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So, I've read the economy part of the article and see how it is compared to Basque Country and Madrid. Isn't this misgiving the reader somewhat? I believe that Madrid and Basque Country's economical state should be stated, don't you think? The Basque Country pays no taxes to the Spanish state and Madrid is the capital. Yes, Madrid is more debatable, but consider how all trains must go through Madrid, and many enterprises have put their headquarters in Madrid. In addition, as the capital, it gains a considerable amount of the taxes others pay while Catalonia doesn't gain money but rather loses it with taxes. We should at least mention these details, even in the brief description, so people don't get the wrong idea.


I am editing the definition to match the official definition of Catalonia because of the arguments exposed here:

  • It's the official definition
  • Valencian and Basque communities are stated as countries in their respective WP pages and those same political official status in Spain as Catalonia. The lack of use of the "Catalan country" is because of the extended use of the word Catalonia and does not mean it's not a country as the other "historical nationalities" are.
  • Catalonia is a country according to Catalan Statute of Autonomy, Spanish Constitution, the Catalan Government, the Catalan Encyclopedia...
  • The supposed lack of use of the term Catalan country ( in this WP article: In French, the country is called Catalogne ) can be explained because of historical reasons and does not reflect the current status of Catalonia, this is an Encyclopedia and its definition must be accurate and not rely on historical uses of region names for a present day definition.

Eloi.sanmartin (talk) 00:11, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

hello, I believe that the introduction of the article should put that Catalonia is a country, as well as the article puts Scotland, so also in the Catalan wikipedia is made ​​as a country.--Nord oliver (talk) 23:45, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Country is a vague term that can mean all sorts of things in different contexts, but most commonly will be taken to refer to an independent state, and regardless it's a description that is pretty rarely applied to Catalonia in most English-language sources I'm aware of (which would generally describe it as a "region" of the country of Spain). The UK itself is a bit of an odd case, and there are plenty of serious sources that describe Scotland as a [constituent] country of the UK, hence why it's appropriate for that article. It doesn't matter what the Catalan WP says of course, even if there is a direct translation that can be made of the words used. Also, the wording " .. is a country that is part of Spain as autonomous community in northeastern Iberian Peninsula" currenty there is pretty clunky and badly phrased English. I'm returning this to some variation of the wording that was happily there for a long time until earlier this month, relying on the official terminology. There might be better phrasing than what I end up with, but we need to stick to either common or official terminology when describing the place. N-HH talk/edits 19:22, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Hello, I am not a native English speaker, so I am sorry if I commit some mistakes. I edited the article, but my changes have been undone. I changed first sentence in the introduction "Catalonia [...] is an Autonomous Community" because the concept of Catalonia refers to the catalan nation or country. It is not my opinion, is what is said in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. In the preamble of the Statute is said "Catalunya és un país...", which can be translated to English as "Catalonia is a country...". However, I am conscious of the fact that Engllish speakers wouldn't use the term country to descrive Catalonia. This can be because Catalonia is not a sovereign state, but the term country is wider than that concept. It can refer to nation, as, for instance, Scotland and Wales are. It is widely accepted that Scotland is a country dispite it is not a state. Wheather Catalonia is a country or not cannot depend on the world knowledge about that. It is more a problem about the fact that English speakers do not know that Catalonia is a country, taking in consideration that it was one day a sovereign nation, it has an own and used language and history (and all the other reasons above). What I mean is that I do not see any reason why we can afirm that Scotland is a country and not Catalonia. It is possible too to find serious sources to afirm that Catalonia is a country, it was one day a principality, it has been an independent nation from Spain for several years, and it was one day annexed, but it is still a contry. You well said that English speakers would not use that term to descrive Catalonia, but what I think is that Wikipedia is an enciclopedia to learn what you do not know. In that case who think that Catalonia is not a country and is only a part of Spain is wrong, and Wikipedia is here to help them. All the sources to prove all that could perfectly be enclosed here, but it is only necessary go to "History of Catalonia" to do so. Furthermore, taking in account that 51%nof Catalans would like Catalonia to be an independent country and that a wider majority of people considers themselves as more Catalans than Spanish (see last CEO surveys), it resoults offensive to find in English WP that Catalonia is only a region. I can affirm that most Catalan philologists and historians would agree with my thesis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for arguing your point here, but the problem remains that, as I said, in most English language sources, Catalonia - and especially the Catalonia being described here - is not usually referred to as a country (I'm happy to be proved wrong, but I'm fairly sure I won't be). That's the standard by which WP articles are written - what things are called and how they are described according to most serious, reliable external sources (not simply random English people btw), rather than what individual contributors here can argue they should be called, however impeccable the logic seems. That's the case even though country, indeed, can be used to refer to non-sovereign entities and even if the word "pais" is commonly found in Catalan or Spanish sources. The cultural geography and politics of Catalan nationalism can be - and are - explained regardless, both here and in other articles, such as Països Catalans and Catalan nationalism. N-HH talk/edits 10:51, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

