Catalan

Photograph: Bastien Deceuninck, Tilt Shift Barcelona Port

 

Catalan Studies

Lector in Catalan: Sílvia Xicola Tugas

Email: silvia.xicola-tugas@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Catalan language, literature and culture has developed its own unique and universal identity over the centuries, with geniuses like Gaudí, Miró and Dalí, and a rich history both tortuous and fascinating. The language is currently spoken by more than nine million people in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Valencian Country, Andorra, and in some territories in Aragon, the south of France (North Catalonia) and Sardinia (Alghero).

 

Learning Catalan will help you delve into the cultural diversity of the Iberian Peninsula, and it is highly recommended if you are considering spending your year abroad in a Catalan-speaking country. Although Catalan is not available as a full Modern Languages degree subject, it can be studied as an optional paper at Finals (Paper VIII, XII or Extended Essay in Catalan Literature or Linguistics) and/or in certain subject combinations within the study of your main languages: most of those who take it are reading Spanish or other Romance languages as well.

 

At the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages you will have the opportunity to take the official exams for the evaluation and certification of knowledge of Catalan as a foreign language outside of Catalan-speaking countries organized by the Institut Ramon Llull. And if you wish to enjoy part of your summer in Barcelona, Girona or Andorra, you will be able to apply for a linguistic stay there, organized by the Institut Ramon Llull and other institutions.

 

Elementary Catalan

This interactive course provides an introduction to Catalan language and culture of Catalan-speaking countries. It is for complete beginners as well as those who have learnt some Catalan expressions and phrases through travel or socializing.

The course content is equivalent to level A1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The topics and grammar knowledge will enable students to communicate in a basic range of everyday situations relating to personal needs, and the cultural information will help understand simple references to the most common aspects of the culture and everyday life in the countries where Catalan is spoken. The class activities will focus on listening, speaking and the exploration of culture; and students will be encouraged to practise reading and writing skills in their own time. There will be plenty of opportunities to interact in the target language, leading to the development of the four language skills as well as learning basic grammar structures.

 

Intermediate Catalan

This interactive course further develops the participants' language skills and understanding of the culture, society and daily life in the Catalan-speaking countries. To benefit from the course, students will have done one of the following:

  • completed Elementary Catalan or equivalent

  • spent their year abroad in a Catalan-speaking country

  • achieved level A1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in Catalan.

This elementary/lower intermediate level course is equivalent to level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It will further develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Catalan in a range of predictable situations and familiarize students with a range of simple grammar structures. Through the exploration of Catalan culture, students will broaden their understanding of the society and daily life in the Catalan-speaking countries.

The class activities will focus on listening, speaking and cultural awareness; and students will be encouraged to practise reading and writing skills in their own time. There will be plenty of opportunities to interact in the target language through class activities, discussions, and role-plays.

 

Advanced Catalan

This communicative course develops the learners' oral and written proficiency in Catalan in a wider range of situations and with a degree of fluency. To benefit from the course, students will have done one of the following:

  • completed Intermediate Catalan or equivalent

  • spent their year abroad in a Catalan-speaking country

  • achieved level A2+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in Catalan.

This level course is between levels B1 and B2 or B2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), depending on the students’ needs. It is for students who wish to develop their oral and written skills to interact with a high degree of fluency and confidence in Catalan. The participants will be encouraged to converse with spontaneity, discuss familiar topics and contemporary society, and listen to radio and TV broadcasts. The course will extend the students' knowledge of the culture and contemporary Catalan society through the study of texts and/or recordings on current affairs.

The class activities will focus on listening, speaking, grammar structures and cultural awareness; and students will be encouraged to practise reading and writing skills in their own time. There will be plenty of opportunities to interact in the target language through class activities and discussions.

 

Catalan Translation Workshop

This workshop will present a variety of texts in order to practise different translation approaches and focus on several translation procedures. The working languages will be Catalan, English and occasionally Spanish, and the translations, from and into any of these languages. Through different types of exercises and the sight translation of these texts, we will explore the contrast of the different linguistic systems, and also the extralinguistic context for each one. A basic knowledge of Catalan is necessary in order to attend the workshop (A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

 

Introduction to Catalan Culture

Open both to students studying the language and those who only wish to acquire a general knowledge about the culture, the course will present a panoramic view of Catalan culture concerning, among others, the following topics: history, literature and music under Francoism, Avant-garde artists (Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró) and Modernisme (Antoni Gaudí). No previous knowledge of the Catalan language is required. The course will be taught/ conducted in English, Catalan or Spanish, depending on the students' requirements.

 

Paper VIII

20th Century Catalan literature: students can take the prose option (6.a), the poetry option (6.b) or both of them.

 

Special Subjects (Paper XII)

 

Contemporary Catalan Literature

Candidates will be expected to have a general knowledge of the field and a detailed knowledge of works by at least three authors. The list of authors and works may vary slightly from year to year, but the following list can be used as a guideline: Carles Riba (Elegies de Bierville), J.V. Foix (Sol, i de dol), Salvador Espriu (El caminant i el mur), Pere Calders (Cròniques de la veritat oculta), Llorenç Villalonga (Bearn o La sala de les nines), Mercè Rodoreda (La plaça del Diamant), Josep Pla (El quadern gris), Najat El Hachmi (L’últim patriarca).

 

Modern Catalan

Candidates will be required to show knowledge of the descriptive analysis of the contemporary language, and will have the opportunity to discuss the historical development of the language where this illuminates present-day usage. Candidates will study the structure of Catalan as spoken and written in the present day (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), an overview of the external history of the language and the regional varieties, the current sociolinguistic situation, standardization, and language policy.

 

Related websites

Taylor Institution — http://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/catalan

​Institut d’Estudis Catalans - http://www.iec.cat

Institut Ramon Llull — http://www.llull.cat

Parla.cat (online course, with self-study option) — http://www.parla.cat

Lletra -http://lletra.uoc.edu/

Poetàrium - http://poetarium.llull.cat

CulturCat - http://culturcat.gencat.cat

Anglo-Catalan Society — http://www.anglo-catalan.org/

 

 

 

Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages