Mon, 21 Jun 2004

On Valencian exams, and why I say Valencian

I got a pair of comments on my last entry which I guessed I could answer in a new post, specially the second one, as Amaya and I had an argument about Valencian vs. Catalan not that long ago.

Anyway, Tommy wanted to know what these exams are about. Basically, it's a test on your knowledge on the Catalan language. The "Mitjà" level was more or less easy to pass for me. The "Superior" level is the same, but with added difficulty to the questions.

The exam, which lasts for 2:30h, consists on reading comprehension, a dictation, writing, grammar, vocabulary and oral expression. Reading comprehension is easy. They give you a text and you have to summarize in 5 lines. The dictation was kind of hard, because my sister and I were sit in the last row, making it quite difficult to hear, besides the text was weird and contained quite a few words I had never heard before. In the writing exercise, they give you two options to write about (200 words). One was "Space tourism", which I picked, I don't remember what the other was. There are a lot of different exercises to test grammar, including filling in the blanks with missing glyphs and rewriting sentences to use pronoms febles. This last exercise is quite tricky in Valencia because our variant of Catalan in the area doesn't use promons febles extensively. Another difficult exercise is correcting sentences. They give you 5 sentences which contain errors gramatical or morphological errors, which you need to identify and correct. In many cases you are convinced there's nothing wrong with it. Others, you identify a barbarism in one of the words used, but it's of no use, as you don't know or remember what the correct word is. How the fuck do you say "corsé" in Catalan? The vocabulary section is quite hard too, because again some words you haven't heard in your entire life. The oral exam is just reading a text with some random subject (mine was about contamination in the food chain) and then speaking a bit about it.

Next, Jaume asked why I called it a "Valencian" exam in the blog entry, when I really mean Catalan. Jaume, the exam is quite localized. The text said "servici" (ugh) instead of "servei", "este" instead of "aquest", and the verbs were written in the Valencian fashion, "traduïx" instead of "tradueix", etc. Even if I know it's Catalan, it was full of the minor differences between the oriental branch of the language and our variant of the occidental branch, which is commonly known as Valencian. I agree I should have put some emphasis on the fact that it's the same language, in the end. I hope this answers your question, I definitely have no doubts on the boring Catalan unity debate. ;)

No seria 'cutilla'? Sort amb les notes!

Posted by Albert at Mon Jun 21 12:53:19 2004

Hola. Jo diria que és cotilla.
Ho he buscat al diccionari del IEC i diu:

cotilla f. Faixa ampla de tela reforçada amb barnilles destinada a sostenir el pit i dibuixar el cossatge de les dones.

Molta sort.

Posted by Albert at Mon Jun 21 22:06:03 2004

Please don't worry about me, Jordi. I knew you had no doubts in the Catalan unity, further when I know your hard work in Catalan translation of many Debian packages, I just felt amazed when I saw "Valencian exam".

Una abraçada,

Posted by Jaume at Thu Jun 24 23:02:48 2004