In that case we should change the article about Scotland, shouldn't we? And please, don't tell me that Scotland is a true country, and that the case of Catalonia is only an opinion of some, and that we can find in reliable sources that Scotland is a Country. That's because the Catalan case is not well known in the world, it's not about a bad translation. You can argue your point using English sources and I can do the same using Catalan ones. The fact is that the article is about Catalonia and not about England, so in that case a Catalan source should be more reliable, shouldn't it? Anyway, if I cannot convince you (I'm sure I won't) what happens? I mean, what happens when in WP users aren't agree with each other? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Again, by talking about what constitutes a "true" country, and by pressing on what Catalan language sources say, you're missing the point twice over. This isn't about logic or analytical proof, or arguing a case, or convincing the world of a little-known fact; plus, translation is rarely precise. The issue is much simpler than that: it's about what words are commnly used in the English language - in "official" documents and self-definitions, as well as in reliable and reputable third-party sources - to describe and classify things. Scotland is regularly called a country, including in ISO nomenclature for example and on the Scottish government website - but that's an issue for that page if you want to debate it. By contrast, and this is what matters here, Catalonia is more often AFAICT simply referred to as a region of the country of Spain, eg here by the BBC (which actually this article's lead avoids doing, so if anything you should count yourself lucky), or more formally - for example even on the Generalitat's website - as an "autonomous community", as our article does. You have to change what the rest of the English-speaking world does, and then come and get this page to reflect that, not make this page forge a new or minority path to prove a political point. Anyway, I'm just another editor, like yourself, with no special powers, but this debate and similar ones have been done to death in the past. You can always ask for a third opinion. Perhaps have a look at basic policies here as well, such as WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:RS. N-HH talk/edits 20:59, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
ps: you can sign your contributions on talk pages by marking your post with four tildes.
At the least you have to appreciate the Catalan nationalist viewpoint. I mean it is in the constitution as a country even if it doesn't meet our definition, It is a significant viewpoint. Furthermore there is reference everywhere in English Catalonia and Spain articles of the basque country. That doesn't meet out definition yet it it is still called a country. I don't see why everyone is knit-picking and cant respect and acknowledge well established viewpoints. PortlandOregon97217 (talk) 05:28, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
As noted in comments above, the Catalan nationalist viewpoint is respected and represented, on this page and others relating to Catalan issues. The issue here is simply how we briefly define and categorise Catalonia in the opening sentence. And, as also noted, "country", which as a term has multiple definitions and meanings, is, regardless, simply not the main descriptor for Catalonia in mainstream English-language sources. By contrast, the "Basque Country" is commonly referred to in those words; although here the word country forms part of a proper term and in fact said entity would not commonly be referred to as being a country, odd though that might seem to some. Any nitpicking here is coming only from those constantly trying to take apart those rather simple points and make the basic question as highlighted above more complicated than it really is by turning it into some meta-debate about what Catalonia really "is" and by suggesting that the use or non-use of certain words is a grand political statement against Catalan independence (and, again, it's worth noting we do not use what is probably the most commonly found English-language term, region, which suggests the lead here is, if anything, overly sensitive to Catalan nationalism, not ignoring it). Btw your edit here is mischaracterised. The quote marks are not scare quotes, they are actual quote marks, as "nationality" is the literal translation of the Spanish word nacionalidad, but it does not quite make sense in English in that context. Again, the use of them is common in reputable sources, eg the Economist. N-HH talk/edits 09:16, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

"Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship." DID IT INDEED?[edit]

Wikipedia should not let such bland statements go uncontested.

