Dear Mr. Editor,
The anonymous person who has his or her bags packed while waiting to find out the location of the other Majorca, may have to hang around ad infinitum.... Is it not true that the tourist destroys exactly what he/she is looking for? Unfortunately there is no physical limit like saying “no more entries, the stadium is full!” because we are not talking about a football match...The natural limitation of number of hotel beds, homes for rent and purchase, tends to be stretched somehow... people will still pour into the island, looking for somewhere to spend a holiday, to retire or to work. Evidently Majorca is no longer the island of calm, but then neither is Brighton, or Torquay or Whitley Bay and I am sure those places were paradise many years ago, weather permitting of course. Where does Mr./Mrs. Anonymous wish to go to, to a desert island where the mod–cons would inevitably be missed or to Utopia which, as we know, means no place? And as for having Catalan thrust at us, although I am not in favour of the sole use of Catalan in education, since that is only pushing the pendulum to another extreme, is it not only fair for these people to want to converse in their mother tongue? The usual answer when a complaint is made is that far more people speak Catalan than Danish, and you wouldn't expect the Danish to prefer speaking in English, would you? The point is that the happy medium is being passed. The pendulum I mentioned is swinging steadly on, and instead of having a situation of ultraright Franco regime forbidding the regional languages, we will end up at the other extreme when the Spanish state language, Castillian, will be completely ostracised, another form of dictatorship. I hope the politicians will realise the error of their ways before then.

The European Union states that everyone should speak another language, and at the same time makes funds available for minority language projects, so the Catalan purists will inevitably grab at that straw to finance the promotion of their language. In the meantime, the English–speaking people will have to get their fingers out, or better their tongues out, and make sure that there is a good foreign language programme in the school curriculum. Adult learning of a language is another kettle–of–fish. The language barrier of 40 is often quoted.

However, I will not say that other countries are perfect. Two of my girls studied a professional training course to be office workers aimed at the hostelry industry and I was amazed that only one lesson a week was dedicated to the foreign language of the day.

Anne Kaye