On Wednesday, the Minister of Culture, Santi Vila, and Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, mayor of Tarragona and president of the Tarragona 2017 Foundation, signed a linguistic collaboration agreement for Catalan to be used as the official language at the 2017 Mediterranean Games. The agreement states that Catalan will be the official language for next year’s edition of the Games, together with English, Spanish and French.
At the singing, Vila affirmed that in an event such as the Mediterranean Games “it is natural for the Catalan language to play a key role”. “It also proves that we have a useful and prestigious language”, he added.
The agreement was reached through negotiations between the Directorate-General for Language Policy, the Delegation of the Government in Tarragona, and the Tarragona 2017 Foundation. As for the specific measures, the Ministry of Culture will provide linguistic training for employees and volunteers of the Mediterranean Games, and it will also manage language and terminology enquiries. It will do so through the Directorate-General for Language Policy, the Catalan Consortium for Linguistic Normalisation (Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüistica) and TERMCAT (the centre for terminology in the Catalan language). In 1992, TERMCAT developed the terminology for all Olympic sports and it will now assist and offer support to the Tarragona 2017 Foundation in developing the criteria for the official languages. In this respect, the standards of the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games will be used to draw the linguistic criteria and guarantee the use of Catalan as an official language in next year’s Games. According to Vila, such events are “essential” to project the Catalan language in a multilingual context.
The Tarragona 2017 Foundation is responsible for the promotion and coordination of the Mediterranean Games organisation, an event that takes place every 4 years, 12 months after the Olympic Games. The Foundation will direct the Mediterranean Games language service and coordinate training and informative activities. It will also develop the criteria and documentation on language use.
The Mediterranean Games will take place from June 30th until July 9th 2017 and will gather some 4,000 competitors from 26 countries and competing in over 30 disciplines. The event will take place across 14 municipalities in the Tarragona region, as well as Barcelona and Castelldefels.