According to historian Josep M. Figueres, in the collective book "El català en els mitjans de communicació: situació actual i perspectives", published by the Societat Catalana de Comunicació in 2002, in 1933 (that is, before the Civil War) the production of books in Catalan amounted to 20% of all book production in Spain. The Franco regime reduced the presence of catalan in publishing production till it almost disappeared completely. In the latter years of the dictatorship there was a slight recovery of books in Catalan, but in 1976 they amounted to only 4% of all book production in Spain.


p. 22 ISBN 84-7283-620-7

Censorship is a second important issue left out here.

In Pelai Pagès i Blanch (ed.)'s book "Franquisme i repressió: la repressió franquista als països catalans (1939-1975)" (València: Universitat de València, 2004), the chapter by lawyer and sociolinguistic Francesc Vallverdú "Testimonis de repressió i censura", (pp. 181-188), is perfectly clear and well illustrated about the level of censorship exercised, in different ways, throughout the first 25 years of the Franco regime.


ISBN 84-370-5924-0

In conclusion,

Would the editors like a short text? If so, let me know — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mstrubell (talkcontribs) 19:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Publications in Catalan continued in Spain throughout the '40s. There was a source in Catalan linked stating this, but it's been removed. It shows a low level of publishing to the late '40s then a gradual increase. This more than justifies the statement that publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship. Though walking round a Catalan second hand bookship would be enough to prove this.

Boynamedsue (talk) 15:21, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

BTW, here's a non-wikiable, but decent source showing a crash in the number of Spanish books at the same time Catalan was reduced to a couple of books per year, and detailing its recovery at the same time as Catalan publishing boomed.

Mstrubell has given important sources which explain the catalan production books almost disappeared because of the censorship. As I reported some times in this discussion your biased point of view affects the reliability of the article. I support a modification in Mstrubell's terms.--Galazan (talk) 16:30, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, it clearly didn't nearly disappear, unless we are referring to the early 40's, when very little was published in Spain at all. (talk) 06:02, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Really no people speak catalonian, imposed in schools — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Catalonia's regional GDP and GDP per capita[edit]

This entry appears to materially over-state Catalonia's GDP. According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the correct figure for 2008 is €200,9bn (as opposed to €216.9bn in the entry), and the correct per-capita figure is €27,627 (as opposed to €30,700).

Since the national GDP/C is €23,858, the effect is to approximately double the degree to which Catalan prosperity exceeds national prosperity.


Note that IdesCat, which is apparently the regional statistics bureau, gives a different (higher) figure. This is apparently based on their own re-calculation of Catalonia's GDP. However they also quote the national GDP/C as above, and it's not clear to me that the two approaches are comparable. Maybe someone with economics skillz could take a look?

Anyway, the figure they give for 2008 (€29,160) doesn't match the one in the entry either.

Also, one of the two sources (CIDEM, currently ref #47) appears to no longer exist as a serious website; it is now a "directory" advertises things like hair treatment products. Suggest it is removed as a reference.

I have not made these changes because I am totally new to Wikipedia editing and don't want to mess it up. Can someone with more gravitas please check and change? (talk) 09:54, 12 October 2012 (UTC)


Hello, I would like to correct the spelling of the province of Girona, as an English translation is Gerona. Girona is its name in Catalan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Gerona is a correct name. Like you put carrer d'Aragó while the correct & official name is Aragón — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

I also agree. Arcillaroja (talk) 13:09, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

The issue is less what is "Catalan" – or "Spanish" – or what is a "correct" or better "translation" into English from either language, but simply what is the standard, or most common, rendering of the word in other serious English-language sources. My assumption would be that this is Girona, and brief research around the internet would appear to confirm this. Sometimes of course there's little apparent logic in consistency in how this pans out when it comes to one place or the next one. N-HH talk/edits 22:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

last elections[edit]

