Students who choose to learn Mirandese at school increase in Portugal

The main square of Miranda do Douro. Photography: Vitor Oliveira (cc by-sa 2.0).

Jesus Maria Lopez de Uribe
| 09/17/2022 – 7:25 p.m.

Most of the students of the next school year of the Miranda do Douro Schools in the district of Braganza in Portugal have chosen the subject of Mirandese Language and Culture, one of the three languages ​​of the Asturian Leonese language, and the only one that is official ; in this case the second of the Portuguese State together with the Portuguese.

This, according to the newspaper Public from the neighboring countrysupposes that 79% of all the students have opted for these studies of the Leonese culture, from which the Tras Os Montes region drinks deeply since it is an area that its own inhabitants call “Kingdom of Lion”.

According to the Portuguese media, António Santos, the person in charge of Education for the northeast of Trasmontano, the Mirandese language “is a very important identity factor that cannot be lost.” “For us it is a source of pride, because students might not opt ​​for this subject and spend their free time in another way, but prefer to study this language with the support of their parents,” he said.

The Mirandés subject has been taught in this area of ​​northeastern Portugal since 1986, achieving that from the 2009-2010 school year it has been implemented from preschool to secondary education as an optional subject. This Astur-Leonese language has been official in Portugal since 1999.

Astur-Leonese, the last non-co-official language in Spain

Despite advances in the co-officialization of languages ​​other than Spanish in Spain, the Asturian-Leonese linguistic domain has not been officially recognized. It is divided into the languages ​​of Asturianu and Llionés –with their dialects of Patsuezu and Cabreirés as the most important–, in addition to Mirandés in Portugal, and the languages ​​of Cantabrian (or mountain) and Extremaduran, in addition to the Parla del rebollar in Salamanca and diverse vocabulary and expressions in Huelva.

The first written manifestation of a Romance language in Medieval Hispania occurred with the Nodicia of Kesos of the Monastery of Rozuela (a few kilometers from León capital in the Esla area) from the year 974, prior to the Emilian glosses of Castilian. In addition, one of the first legal texts written in this language other than Latin in Medieval Hispania was the Law of Leon of 1017, with what can be considered the oldest with legal effects in the peninsula.

Despite being one of the first written languages ​​of Hispania, it currently lacks official status, remaining as the last along with the Aragonese, although it has had its own law for a few years. In Asturias, during this regional legislature, an attempt was made to incorporate Asturian into the Statute of Autonomy –the requirement to become co-official of the State together with Galician, Catalan and Basque–, with a demonstration of support that exceeded forty thousand people ( and another against later that only met seven); but in the end the promise of the socialist Barbón did not come to fruition.

A capture of the Leonese Culture course.

One of the books written in Leonese during the Middle Ages.

In the current autonomy of Castile and León, it only has a reference to protection in the Statute, which the associations that promote the llionés denounce is not effective, giving rise to the situation that in schools it is possible to study Galician in the area western Bierzo and Zamora and Euskera in Burgos’s Condado de Treviño.

Finally, as a sign that the reality of the llionés is ignored, this summer it has been known that the Junta de Castilla y León, now governed by the PP with Vox, refused to request the aid of the linguistic PERTE and in the last week the senator of Compromís, Carles Mulet, demanded recognition of Franco’s linguistic repression of the Leonese language. Before the Civil War it is estimated that more than sixty percent of the inhabitants of the province of León spoke it, but the National-Catholic Education of the dictatorship forced its elimination, even with cash prizesconsidering that he was “a poorly spoken Castilian of ignorant people in rural areas”.

Read the original article in Portuguese from the newspaper ‘Público’ clicking here

Students who choose to learn Mirandese at school increase in Portugal – ILEÓN.COM