Catalan : The technologically advanced language of romance

In 2005, Jordi Mas published a report to show the top languages used on the Internet according to Google. Out of this, Catalan was ranked 26th . This shows that most Catalans embraced technology readily and are aware of the huge potential that the Internet holds. Infopista is an electronic Catalan newspaper that is published online. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya is an online University that offers degree courses in Catalan. Groups of volunteers have worked hard to develop popular applications and have made it possible to download different software such as Open Office, WinRar and Firefox in Catalan. Catalan is spoken in France, Spain, Andorra and Italy. It is the official language in Andorra and Spain.

Catalan is a member of the Romance language group and falls under Indo European languages. There are 8 million people who speak the language. Catalan speakers can be found in Spain and France. Catalan has 2 main dialects. This includes the Occidental dialect under which West Catalan and Valencia fall and oriental dialect under which East Catalan, Roussillonnais and Balearic fall. There is not a big difference between the dialects as speakers can easily be able to understand each other. Catalan is written using Latin and has 27 letters of the alphabet. The Institute of Catalan Studies, worked hard to come up with spelling rules to help in the standardization of the language. Catalan was the primary language of instruction in schools in addition to Spanish to ensure that students can speak the language fluently. This was changed when the Spanish Supreme court ruled that the primary language of instruction be changed to Spanish when 3 parents sued the Catalan Government, when their children were denied admission to public schools because they wanted their children to be taught using Spanish only.

Catalan appeared as a distinct language during the 10th and 11 th centuries. During the 12th century, written literature in philosophical, legal, historical, scientific and other literary fields were produced. After the Spanish war of 1705-1715, Philip V abolished Catalan government institutions and instituted Spanish laws. Catalan was reinstated during the Renaissance period in the 19th century.

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