The article says, "In the November 25, 2012 Catalan parliamentary election, sovereigntist parties supporting a secession referendum gathered 59.01% of the votes and hold 87 of the 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament. Parties supporting independence from the rest of Spain obtained 49.12% of the votes and a majority of 74 seats." Sorry but how could this be possible since the sum of 59.01% and 49.12% is over 100? (talk) 21:10, 12 June 2013 (UTC)Gregory Durnovo

Easy. The 49% refer to those who want independence. The 59% includes them - and other who want the issue decided by referendum. It is NOT pro-independence v anti-indepndence. (Coachtripfan (talk) 14:24, 17 September 2013 (UTC))

Lead and languages[edit]

These two edits have a) added "nation" so that we now have three different descriptions of what Catalonia "is" in the very first sentence and b) switched the order of languages in two places so that Spanish comes after Occitan/Aranese. Unfortunately editing on this page seems to be more about scoring political/nationalist points than actually presenting the average reader with clear information.

  • On the first point, we now have a confused and lengthy jumble. The previous version, which only had two, ie "autonomous" community and "nationality" was not perfect but I don't see that adding a third is an improvement.
  • On the latter, do we really need four alternative, foreign-language names for Catalonia anyway in the lead, which is just yet more clutter? And if we are going to have them, I'm not sure it's helpful to suggest that Spanish is the third language after Aranese, or to do the same thing when listing the languages in the second paragraph.

