Many visitors will have scanned their Spanish phrase book before arriving in Majorca, but now they are being urged to have a go at speaking Catalan. Members of the pro-Catalan Young Majorcans for Language movement yesterday launched a campaign aimed at making tourists aware of the fact that in Majorca, people speak Catalan, not necessarily Castellano, Spanish. Over the next few weeks, 50.000 postcards drawn by the Majorcan artist Guillem March will be given out to holidaymakers. Across the top of the cards it reads “First lesson in Catalan, the language of Majorca,” in Castellano, English, French and German and below a number of basic words, such as cat, dog, sea, woman, boat and beach etc. are illustrated. Marta Martinez, the movement's spokesperson, said yesterday that one of the reasons the campaign has been launched “is because the majority of the millions of tourists return home with no idea that Majorca has its own language.” “The idea is also to ensure that visitors from all over the world gain a basic knowledge of the language,” she added. The campaign is expected to run for a couple of weeks, until the cards run out, and while yesterday targeted tourists around the Cathedral in Palma, will expand to include the airport, tourist information centres and the resorts of Magalluf and Arenal in particular. The initiative has been given the full support of the government's lingusitic department and the Young Majorcans hope that it will be repeated at least every summer in the future and perhaps at other peak times of the year, such as during the Easter and Christmas holidays. The Balearic government also lodged an official plea in Brussels for Catalan to be recognised as an official language by the European Union. Local government spokesperson, Antoni Garcias, explained that the motion has been tabled by Institute for Catalan Studies on behalf of the autonomous governments in the Balearics, Cataluña and Valencia. Central government in Madrid was also asked to try and help push the move through Brussels.

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