Not many people outside Catalonia are talking about or even noticing it, but Spain is undergoing a linguistic revolution. Towards the end of September, Gabriel Rufián, an MP for the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left (ERC) spoke Catalan legally in the Spanish parliament for the first time since this parliament (called the Congress) was established in 1837. Previous attempts to use Catalan in the Congress had been met with reprimands or even threats of expulsion by the Speaker. Now not only Catalan, but Basque and Galician can be spoken freely in the Congress, where the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) holds sway. But not in the Senate, where the majority is held by the right-wing Popular Party, not known for its love of multilingualism. Why has the PSOE, which had previously refused to make Catalan official in the Congress, changed its mind? Because it needs the votes of the pro-independence Catalan and Basque parties if the current Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, is to obtain a new mandate. Not only that, but Sánchez – at the request of the above-mentioned parties – has also put in a demand for Catalan, Basque and Galician to be made official in the EU, something which would increase their international status considerably: they could be used to label just about every product sold in the territories where they are spoken, and the local governments of those territories could use their own languages when communicating with either Madrid or Brussels (Spanish currently being mandatory in both cases). Centralist attempts to restrict the use of Catalan (or Basque or Galician) in schools or hospitals or other public institutions – there have been many such attempts and they keep on coming - could be rejected directly from Brussels. In the case of Catalan there is the additional fact that it is spoken by 10 million people (11 million if we include the diaspora) making it a (much) larger language than eleven of the EU’s current official ones. Basque, on the other hand, is spoken by just 632,000 people, but is the oldest language on the European continent and surely deserving of greater protection for just that reason. But the EU is divided over the issue: some countries, like Finland and Cyprus, are in favour, but others, such as Sweden, France and Latvia are very much opposed. Sweden is worried that the Lapps will now try and make their native language, Sami, official. France treats Basque and Catalan (both spoken within its borders) as minor patois and wants to keep it that way; as for Latvia, according to one of its leading journalists, Otto Ozols, it and the other Baltic States were in favour of recognising Catalan independence, had it been declared after the 2017 referendum (it wasn’t); the Spanish government then put enormous diplomatic pressure on these states, threatening to veto NATO support for them if Russia invaded, and then offering the carrot of Spanish military backing – as long as they forgot about Catalonia. The weakest Baltic state, Latvia, now run by a corrupt right-wing party, is still toeing this old Spanish line on Catalonia, perhaps because the new Spanish line – in favour of Catalan being an official EU language – is coming from the Spanish Socialist Party. It took two years for Irish – spoken by 170,000 people - to become official in the EU. The way things stand at the moment, Catalan’s 10 million speakers may have to wait until the cows come home and hell freezes over. Simultaneously.