I would just revert the latest changes but I think a slightly more comprehensive agreement and settlement is needed. N-HH talk/edits 09:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Agreed on the first point. The source doesn't even seem to back up the claim. What the preamble of the statute actually says:
"In reflection of the feelings and the wishes of the citizens of Catalonia, the Parliament of Catalonia has defined Catalonia as a nation by an ample majority. The Spanish Constitution, in its second Article, recognises the national reality of Catalonia as a nationality. "
The preamble uses the same word as the first article ("nationality"), so I don't see the point in mentioning it twice. (Acknowledging that the Parliament of Catalonia has declared themselves a "nation" is not the same thing as declaring them a "nation".) I've reverted this part of the change. TDL (talk) 20:59, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm thinking it might be better to simply avoid all these various official and semi-official terms in the very first sentence. "Autonomous community" and "nationality" translate oddly into English in this context and of course Catalonia, for better or worse, is usually referred to in English-language sources using the much broader word "region". The details of the terminology, history and politics can come later. How about something like the following:
Catalonia (English /kætəˈlniə/, /kætəˈlnjə/; Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈɫuɲə] or [kataˈluɲa]; Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa]) is an autonomous region in the northeast of Spain. It comprises the larger part of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, with the remainder of the historic Catalan region now part of southern France. Catalonia borders France and Andorra to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. The neighbouring Spanish regions of Aragon and the Valencian Community lie to the west and south respectively. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish and the Aranese variant of Occitan; Catalan Sign Language is also officially recognised.
Catalonia is divided into four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an official population of 7,535,251. Under the terms of the Spanish constitution, Catalonia is usually designated formally as a "historic nationality" within the nation of Spain, with the administrative status of an "autonomous community", while Catalonia's own 2006 Statute of Autonomy acknowledges the Catalan parliament's decision to define it as "a nation". The Catalan government intends to hold a referendum on independence from Spain in 2014.
The current wording is all there more or less but it just shifts it around a bit (and tries to deal with the issues re language proliferation and language order). N-HH talk/edits 09:54, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I think this is mostly reasonable, however I'd argue that we should retain the "autonomous community" link, rather than the "autonomous region" link, in the first sentence. This article is primarily about the first level administrative division of Spain, so I think it is important to make that clear early. The fact that it is a "special" autonomous community, in that it has been designated a nationality and such, can be relegated to the second paragraph. TDL (talk) 03:03, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I thought that link would sit better with the specific reference to "autonomous community" when referring to its "administrative status" in the second paragraph. Linking "autonomous region" to the nationalities and regions page means we get to link to both pages (and as a more general description I thought it should link to a more general page). Anyway, that's a minor point of course. I'll wait and see if anyone else has any other views on the suggestion as a whole. To me it seems the obvious way to simply state the position in normal language; but there's no point in it if it's just going to generate edit warring from those with more investment in the topic than most of us have. Beyond that, it could probably do with filling out – it's quite a small lead for a big article and otherwise it'll be dominated by the political stuff. N-HH talk/edits 08:28, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Hello, just my two cents. This has been argued extensively before, but I don't find it odd to use the terms "autonomous community" or "nationality" in English. Perhaps in simple elementary school English they may be confusing, but not in a serious encyclopedic text; and they have been used as such in many Academic papers. Moreover, in Spain, the terms "region" and "community" refer to two different things. The Spanish State is integrated by "nationalities and regions" (please note that the modifier "historical" is not used in the constitution) all of which are constituted as "autonomous communities". Catalonia is a "nationality" while Castile-La Mancha is a "region", yet both are "autonomous communities". Calling Catalonia an "autonomous region" will not only be juridically incorrect, but it will cause more confusion, especially if we link the term to nationalities and regions of Spain! (Is Catalonia then a "region" or a "nationality" of Spain then?).
I prefer the original introductory sentence - it had remained stable and out of controversy for quite a while - "Catalonia in an autonomous community [linking to autonomous communities of Spain] recognized as a nationality [linking to nationalities and regions of Spain] of Spain.
On a separate topic, the Catalan government does not intend to hold a referendum on independence in 2014... at least somewhat. The party in government and its political ally have yet to agree on what exactly to ask and on when they want to hold it. Esquerra demands that it be held in 2014 -but they are nor part of the government-, some in CiU agree while other prefer not to set a date. And it remains to be seen whether the Spanish government will allow it and whether it will be a non-binding enquire (consulta) or binding plebiscite. In any case, the Catalan government wants to gather as much support as possible only on the "right to decide" for now, and if the referendum is held in 2014, they have yet to say whether they will ask for a vote for independence or not. I believe this sentence, along with a better explanation should rather be located in the "Politics" section not in the introductory paragraph.
-- dúnadan : let's talk 18:43, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
My preference would be to avoid the use of more technical terms – which genuinely do read oddly to English ears, especially to anyone not familiar with the translations of constitutional terms – in the opening sentence. WP is a generalist encyclopedia and I don't think it's wrong to use terms on the basis of their more general meaning. "Region" is almost certainly the most common term found in non-legalistic English-language sources for Catalonia and the other parts of Spain and the one that carries the most immediate clarity for a general reader. I take on board your other comments; as for the referendum, AFAICT that sentence relies on and accurately reflects, albeit maybe a bit simplistically, what the cited Guardian article says (which may be incorrect of course or not reflect the current position). Maybe that should be tweaked to reflect what you say (which the article also notes) about the exact question not being clear. N-HH talk/edits 13:08, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
But this article isn't about the "region" known as Catalonia. That's discussed at Països Catalans. The primary focus of this article is the first level administrative division of Spain, so I think it is important to state that in the first sentence. It would be quite strange if Texas didn't say it was a US state, Victoria (Australia) didn't say it was an Australian state, Amazonas (Brazilian state) didn't say it was a state of Brazil, etc in the first sentence as this is (arguably) the most important thing about the subject. I agree that the term "autonomous community" is probably unfamiliar to most readers, but that's why we have a wikilink. Also, I agree with Dúnadan that calling it a "autonomous region" confuses it with an "autonomous community" that is a "region". TDL (talk) 18:26, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
