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Galician. Origins of the Galician Language. Galician shares its origins and early development with Portuguese, as the language Galician-Portuguese . 25BC Establishment of Roman Empire. Introduction of Latin Language and Roman law. Gallaecia Province. Latinisation of the Peninsula.

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origins of the galician language
Origins of the Galician Language

Galician shares its origins and early development with Portuguese, as the language Galician-Portuguese.

25BC Establishment of Roman Empire. Introduction of Latin Language and Roman law. Gallaecia Province.

Latinisation of the Peninsula.

Local communities in eastern and southern provinces quickly adopted Vulgar Latin but the process of acculturation and assimilation took place and a much slower pace in the western and northern provinces.


3rdcentury AD – collapse of Roman control and invasions of the Germanic tribes of Swabians, who transformed parts of Roman Gallaeciainto an independent kingdom.

711 AD – Islamic conquest.

Galicia had a newly found status as an important Christian Pilgrimage which is why it began to experience more than minimal contact with the outside world.

1179 – Pope officially recognised the independent kingdom of Portugal.

Integration into the Kingdom of Castile marked the beginning of the end of Galicia’s cultural and linguistic isolation.


Events of 14th century. Civil war between son of Alfonso XI of Castille (Enrique Trastamara) and his half brother, Pedro the Cruel.

Upper echelons of society attempted to establish Castilian as the official language.


1474: Isabella I became the Crown of Castile

  • 1486: Spanish monarchy initiated the process of centralisation known as “Doma y Castración del Reino de Galicia”.
  • End of the 15th century: Galicia was totally integrated into the Crown of Castile.
  • 15th- 16th century: Galician clergy evicted. Galician seen as a negative social trait.
  • 16th-18th century: “SéculosEscuros”
  • 1700: Monarchy wanted a ‘united Spain’. Castilian imposed.
  • 1713: ‘Real Academia Española’ set up to purify and preserve the Castilian language.
  • End of the 18th century: economic development in Galicia.

1807-1814: Peninsular War.

  • 1833: Galicia formally lost its condition of kingdom, Spain moved towards the creation of a centralised nation-state.
  • 1857: In education, the ‘Ley Moyano’ forbade the use of any language other than Castilian:
  • “La Gramática y Ortografía de la Academia Española serán texto obligatorio y único para estas materias en la enseñanza pública”.
  • Galeguismo
  • 1863: Rosalía de Castro published ‘OsCantares Gallegos’, the first modern work written entirely in Galician.
  • 1905: Establishment of the Real Academia Galega.
galician language and nationalism under franco
Galician Language and Nationalism under Franco

PartidoGaleguista created in 1931

Monolingual Galician in rural areas

State control over mass media and education

Exile activity abroad

Galicia Emigrante magazine 1954-1959

Radio show 1954-1971


By the 1950s

Galician used publicly in 1949

Editorial Galixia founded in 1950 by Ramón Piñeiro

In the 1960s

PartidoSocialistaGalegoin 1963

Unión do PoboGalegoin 1964

Civil protest poetry- Manuel María’sTerra Cha


By the 70s

More relaxed attitude towards the Galician language.

1963- Historiadaliteraturagalegacontemporáneaby CaballoCalero

1965- Gramatica elemental del gallegocomún

1971- Institutoda Lingua Galega (ILG)

o estatuto de autonom a de galicia 1981
O Estatuto de Autonomía de Galicia (1981)


  • A lingua propia de Galicia é o galego.
  • Os idiomas galego e castelán son oficiais en Galicia e todos teñen o dereito de os coñecer e de os usar.
  • Os poderes públicos de Galicia garantirán o uso normal e oficial dos dous idiomas e potenciarán o emprego do galego en tódolos planos da vida pública, cultural e informativa, e disporán os medios necesarios para facilita-lo seu coñecemento.
  • Ninguén poderá ser discriminado por causa da lingua.
lei de normalizaci n ling stica de galicia 1983
Lei de NormalizaciónLingüística de Galicia (1983)

Official language for public administration and public entities in Galicia.

