In brief

Northern Basque Country to fund Occitan language policy

Agglomeration Community approves budget of 50,000 euros

Meeting of the Community Council in which the decision was taken.
Meeting of the Community Council in which the decision was taken. Author: Communauté Pays Basque
For the first time ever, the Agglomeration Community of the Basque Country (CAPB, the structure of shared local government of Northern Basque Country) will fund its own policy for the Occitan language, with 50,000 euros. The decision has been taken after the results of a sociolinguistic survey conducted in the municipalities of Baish Ador —an Occitan-speaking territory integrated into the Northern Basque Basque Country— have been known.

The survey has been carried out by the CAPB with support from the region of New Aquitaine, the Departmental Council of the Atlantic Pyrenees, the ÒPLO and the Occitan Institute. It has revealed that 5% of the population of Baish Ador speaks the local Occitan variety, Gascon, and a further 7% understands it. And yet, 78% of people surveyed say they feel linked to Gascon and support the implementation of measures to preserve and develop the language.

This data has convinced the CAPB to launch a specific language policy for Gascon. Measures in the fields of education, signs and support to municipalities and associations will be funded with those 50,000 euros.

Although the target figure is almost 20 times lower than that devoted to the promotion of Basque, it must be taken into account that it is the first time that the CAPB will carry out a language policy for Occitan since this coordination body was created, January 2017.

The decision is a step to deploy policies aligned with the recognition of Occitan and Basque as the own languages of the CAPB’s territory.

(This news is adapted from Occitan newspaper Jornalet, with which Nationalia maintains a cooperation agreement. Translation from Occitan by Nationalia.)