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Catalan on Packaging

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“ATENCIÓ: Les bosses de plàstic poden ser perilloses. Per evitar el perill d’asfíxia, mantingui-les fora de l’abast dels infants.”

On packaging of consumer you can often find instructions, ingredients or warnings in various languages. La Troba Kung-Fú used this artistically, calling the booklet for their album a “manual” and having it written in Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Japanese, Danish and some other languages. However i haven’t yet seen Catalan on real packaging until today.

I’ve seen it on the plastic bag of a Kung-Fu Panda doll from McDonalds’ kids meal. (No relation to La Troba Kung-Fú.) It was also the first time that i saw Maltese on packaging, but Maltese is the main language of Malta, although English is official there, too. Catalan, however, has equal legal status to Spanish in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, and Spanish also appears on the packaging, so—not that there’s anything wrong with that—why would they bother to add a line in Catalan? I can think of several options:

  • The government of at least one of the Catalan-speaking communities of Spain demanded Catalan on the packaging.
  • The government of Andorra demanded Catalan on the packaging. Andorra is the only official language of Andorra.
  • A Catalan speaker was involved in the production of the packaging. Curiously, the Spanish on the packaging was labeled as “Castellano”; usually it’s “Español”.

Written by aharoni

July 27, 2008 at 20:39