event, has written a short brief note about the event, which can be read here.

You can also read the Manifesto [in the different languages of Spain] here.

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