- May 17, 2018
- Posted by: BBLTranslation
- Category: Article
Two weeks ago, news was confirmed that will affect the day-to-day work of many language professionals such as teachers, translators and interpreters and journalists, as well as the rest of people who have contact with the Catalan language.
The news we are referring to is the reduction of the number of diacritical accents in Catalan (tildes which distinguish two words that are written in the same way), a list which is being shortened from no less than 150 to 14. The Institut d’Estudis Catalans announced the change several weeks ago, but it was this week that the organisation officially approved the reform. The academic, scientific and cultural institution has thus brought an end to two and a half years of work by its Orthography Group and the Philological Section which has culminated in a reform which also encompasses other aspects, but where the diacritical accents are the centre of attention.
The modification has caused controversy between those who talk of an impoverishment of the language and others who support the change. On one hand, the main critics claim that the reduction of diacritical accents could lead to confusion when interpreting phrases which can currently be understood thanks to the distinction made by the accent.
The Institut d’Estudis Catalans responded with assertions that the reform will facilitate reading, pronunciation and learning of the language, that the diacritical accent is an orthographic addition not related to language itself, and that this change does not determine the richness or authenticity of the Catalan language.
From now on, differences such as sol (sun) or sòl (ground), dona (woman) o dóna (he/she gives) and venen (they come) or vénen (they sell) will not be distinguished in written Catalan.
As in other language reforms, professionals who regularly work with language will need to adapt to the changes. In the case of translators and interpreters for example, this will affect them just as much from a written point of view as from a spoken one, given that the pronunciation of the words which have been changed is linked to the way that they are written.
The Institut d’Estudis Catalans draws from the premise that language evolves and shifts with society, and regulations should reflect this evolution. At BBLTranslation, we will be attentive to orthographical changes in the Catalan language as well as to any other language which reforms its grammar and orthography, and we will endeavour to inform our clients at all times to ensure they are always up-to-date regarding information relating to their texts.
At BBLTranslation, we seek to maintain an on-going and trusted relationship with all our clients, and advising and informing them about the various linguistic reforms is one of the most important aspects that add value to our service.