Check Out Occitan (Aranese)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yx3qeNwWyk]
Aranese, a form of Gascon, which is a form of Occitan, is a Romance language spoken in northeastern Spain, southwestern France and a town in Sardinia. A good backgrounder about Catalan is my previous post on the language.
In this video, the announcer speaks 100% in Aranese Occitan. He is also talking about other languages such as Aragonese and Esperanto, but don’t let that confuse you. Aranese has heavy influence from Catalan and even Spanish, making it different from other forms of Catalan.
Occitan sounds pretty strange to me. It sounds something like a cross between French and Spanish, but sometimes it also sounds like Portuguese or Italian. It’s said that Spanish speakers can understand Catalan. That’s not the case. I understand Spanish fairly well, and I could not really follow what this guy was saying. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese or another Romance language, check out the video and see how much you can understand of Occitan.

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8 thoughts on “Check Out Occitan (Aranese)”

  1. I’m afraid this is Aranese (Occitan-Gascon), not Catalan. Aranese is spoken in the Aran Valley, which administratively belongs to Catalonia (and Spain) but lies to the northern side of the Pyrenees and has linguistic ties with southern France. However, due to Catalan (and Spanish) influence, Aranese lies somewhere in the middle between Occitan and Catalan, but it’s still considered as a variety of Occitan, not a dialect of Catalan.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aranese_language
    Examples of spoken Catalan (Barcelona variety) can be found here:
    http://www.tv3.cat/directes
    (television of catalonia, live broadcast)
    http://www.tv3.cat/seccio/3alacarta
    (selections of recent broadcasts)

    1. Thx man. I changed everything. The video is very confusing and the Youtube and comments do not tell you what language is being spoken. I did not realize that there were Aranese broadcasts on Catalan TV.

  2. By the way in the middle of the video the man interviewed is speaking Aragonese. He’s talking about the endangered situation of the language.

  3. I speak Portuguese fluently and both Spanish and French at a relatively advanced level. I can understand quite a bit of Italian, Occitan, Catalan, Galician, etc. I quite frequently mix up the Iberian ones when hearing them, though. But what’s really upsetting is that, despite understanding these languages, I can’t form my own sentences in them.

  4. I am a native portuguese speaker (and also fluent in Castillian and French), and I can tell you that this dialect of Occitan is incredibly accessible. After about 5 seconds, I didn’t even need to look at the subtitles to understand it. I was expecting this language to be more distant to my own than Catalan, but that does not seem to be the case – it is far easier to understand. I doubt me or any of my countrymen would had any trouble communicating easily with speakers of this language.

  5. I was looking for an Occitan media sample, found this, and discovered that I understand nearly everything! Hadn’t I known I might have mistaken it for Catalan. It sounds awfully familiar to me. My local Lombard dialect (which I understand but can’t speak) is at the southeastern fringe of the Provençal group and must be close enough for at least partial comprehension. However, knowing Spanish and French makes the difference. I heard French people claim it takes just a bit to get used to Catalan, as a ton of words are like French words all twisted in the same few ways. Another funny thing I had long noticed: the “sounds” of speech by lots of natives of northern Italy, southern France, Catalunya, western Austria, and Croatia has something in common despite languages falling into three quite separate and mutually incomprehensible Indo-European families.

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