Catalonia: Counting on Translation

by Marc Pomerleau, translated by David-Marc Newman

This article was first published in French in Le Huffington Post Québec on January 18th, 2014. La version originale de cet article a été publiée en français dans Le Huffington Post Québec, le 18 janvier 2014.

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Pro-Independence Catalans are counting on translation to rally the international community

The Catalan government has called a referendum on independence, to be held on November 9th, 2014. The Spanish government is strongly opposed to it and has invoked Spain’s constitutional indivisibility. While politicians in Barcelona and Madrid fight it over politically and legally, Catalan civil society is in full seduction mode, trying not only to convince the undecided, but the international community as well. One of their tactics: translation. Translation into several different languages.

Despite what some may think, translation is not a simple mundane act. Translation can tell us a lot about the state of a given society. As Catalan is not widely known outside its native territories, translation becomes a necessary communications tool. And it is the tool Catalan pro-independence organisations are counting on.

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