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Catalan Language Primer

History and development
Catalan is a Romance language that grew out of "Vulgar Latin". It initially developed along the northern and southern sides of the eastern Pyrenees and by the 9th century was an identifiable language in its own right. As Catalan political and military power increased during the "reconquest" of Spain from the Arab inhabitants, the language was pushed south through Catalonia and into Valencia and across the seas to the Balearic Islands. When Catalan political and military power subsequently ebbed, however, the language suffered. In 1700, following the Treaty of the Pyrenees, Louis XIV of France banned Catalan from being used in official documents in what Catalans call "Northern Catalonia" (corresponding approximately to the current French department of Pyrénées-Orientales). At around the same time, the kingdom of Spain prohibited the use of Catalan for official purposes including in education. It was not until the cultural revival (Renaixença) in the late 19th century that the language began to recover, only to be battered once again by the Spanish Civil War. Franco’s linguistic policy of Castilian first (known as Spanish outside Spain) meant that there was little place for Catalan, which was widely repressed. After Franco's death in 1975 and the coming of democracy the language once again flourished, aided somewhat by active promotion by the local Catalan Regional government (Generalitat).

Related languages
Catalan is very closely related to its linguistic neighbours (Occitan, Castilian, Aragonese, French). Of these Occitan and Catalan are probably the most mutually intelligible although many Castilian speakers have little difficulty understanding Catalan with the reverse almost invariably true. As with most romance languages there is a fair degree of mutual intelligibility with Italian, French and Portuguese but as accents and pronunciation vary dramatically from the Balearic islands to Andorra there is no hard and fast rule.

Status today
Catalan is an official language of Andorra and has joint official status in Catalonia where it is widely used in political and cultural life. It is also spoken in parts of south-eastern France, Aragon, Murcia and in the city of L'Alguer in Sardinia. Valencian, which is spoken in Valencia, and the various linguistic variants spoken on the Balearic Islands are, to all intents and purposes, the same language with accent and pronunciation being the most notable divergences. A rough equivalence would be the differences between US and British English. For local political reasons, however, there is strong resistance to being classed under the Catalan banner and indeed during the ratification process for the 2004 EU constitution, the Spanish government supplied separate Catalan, Balearic and Valencian translations even though they were actually identical. Accurate estimates of the number of true native speakers are difficult to come by but official sources claim close to 10 million people are able to speak the various variants. This breaks down into 6 million in Catalonia, 2.5 million in Valencia and 0.75 million on the Balearic Islands. An additional 2 million people claim to be able to understand it. The position of Catalan has been strengthened in recent decades by the popularity of local Catalan-speaking television stations and by the fact that it is compulsory in schools across Catalonia and Valencia.

Translations the way you want them.
Stranslations is an EU-based agency providing language translation services for all European and major global languages including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Our comprehensive offering (ranging from machine translation to 5-star professional translation) gives clients complete control over cost and desired quality.

Our roster of happy clients includes some very prestigious companies. Yet no matter how big or small your job, we will give it and you the utmost attention. What we offer is the translation quality you desire coupled with prompt and professional service.

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Professional Service
When working with us you can be sure not only of working with top language professionals but also of receiving prompt and professional service from our project managers. If we can assist you in any way please do not hesitate to drop us a line or give us a call.

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4 reasons...
1) Fair pricing
Most large agencies are burdened by high overheads. To stay competitive, they use low-rate, inexperienced translators. Our proven, e-business model has a low cost base. So we can afford to hire the Porsche equivalent of a translator.

2) Quality control
All team members only work in their native language and boast certifiable expertise in their particular fields: financial, legal, marketing, etc.

3) Fast turnarounds
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4) Strict confidentiality
We regularly deal with highly confidential material such as unpublished annual reports of listed companies. So strict confidentiality is a part of every job we translate. For your added assurance, we will happily sign any non-disclosure / confidentiality agreement upon request. We are also happy to use PGP for all email transfers should you prefer.

Translation Agency. Language Translation. Translation Services. Document Translation. Stranslations offers language translation services and document translation for all major global languages including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Some common language pairs: English to Spanish Translation. Spanish to English Translation. French to English Translation. German to English Translation.

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