Can also be used in the judicial system

Children can receive their nursery education in either language

Compulsory subject in all schools

University education can be in either Castilian or Galician

Compulsory aspect of teacher training

Promotes dubbing, subtitling and the production of plays, films and literature in Galician.

Makes the Real Academia Gallega responsible for maintenance of the language.

in the franxa exterior
In the Franxa Exterior

1989 and 1990 Congresses calling for support from the Xunta in promoting Galician.

Galician currently has no recognised status in the Franxa Exterior.

1983 lei de normalizaci n ling stica de galicia

"Law of Linguistic Normalization", Ley 3/1983, 15 June 1983)

first time since the introduction of mass education that a generation has attended school in Galician.

Reinforced the sociolinguistic status as well as the role it has to play alongside Castilian, as a viable language of administration.

ley de normalizaci n ling stica
Ley de NormalizaciónLingüística:

Concerning linguistic rights in Galicia:

Article 1. Galician is the autochthonous language of Galicia. Everyone has the right to know it and the right to use it.

Article 2. the public authorities of Galicia will guarantee the normal use of Galician or of Castilian, as the official languages of the self-governing region.

Article 3. the public authorities of Galicia will adopt the necessary measurements to ensure that no one is discriminated against because of their language. As far as the right to employ their own language is concerned, citizens will have the recourse to the law courts and tribunals in order to obtain legal protection.

aims of the law
Aims of the law

to re-establish Galician as foremost symbol of ethnic identity at the very least from a socio-political and socio-linguistic perspective.

to reintroduce language to those who had stopped using it, or only used it in very restricted contexts

hoped to create the situation where pupils would be competent in Galician so that within schools the status of Castilian would be limited to that of study.

laws on education
Laws on education

Article12:1 Galician, as the autochthonous language of Galicia, is also the official language of the education system at all levels.

Article 13 Children have the right to receive their pre-school and primary education in their mother tongue.

Article 14 Made the study of Galician mandatory at all compulsory education levels.

media and government institutions
Media and government institutions

Title IV, Article 18: Galician will be the customary language used in radio and television and in other means of public communication liable to administration by or competition from business concerns of the self governing community.

TITLE II regarding legislation relating to language use by governmental institutions in communication with the general public.

Title II Article 6:1 Citizens have the right to demand the use of Galician, both in spoken and written communications with public service authorities within the confines of self governing community.

2004 plan xeral de normalizaci n da lingua galega

Decrees prior: decreto257/1995 and decreto 66/1997 were precursors to Plan Xeral or PNL. In English, General Plan for the linguistic normalization of the Galician language.

Eg. Article 4. At pre school level and in first years of primary school, teachers will use in class the mother tongue that prevails among the pupils.

plan xeral cont
Plan Xeral cont.

General objectives of Plano Xeral de NormalizacionLinguistica (PNL) makes attempt to disengage from political deliberations:

To implement series of measure that will provide for a recovery in no. of speakers

Generate more respect for the language

Encourage speakers to use it naturally without restrictions

Should not be used as political tool or for political bias

plan xeral cont1
Plan Xeral cont.

Incorporates many suggestions from council for Galician culture and main objective is to overturn age old inferiority complex. This is to be achieved by:

Introducing changes in social behaviour of speakers

eg. Encouraging people to use Galician outside their intragroup environment, in other more influential sectors of society and persuading parents to pass on their spoken Galician to their children.

Suggested pupils in compulsory education should receive at least 50% of their instruction in Galician.

further areas of promotion
Further areas of promotion

Communications industry.

Public radio station, Radio Gallega introduced in 1980’s.

Regional tv channel, TVG (television galega)

Huge effort to promote literatacy since 1980’s

Galicia drama centre created in 1980’s (centrodramaticogalego)

Local authorities and public services.

