Catalan Regional Government Uses Erotica to Spread Language

Michael Hayes
BARCELONA — While many people know that Spanish is the official language of Spain, few people know that Catalan is Spain’s other official language. To remedy that problem and help spread the gospel of a language spoken primarily in Andorra and Catalonia regions, the local government has said it will fund several erotic films, provided the filmmaker uses the language for his dialogue.

Director Conrad Son, a sympathizer of the Catalonia separatist movement, said he would use his nearly $20,000 grant to produce two films that he called women-friendly erotica.

“Laura is Not Alone, The Memory of Fish” and “The Sea Isn’t Blue” feature dialogue in Catalan, Son said, adding that both films portray the erotic sexual adventures of a “religious, faithful and hardworking middleclass girl.”

While Son insists his films aren’t porn, his critics — Spanish conservatives — said he and his fellow separatists have sunk to new depths.

Spain’s conservative ABC newspaper accused Catalonia’s Socialist-led coalition government and the separatist Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party of going too far.

“To publicly fund pornographic films borders on misappropriation of taxpayers' money,” the newspaper said.

Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira, the leader of the ERC, disagreed.

“Any normal language is able to penetrate the most obscure places,” he said.

Nearly 10 million people speak Catalan. Most of them live in Catalonia — an antonymous region in Spain. Other speakers of the romance language live in Italy and France.