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Catalan digital identity

03 February 2021

FONT: Pixabay

The Internet represents the open world, without doors or borders. Where distances do not exist and territoriality is secondary. Catalan has been alive on the Internet since its beginnings, as we Catalans have been no less and since the first domestic connections arrived in 1995, we have been there.

However, the bridges were not yet built to form a Catalan community on the Internet that would build a digital Catalan identity.

In other words, there were Catalans on the Internet, but the Internet was not in Catalan. “Globalization is a great mistake of the species,” said anthropologist Eudald Carbonell in the first Pod .cat, but he also said that “it is necessary to break uniformity and unique thinking and ensure biological and cultural diversity.”

Regarding the statistics of Catalan on the web, it is necessary to recover the data published in this article: of the 10 most visited web pages, five are in Catalan. This is the present, getting here has not been easy.

The identity of the Catalan community on the Internet has been built as the users and creators themselves have introduced the use of Catalan on the web. Without a Softcatalà that is committed to translating the software needed for modern life, it would have been more difficult to achieve normalcy. Without a Vikipèdia that normalizes access to free knowledge and in Catalan, either.

If a text could not be written in a program in Catalan, if it were possible to browse the web using a browser in Catalan, Catalan would not have reached the status of a language commonly used on the Internet.

The backbone of digital Catalan identity is language

It is with free software that the consolidation of a digital Catalan identity is best seen. As we read in the article Catalan identity in the digital world. The case of the Ubuntu community in Catalan, by Katia Gorriz Oria, “free software contributes to the creation of spaces in Catalan on the web, an aspect that has a positive impact on the health and vitality of the language in the digital world. The expansion of the linguistic range that free software promotes acts as an instrument of inclusion and, to a certain extent, of raising awareness among minorities (…). Catalan therefore unites the participants of the community because it becomes synonymous with freedom and openness, principles that, at the same time, characterize free software ”.

The backbone of the Catalan digital identity is the language, its standardized use and its cultural defense. That is why the work of the Fundació .cat, the home of Catalan speakers on the Internet, with more than 110,000 .cat domains, is decisive.

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