Lei 5/1988 reinforced stipulations from lei 1983 regarding Galician as official language of use by local government. Oral and written purposes in Xunta offices and debates carried out in G.

Official documents tend to be in both languages.

Lei 1983 says Place names should be in Galician.

PNL adds that business and commerce should be encouraged to promote it in workforce, church, tourism and social services.



  • Órgano colegiado del gobierno de Galicia.
  • Compuesta por el presidente, vicepresidentes y consejeros.
  • Creada en 1981 con la aprobación del Estatuto de Autonomía. Elección popular de su primer presidente, Gerardo Fernández Albor.

En 1983 se aprueba la Ley autonómica 1/1983,reguladora de la Xunta y de su Presidente.

  • La Junta de Galicia moderna aparece por vez primera en el proyecto de Estatuto de Autonomía de Galicia de 1936.
  • Aprobado el Real Decreto-Ley 7/1978 y el Real Decreto 474/1978 se establece la Junta de Galicia como gobierno autonómico gallego.


  • Organización de sus instituciones de autogobierno y de las comarcas y parroquias como entidades propias de Galicia.
  • Ordenación del territorio y del litoral, urbanismo y vivienda.
  • Actuaciones en relación a las instituciones del derecho civil gallego; normas procesales y procedimientos administrativos que se deriven del específico derecho gallego o de la organización de los poderes públicos.
  • Obras públicas; vías férreas, carreteras y transporte; puertos, aeropuertos y helipuertos.
  • Aprovechamientos forestales, hidráulicos y relativos a la energía eléctrica; aguas minerales y termales; pesca en las rías y aguas interiores; ferias y mercados.
  • Artesanía, patrimonio artístico, bibliotecas, museos, conservatorios de música y servicios de Bellas Artes; fomento de la cultura y de la investigación; promoción de la enseñanza de la lengua gallega, del turismo y del deporte;
most important measures
Most important Measures:

1. 1978 Spanish Constitution

2. 1981, Article 5 of the Estatuto de Autonomía de Galicia

3. June 1983 – Lei de NormalizaciónLinguística de Galicia

4. September 2004 – the Plan Xeral de Normalizaciónda Lingua Galega

daily language
Daily Language
  • Less Bilingualism – More Monolingualism
  • Larger Increase of Castillian speakers, yet there is still a larger number of Galician speakers.
galician today
Galician Today...
  • Administration:
    • Autonomousadministration - under the obligation to promote the widespread use of Galician, not only because of the legislation, but also because the language is the vernacular of the country it governs and it gives prestige with relation to other administrative bodies (
  • City Halls
    • “within the central offices of the Xunta, Galician is employed almost exclusively for both oral and written purposes and the majority of politicians and local representatives employ Galician in debates of the regional parliament” (Regional Nationalism in Spain – Beswick)
  • PublicInstitutions:
    • Health
      • “Access to any public administration post includes tests in the Galician language to guarantee a minimum knowledge” (
galician today1
Galician Today...
  • Mass Media:
    • Press
    • Books
    • Radio
    • TV
    • Music
  • Education
the current debate in education
The Current Debate in Education:

Alberto NúñezFeijóo

Decree 79/2010 - establishes the language of each subject in primary and secondary education, and allows parents to decide the main language of education within the classroom.

Promoting bilingualism.

Triggered an adverse reaction among Galician civil society.

future of galician
Future of Galician?

Galician speakers are optimistic about the future of their language

While they almost unanimously believe that bilingualism will continue to prevail in Galicia, over half of them take the view that the use of Galician will increase.

Almost 90% consider Galician to be as useful as Castilian.

Despite all improvements in Administration, Education and Mass Media there was not an increase in the oral use of Galician, but a general rise of Castilian speakers.


Beswick, Jaine, Regional nationalism in Spain : language use and ethnic identity in Galicia (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2007),%20Coi.pdf