France sees itself as the spokesperson for linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe and throughout the world. And yet, those acting in favour of linguistic diversity on the French territory have to face a disastrous legal situation.
Transmission of the Occitan language is jeopardized through lack of a favourable policy.
Article 2 in the French Constitution, as it is, is used as a weapon against Occitan in every field.
Lack of a positive legislation acknowledging our language rights is contrary to the Republic’s equality principles as as well as to Europe’s whose motto is “united in diversity”.
We work for the Occitan language. We want to make its development possible and its transmission secured. We also work for the people living in Occitania . They are entitled to know the Occitan culture. We want Occitan to remain one of the world’s languages.
Everywhere in Occitan-speaking territory, teaching of and through Occitan must be developed. The legal context must boost creation in Occitan, the presence of Occitan in broadcasting and the press, its public use and family transmission.
Occitan must appear in the media thanks to:
— the creation of an effective radio and television public service in Occitan
— a specific aid to private operators (association radios, television channels, printed press ) working in favour of the Occitan language.
Creation in Occitan as a whole must be specifically supported through:
— a policy in favour of publication, drama, live shows in general, the cinema, music
— information of the public about the Occitan cultural heritage concealed from them so far.
Teaching of and through the medium of² Occitan must develop in five directions:
— immersive teaching used so far in “calandreta” association schools
— bilingual teaching already used in state schools
— Occitan language and culture teaching from infant school to college, with a plus factor in ordinary and competitive exams
— awareness teaching in normal time-tables
— supporting the organisation of classes for adults anxious to learn or improve their Occitan
Occitan must be used in public life. That means:
— respecting the spelling of place-names and setting up bilingual roadsigns and markings
— promoting the use of Occitan in public places, by local authorities, or in public events of all sorts ( not only festive or cultural)
— promoting the use of Occitan in social life (working places, open to the public places, …)
The promotion of Occitan in education, creation, the media and public life will favour the recovery of Occitan, the restoration of family transmission and the development of the Occitan way of life ( “biais de viure” ) inherent in the Occitan language and culture.
Only the combined efforts of Occitan and state authorities will bring forth the linguistic policy we are asking for. The state must make things easier by taking its share of responsibility for this policy and adapting its legislation.
“A demo for the Occitan language” Action Group .