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Països Catalans

Catalan Countries
Països Catalans
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The concept of the Catalan Countries includes territories of the following sovereign nations:

Nation Territory
23x15px Spain 23x15px Catalonia
23x15px Valencian Community
23x15px Balearic Islands
23x15px Aragon (for Western Strip or La Franja)
23x15px Murcia (for Carche)
23x15px France 23x15px Roussillon in the Pyrénées-Orientales department
23x15px Andorra Where Catalan is the sole official language
23x15px Italy 23x15px Alghero (23x15px Sardinia)

The term Catalan Countries (Catalan: Països Catalans, Eastern Catalan: [pəˈizus kətəˈɫans], Western Catalan: [paˈizos kataˈlans]; Spanish: Países Catalanes; French: Pays catalans) is a direct translation into English of the Catalan term Països Catalans, which refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.[1] Among the diverse territories covered by the term, Andorra adjusts to "country" as in "sovereign state" whereas the rest of the territories covered are cultural areas or regional subdivisions located in France, Italy and Spain.

The Països Catalans do not have any legal standing, nor is there any universal territorial definition of the scope covered by this concept. It may refer strictly to the territories in which the different varieties of Catalan are traditionally spoken, or it may be extended to the entire political entities in which Catalan has some official status, in spite of the fact that those entities include areas where Catalan is not spoken (the map to the right covers this latter usage).

The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors[citation needed] until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly politically charged by the late 1960s and early 1970s, as Francoism began to die out in Spain. Thus, what had remained to date as a cultural term restricted to connoisseurs of Catalan philology, then rose to prominence and became highly controversial during the Spanish Transition period, most acrimoniously in Valencia during the 1980s.

Different meanings

Països Catalans has different meanings depending on the context. These can be roughly classified in two groups: linguistic or political, the political definition of the concept being the widest, since it also encompasses the linguistic side of it.

As a linguistic term, Països Catalans is used in a similar fashion to the English Anglosphere, the French Francophonie, the Portuguese Lusofonia or the Spanish Hispanophone territories.

As a political term, it refers to a number of political projects[2] as advocated by supporters of Catalan independence. These, based on the linguistic fact, argue for the existence of a common national identity that would surpass the limits of each territory covered by this concept and would apply also to the remaining ones. These movements advocate for "political collaboration"[3] amongst these territories. This often stands for their union and political independence.[4] As a consequence of the opposition these political projects have received –notably in some of the territories described by this concept[5] – some cultural institutions avoid the usage of Països Catalans in some contexts, as a means to prevent any political interpretation; in these cases, equivalent expressions (such as Catalan-speaking countries) or others (such as the linguistic domain of Catalan language) are used instead.[6]

Component territories