No, it very much is about the "region" known as "Catalonia". As I said, the standard English language term "region" is most probably the most common primary description used for Catalonia in English language sources, and when it is used it very definitely does not mean the wider Catalan area. See, for example, the BBC, the OECD, Rough Guides, most dictionaries and Britannica. Even those sources that do refer to "autonomous community", like Britannica, often prioritise the Spanish term over its English translation, precisely because it is a little odd and unfamiliar. Fair enough, we can make a choice to use the more technical terms, and translate and wikilink them – and I'm not wholly against doing that – but we don't have to and it does seem to run counter to standard practice elsewhere. Btw I think the comparison with the use of "state" in a US context fails on two counts: first, because as well as being the formal term it is also the usual term used for US divisions in a way that "autonomous community" is not necessarily for Spanish ones and secondly, because, as acknowledged, the term "state" more generally is familiar and understood in a way that "autonomous community", and "nationality" when used to refer to a place, are not. N-HH talk/edits 20:55, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
If you don't like my examples using "state", there are many others which are equally unfamiliar: autonomous republic, oblast, autonomous province or canton all of which are used in the first sentence of the respective articles. As far as I can see, it is standard practice to mention the administrative status. Just because Spain has funny names for the subdivisions, doesn't mean we shouldn't use them. And we shouldn't avoid using accurate terms, just because inaccurate terms are sometimes used in their place. Formally, Catalonia is a "nationality" and not a "region" so calling it such would just add to the confusion. TDL (talk) 21:54, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
The comparison with other terms in other contexts is a slightly theoretical side-point really (although, as with state, I would argue that "canton", "autonomous province" and even "oblast" are found more often in real-world sources looking at the relevant contexts than "autonomous community" or "nationality" are; the problem with the latter two is not only that they might be initially unclear to the average reader but that, as simple/standard English words or phrases, they actually suggest something else altogether). And the issue is less what WP does on similar pages but what other sources do in respect of Catalonia and other parts of Spain. The key but simple point I was making was: what term is usually found used for Catalonia? And the fairly clear conclusion must be that "region" is the usual term used here in other sources. We can't really get away from that and I would ask what makes us special in that regard that we do it differently. Also of course my suggestion doesn't exclude the more formal terms, it just doesn't prioritise them, instead in fact placing them where a bit more explanation can be given about what they mean. Anyway, as I say, I'm happy to accept that I haven't convinced people. N-HH talk/edits 10:08, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
As a Native English speaker, I don't think the term "autonomous community" is confusing, and I don't need a serious encyclopedia to dumb terms down for me. It should help me learn, and as editors we should do our best to counter any systemic bias and offer a global perspective. Regardless, I just hope my point was understood: 'region' has a very specific meaning in Spanish jurisprudence - in the dychotomy of 'regions' and 'nationalities' - in which Catalonia is not a region. It will be more confusing to say Catalonia is a region and a nationality, and then linking the latter term to an article that says that Catalonia cannot be both. -- dúnadan : let's talk 23:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Well those used to the terms will be used to them of course. The point is that, at first glance, to the average reader I suspect the term "autonomous community" brings in images of some kind of hippy commune. People can learn what legalistic or technical terms mean without jargon or technical terms being the very first things that are thrown at them – as I said just above, the proposal does not exclude the terms, it just places them later on, where of course more space can be given to actually explaining them (and resolving any confusion re "region"). As for "dumbing down", that's as cheap and inaccurate a shot as my describing the current wording as pompous and pretentious would be. I'm specifically suggesting we follow what dictionaries, the media and other serious written sources use as the primary, initial term in standard English to describe and identify Catalonia, as the links I provided showed. Are they all dumbed down too? N-HH talk/edits 09:47, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree, "dumbing down" may not have been the right choice of words and because of it my message might not have been properly conveyed. The standard of an encyclopedia is not the same as the standard of a news outlet or a newspaper. Encyclopedias, and the Wikipedia, don't necessarily shy away of complex terms in other disciplines like biology or physics, and I don't see the point of doing it with regards to geography/politics. Moreover, electronic encyclopedias have the advantage of hyperlinks-- the definition of a term is just a click away! And I don't particularly think that that the average reader trying to learn more about Catalonia (or Madrid for that matter), would ever think of a hippy commune even if s/he doesn't fully understand the concept.
I can provide many serious sources that use one or the other term. Perhaps not a serious test, but the option <<"autonomous community" Catalonia>> produces more hits than <<"autonomous region" Catalonia>>, especially so when restricting the results to "Books" -- which, after all should be our parameter, as opposed to general media. My only point here is that "autonomous community" is not that obscure or foreign.
But to me -- and I do know that I am repeating myself -- it boils down the possible misuse of the word 'region'. In trying to make it more understandable -- arguably -- to the average reader, we end up calling Catalonia what it is not in Spanish jurisprudence, only to later explain what we actually meant, e.g. Catalonia is a region, but not really. That causes more confusion, IMHO.
By the way, I don't think this discussion pertains exclusively to Catalonia. (Perhaps this article is more 'popular' than those of other autonomous communities and that is why these discussions about 'nationalities', 'communities' and 'regions' always start here, and never in Andalusia, Galicia or even the Basque Country-- and I find the lead of the latter much more controversial, even if sourced). Wouldn't this point be brought up instead in Talk:autonomous communities of Spain, Talk:Spain, or even Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spain?
-- dúnadan : let's talk 20:01, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
My review of the other pages was one thing that led me to believe my bid to make changes here was probably a lost cause – pretty much all of them use "autonomous community" in the opening sentence and, as you say, whatever happens we would need consistency and some kind of centralised agreement. I'd still rather follow what dictionaries, media (and serious media at that – the Economist etc) and other reference works seem to be more than happy with as a primary description, and I'm certainly not suggesting losing the technical language altogether, but there you go. N-HH talk/edits

