Mama `poma´, dad `apple´: Raising a Child with Catalan in Australia

Victòria Gras

Abstract


The decision to speak Catalan to my daughter came naturally to me. How else would I tell a story, sing a lullaby or make her laugh but in the language I was told stories, sung lullabies to and made to laugh since I was a new-born! However, whereas the choice to speak one’s mother tongue to your children is not questioned anymore in Spain, making this same choice when you live elsewhere seems to raise a lot of eyebrows. In this article I will reflect, from my own experience, on speaking a language of Spain other than Spanish in Australia. Catalan is one of 300 community languages in Australia, and it’s spoken by a small and ageing population.

Keywords


catalan; bilingualism; australian community languages, first language; minority language; language policy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/co2007148-55

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