Do you know Aranese? FAST.txt can help you

Aranese is the Occitan language of the Aran Valley (Val d’Aran), in Lérida, and is the manifestation of this language and its thousand-year-old culture. Thus, the Aran Valley is part of the Occitan linguistic and cultural territory, which extends from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and from the Alps to the Pyrenees, and is administratively divided into four different states: 32 departments in the French State, 12 Alpine valleys in the Italian State, the Principality of Monaco and the Aran Valley in Spain.

This cultural area will endure despite the emergence of political entities, mainly from the Kingdom of France, which will impose their language and culture from the 16th century onwards. Since then, the Occitan language and culture have survived to the present day thanks to the people, the popular classes and the Occitanist movements.

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Historical, social and cultural aspects of Aranese

The Aran Valley is the only territory in the entire linguistic domain of Occitania where Occitan is officially recognized and institutionally protected.

According to the law passed in the Parliament of Catalonia on September 22, 2010, Aranese becomes not only a co-official language in the Aran Valley, but also throughout Catalonia, being preferentially used in its natural territories (Aran Valley).

The 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia establishes that «the Occitan language, called Aranese in Aran, is the language of this territory and is official in Catalonia, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute and the laws of linguistic standardization» (Article 6.5). In addition, the 1979 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia already established that «the Aranese language would be the object of teaching and protection» (Article 3).

Thus, since 1984, Aranese has been taught at all levels of compulsory education and is also used as a teaching language in the Aran Valley. Likewise, since the entry into force of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, Aranese is a co-official language in Catalonia, along with Catalan and Spanish, and is the language used by the Conselh Generau d’Aran (General Council of Aran), as well as its town councils.

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Linguistic use and knowledge

Aranese is the mother tongue of 34.2% of the population of the Aran Valley. It is the second most used language in the valley, after Spanish, which is the mother tongue of 38.8% of the population. Moreover, it is ahead of Catalan, which is the mother tongue of 19.4% according to census data from 2001. According to the same source, Aranese is the mother tongue of 2,785 people. However, these figures have increased significantly since then.

Thus, the Aran Valley is the territory where the Occitan language is most alive and best known by the population. If in French Occitania as a whole, the percentage of the population that knows how to speak Occitan is 16%, in the Aran Valley it is 62.2%. In addition, according to the data collected in the Survey of language uses of the population (2018) conducted by the Directorate General of Language Policy with Idescat, as regards the population of the valley:

  • 8% said they know how to write Aranese
  • 60% said they could read Aranese
  • 5% said they could speak Aranese.
  • 3% said they could understand Aranese, even if they do not speak it.

Thus, with only 633 square kilometers and 33 villages full of history, Aran has been open to demographic changes, but has remained unique and has preserved its identity under all circumstances. It currently welcomes thousands of travelers each year, and has a magnificent cultural, natural and sports environment. In addition, since 1993 the people of Aran have been coming together to participate in the popular race «Aran per sa lengua», organized by the Lengua Viua collective.

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Aranese and translation

Last year, the Ramon Llull Institute offered two programs for literary translators of Catalan and Occitan in its Aranese variety as a source language. These two projects were based on a twofold objective: on the one hand, to encourage the international promotion of Catalan and Aranese literary heritage authors and, on the other hand, to help professional translators in this sector to translate from and into Catalan and Occitan.

Thus, these programs were intended to contract translation services into any other target language, in which both the author and the translated work were promoted. The translator, in turn, became an international advocate for the publishing sector in these programs. Since Aranese is a very rare language, grants were also offered for the translation of literary works into other languages.

If you need translation services to Aranese and don’t know who to contact, don’t worry, FAST.txt can help you. We have professional translators from Aranese into Aranese and vice versa, so do not hesitate to contact us if you need a quote or further information.

Mercedes Pajuelo

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