Other suggestions welcome[edit]

Even if my proposal above is going to be knocked on the head, something needs to be done with the first sentence:

  • Catalonia (English /kætəˈloʊniə/, /kætəˈloʊnjə/; Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈɫuɲə] or [kataˈluɲa]; Occitan: Catalonha [kataˈluɲɔ]; Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa]; French: Catalogne) is an autonomous community of Spain, officially recognized as a nationality by the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia

It's drowning in jargon and legalese unknown to the English language – as well as an overlong list of alternative, non-English, names – and offers no clarity, in anything approaching plain words, as to what Catalonia is. As the links I provided above show, no other published source offers such a confusing and unclear definition of this place in its opening sentence. N-HH talk/edits 21:00, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

A few people have tried to wipe out the "an officially recognized nationality" recently, eg here, since reverted. While such edits are not helpful in themselves, and probably have as much to do with politics as anything else, I can't help but be slightly sympathetic. "Officially" recognized, as if it is a universally acknowledged fact, by who? How, in standard English, can a place be a "nationality" anyway? Yes, I know it's a term of art in this context and is wikilinked, but it still reads oddly as plain English in the introductory sentence of a generalist encyclopedia entry. No one's yet dealt satisfactorily with that problem. N-HH talk/edits 22:44, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed extensively for years. I disagree; "nationality" does not sound odd, and plenty of serious Academic publications in English use the term. As with the term "community", Wikipedia should not shy away of complex terms for the sake of providing information in "simple English". And, as with the term "community", I'd rather have this discussed in Talk:Nationalities and regions of Spain or in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spain. I am always surprised that the "nationality" debate always comes up in this article, but never in, say Canary Islands, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, Aragon, Andalusia, Galicia, or the Basque Country.
While I would not eliminate the term, perhaps we can find a way to present it differently. How about this:
Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain comprising four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Catalonia borders France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon and Valencia to the west and south respectively. Its capital is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, and the centre of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. The official languages of Catalonia are Catalan, Spanish and Occitan. In Spanish legislation, Catalonia is designated a "nationality" of Spain.
Hmm perhaps not perfect, but a starting point?
-- dúnadan : let's talk 18:07, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but as it seems I keep having to point out, the simple fact is that it does sound odd in standard English. Nationality is a noun that refers to the state of belonging to a particular nation. It cannot, in ordinary English, be used to describe a nation, place or region itself. That really is not up for debate. The point is, surely, that it is a rough and imprecise translation of the Spanish term "nacionalidad" and is used here in a specific, technical context. That's fine, and I'm not in favour of eliminating it either, but the issue needs to be acknowledged in the text, eg by using quote marks around it, as you suggest and as other English language sources do. As noted, it also needs to be clear who uses the term and it what context, as opposed to vague allusions to its "official recognition"; given that, I'm fine with your suggestion. As for the other pages, I can't say. They're not on my watchlist and I suspect they are more often looked at, in terms of editing, by people who haven't thought too much about the language/terminology problem from a purely English-language perspective but are more focused on a Spanish-political one. N-HH talk/edits 22:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)


