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Sociolingüística catalana

CECOT Companies and their Language Uses, Attitudes and Services, by the Institut DEP, Anna Prunés and Joan Solé i Camardons


Staff Recruitment

A total of 60.3% of managers of CECOT companies believed that knowledge of Catalan should taken into consideration on staff recruitment procedures, whereas 38.8% stated that this criteria was not taken into account during these types of procedure. Although 35% of companies considered knowledge of Catalan to be a requirement for recruitment candidates, 25.3% believed that knowledge of this language was advantageous, but not decisive.

The level of Catalan knowledge required by companies for staff recruitment varies considerably from sector to sector: industry does not deem Catalan to be necessary, the services sector regards Catalan knowledge as a merit and commerce sees it as essential. For managers aged under thirty-five, the level of a candidate's Catalan determines whether their success in staff recruitment procedures.

4. Attitudes and Evaluation of the Use of Catalan

4.1. Progress and evaluation of the use of Catalan

Following analysis of the current level of Catalan use in CECOT companies, we will move on to study the progress of this use over recent years and its evaluation and future perspectives.

A. Progress in the use of Catalan
In the majority of companies that we surveyed the level of Catalan use (60.3%) has not changed over the last four years or so. The level in construction, industry and commerce has been maintained, but the services sector has seen the most significant rise in Catalan use. The reasons for maintained level of use in the majority of companies is due to a lack of changes in the company. Therefore, the habitual language of employees and clients is the same as it was four years ago (this is sometimes Spanish and others, Catalan).

According to the managers whom we interviewed, use of Catalan has increased in 28.8% of companies over recent years. The reasons for this increase are largely connected to an increase in Catalan knowledge of society as a whole. Managers also acknowledge that people have gradually become aware of the need to use this language, sustained in part by the offer and facilities for Catalan learning.

B. Evaluation of the use of Catalan
Over half of the CECOT companies surveyed (52.2%) had a high use of Catalan, with an average evaluation of 7.0. This is largely explained by the fact that Catalan is the habitual language of these companies and has been so for the last four years, as the data on progress indicate.

Secondly –and rather less importantly– business men and women who take this opinion understand that it is difficult to increase the use of Catalan in their companies because of Spanish-speaking clients, Spanish-speaking internal staff and the phenomenon of bilingualism or freedom of language in general, which tends to favour increased use of Spanish to the detriment of Catalan.

4.2. Advances and obstacles to the use of Catalan

A. Advantages
CECOT companies were clearly divided over the issue as to whether the use of Catalan offered advantages: 48.8% considered that it did not, whereas 41.5% thought the opposite, and 9.8% did not express their opinion on the subject.

Commerce believes that the use of Catalan has more advantages, whereas industry is more sceptical. On this same topic, small-medium enterprises believe more than microcompanies in these advantages.

B. Disadvantages
The business managers whom we surveyed were divided about the advantages of using Catalan in their companies, but they almost unanimously affirmed that using Catalan did not create disadvantages for the company (85.0%). Only 10.0% of those surveyed believed the opposite, and 5% did not state their opinion on the issue. More small-medium enterprises believed that the use of Catalan had certain disadvantages for business.

C. Reasons
We have been seen that the attitude towards Catalan in the majority of the companies surveyed is generally positive. However, real Catalan use is not an issue in many cases because Spanish has become the most habitual internal language and because, externally, companies believe that they are required to use Spanish when dealing with clients and the markets of their products.


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