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Pompeu Fabra year: celebrating the father of modern Catalan

Fabra Year 2018 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the man who set the standard for today’s version of the language


22 February 2018 12:41 PM


ACN | Barcelona

This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Catalan linguist, Pompeu Fabra. It is also the 100th anniversary of the reform of Catalan grammar, which set a new standard for the language and that was one of Fabra’s great achievements. To celebrate, Fabra Year 2018 was launched on Thursday, with a wide range of cultural events planned all over the country in the next few months.

At the launch event held in a theatre in the city of Badalona, near Barcelona, well-known Catalan actors read and performed texts praising Fabra and his work. However, the event also served as a rallying cry for the defense of the Catalan language and the long-standing policy that makes Catalan the working language in schools in Catalonia, which has controversially been questioned by the Spanish government in recent days.

  • “The language in this city has been an essential tool of social harmony and for fighting inequality”

    Dolors Sabater · Badalona mayor

“The language in this city has been an essential tool of social harmony and for fighting inequality,” said the Badalona city mayor. Meanwhile, a Catalan government representative hoped Fabra Year would become “a stimulus for strengthening the social role of Catalan.”

In 2018, the Fabra Year activities will feature such things as articles, talks, itineraries, exhibitions, publications and documentaries, all dedicated to the celebrated linguist and his work.

Pompeu Fabra is a major figure in modern Catalan history, and there is even a university named after him in Barcelona: the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Born in a town that is now a Barcelona neighborhood in 1868, Fabra showed an interest in linguistics from an early age. Later becoming a professor of Catalan, Fabra published his famous Diccionari General de la Llengua Catalana in 1932. This dictionary was later adopted as an official reference book for the Catalan language.

Jordi Ginebra to oversee Fabra year

The man appointed to oversee Fabra Year 2018 is Jordi Ginebra, a professor of Catalan linguistics at the Rovira i Virgili university in Tarragona, in the south of Catalonia. Appointed to the post in November, over the next few months Ginebra will be responsible for ensuring that the more than a hundred events organized to celebrate the joint anniversary go off without a hitch.


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  • Catalan authorities at the launching of Fabra Year (by Pere Francesch)