Unbearable Lightness

I was invited to the 10th anniversary celebration of the Catalan Wikipedia in Perpignan. Perpignan is a city in France, but from the Catalan point of view, it’s in Northern Catalonia – a rather large territory, also known as Roussillon, that was a part of Catalonia, but passed under French rule in 1659. Catalan is still spoken by many people there; how many exactly – i’ll have to see. I hope that it’s spoken by many people for a purely practical reason – my Catalan is much better than my French.

The Catalan Wikipedia is one of the first two Wikipedias created after the English one. The English Wikipedia was created on the 15th of January 2001; German and Catalan were created on the 16th of March 2001. Catalans love to tell that although their Wikipedia was created a few minutes after the German, it was the first one to have an actual article.

Since the Catalan Wikipedia is the oldest and the largest version of Wikipedia in a language which isn’t official in any big country (sorry, Andorra), the people behind it want to share their experiences promoting their language with other regional and minorized languages and this will be discussed in the event. More details on that later.


Direct El-Al flight from Tel-Aviv to Barcelona – 582 USD. Alitalia via Rome, 2 hours wait for connection – 460 USD. Czech Airlines (ČSA) via Prague, 11 hours wait for connection – 367 USD. Guess which one i picked. ČSA, of course – i pay less and i get to spend a day in Prague! Sorry, El-Al.

If you call Czech Airlines office in Tel-Aviv, you can choose one of the following languages, in that order: English, Russian, German, Czech, French, Spanish, Italian. No Hebrew or Arabic. Except that, however, the service is excellent. I spoke in Russian with the service people and they were very polite, helpful and efficient. They were Czech; They spoke Russian with a slight accent, but it was completely correct and easy to understand. I’ll have to wait for the flight itself to see how it is, but until now my impression is very good.


P.S. Typing the word “Czech” is surprisingly hard.

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