from the editor

Celebrating two decades of Catalan news in English

In 20 years, our country has undergone great changes, surely more than most countries around us. Today, no one questions the international character of the Catalan economy and especially of its capital, Barcelona. Twenty years ago, when Catalonia Today was born, the reality was completely different. But it was obvious that globalisation, which caused the commercial explosion of the internet, was going to turn the English language into an essential tool that every society had to master. Not only that, however: it was the language in which our country could address the world directly using the new tools of information and communication. At the same time, there was a growing awareness that Catalan society did not have the English language skills to meet the challenge of globalisation. In countries around us, knowledge of the English language was superior to ours, and this limited our opportunities to compete in the new economic and social context. According to the 2023 Education First report, Catalonia currently has an “average” level of English, similar to that of Italy, but below the Netherlands, Austria or Denmark, which have a “very high” proficiency. This longstanding language gap, and the fact that Catalonia is a country that has traditionally had an international outlook and an economy open to the world, meant that there was a real need for an English publication conceived from a Catalan viewpoint but expressed in the global language. Twenty years have passed since the first issue of this magazine (this is issue number 486) and today no one doubts the importance of having a publication in English that contributes to this international outlook, or that reading Catalan content in English is a way of internationalising the country. I hope readers can enjoy reading the magazine for many more years to come, and offer a big thank you to our team, contributors, readers and subscribers, and all our friends for all your support over the past two decades. Here’s to many more anniversaries, Catalonia Today!

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