I'm no expert in the subject but I'm catalan and I'm quite surprised there's no reference to Catharism here (since it's the most common etymological explanation here). Even in Catharism article you can find a reference to Catalonia and the "Catar Launia" theory makes so much more sense than most of the ones appearing here. I'm asking some friends in the field to provide richer references, but wanted to make note of it just in case someone overlooked it.Thabeat (talk) 23:48, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Referendum and lead[edit]

Could we settle this once and for all? While I broadly agree that this should be in the lead in some form or other – I think it's a significant enough point not to be an undue or recentism issue and it doesn't have to be mentioned in such a way that it reads as taking sides – the way we actually describe the situation probably needs some review. I haven't been following the ins and outs of this recently, but I'm not sure it's accurate any longer to say, for example, that a "referendum on independence" will be taking place, and relying on a year-old news report probably isn't ideal either. Equally, just taking it out entirely with edit summaries such as "damp squib" or "NNPOV" isn't very helpful. N-HH talk/edits 17:11, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

My understanding based on the sources is that the Catalan government still intends for the referendum to go on. Whether the Spanish government approves or will recognize the result is a separate question. I don't object to adding some sort of clarification on the Spanish government's position on the matter. TDL (talk) 20:50, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
But it's not just about the Spanish government's position in response, it's about what any referendum was or is actually about to start with. The AFP piece on the Japan Times site you've linked to explicitly refers to a "self-determination" referendum and notes that Mas "avoids using the word 'independence'". Arguably this is all semantics, but we need to be clear. N-HH talk/edits 21:18, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's a matter of semantics since the definition of "self-determination" is "the process by which a group of people, usually possessing a certain degree of national consciousness, form their own state and choose their own government." To me I think "self-determination" just obscures the issue, however it's probably not a bad idea for this article to follow the lead of the article title: Catalonian self-determination referendum. Discussion on the common name for the referendum should take place there. TDL (talk) 23:56, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
To continue the semantics for a second though, the phrase "a referendum on independence from Spain in 2014" suggests that the vote will be, explicitly, asking people to say "yes" or "no" to independence. As the main article suggests, as does my understanding of the current position, the question may be a bit vaguer than that and it may be more of a consultation about the options. Also there is, it would appear, no date set yet for it. As I say, a more recent source would also be better. N-HH talk/edits 09:11, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree that the statement "a referendum on independence from Spain" necessarily implies an unambiguous, legally binding, yes/no question on whether to secede. Even if, as has been suggested, the referendum contained three options ("retain the status quo; to create a separate state but with some sort of federal connection with Spain, or to become independent.") and it is only a consultation it would still be valid to refer to it as a referendum on independence. However, I'm certainly open to alternative wording if you'd like to suggest something. RS use similar phrasing even with all the uncertainties over the question/legality: "vote on independence", "referendum it plans to secede from Spain", "referendum on independence", "referendum on independence".
You want sources more recent than the Japan Times source from a few weeks ago? This from today says "Artur Mas, the Catalonia region's president, is planning to hold a referendum on independence in 2014 despite the staunch opposition of Spain's government, which calls the move illegal." This, from 2 weeks ago, says "The Catalan regional parliament has approved a motion calling for a referendum on independence from Spain." Yes, as far as I'm aware no date has been fixed yet, though I'm not quite sure what the relevance of that is to this discussion. The plan is still 2014: "He has since reaffirmed 2014 as the target". TDL (talk) 23:32, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Well I made a slight, arguably slightly woolly, tweak to the wording just prior to the extensive historical additions to the lead. The point about sources was that they ought to be being used in the article, rather than the now year-old Guardian piece; my edit switched it for a piece from the Economist from last month. N-HH talk/edits 10:13, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

"Ban on the Catalan language" in the 18th century[edit]

The repeated recent bid to suggest in the lead that Catalan was banned outright rather than simply in official use now has a purported source. However, I looked around before reverting the first bid to change the scope of the wording here. I could not find any evidence that any of the Nueva Planta decrees banned people from speaking or writing in Catalan. The source provided doesn't either: what it says is "a series of measures .. imposed the use of Spanish in public life". It doesn't even mention a ban on Catalan at all, let alone an all-encompassing one. N-HH talk/edits 18:54, 23 November 2013 (UTC)