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This is the fourth part in a series of five Spanish to English city guides to León in north-west Spain. In this part we will look at León’s language: Leonés. I have presented this guide to León in the form of Spanish English Parallel Texts with a Spanish audio so that you not only learn about Spain and its major cities you also practice your Spanish. Check your listening comprehension against the Spanish to English translation, pick up lots of new Spanish vocabulary and expressions and work on your Spanish pronunciation by trying to mimic how I talk. This lesson is part of the Spanish English Parallel Texts Course and all of the lessons in this course are available completely FREE.

Parallel Texts León Parte 4 El lenguaje leonés

In Spanish:

El idioma leonés se deriva directamente del latín y se remonta a la Edad Media. Fue el idioma oficial del Reino leonés y se hablaba en el territorio de las provincias españolas de León, Zamora y Salamanca y en algunas aldeas en el distrito de Bragança, Portugal. Pertenece al subgrupo de lenguas ibéricas leonesas o astur-leonesas y se parece al mirandés, hablado en el noreste de Portugal, y al bable asturiano.

Hoy en día raramente se oye hablar en leonés y es reconocido como un idioma en grave peligro por la UNESCO (Organización de las Naciones Unidad para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura). Sin embargo, hay esfuerzos para conseguir una mayor aceptación y campañas para su enseñanza. El gobierno de la provincia de León apoya el conocimiento de esta lengua con la repetida celebración de los “Días de Lengua Leonesa” y mediante el patrocinio de trabajos literarios en lengua leonesa.

En 2001 la Universidad de León creó un curso para profesores de lengua leonesa, y los gobiernos locales y provinciales desarrollaron cursos de leonés para adultos. Ahora la lengua leonesa puede ser estudiada en la mayoría de los pueblos importantes de León, Zamora y Salamanca. La asociación de docentes de lengua leonesa fue creada en 2008 para la promoción de actividades en el idioma leonés. Las clases de lengua leonesa se iniciaron en 2008 y se imparten en dieciséis escuelas de la ciudad de León desde el curso 2008-2009, promovidas por el Departamento de Educación del Gobierno Local Leonés.

In English:

The Leonese Language derives directly from Latin and dates back to the early Middle Ages. It was the official language of the Leonese Kingdom and was spoken in the territory of the Spanish provinces of León, Zamora, and Salamanca and in some villages in the District of Bragança, Portugal. It belongs to the Leonese or Astur-Leonese subgroup of Iberian languages and is close to Mirandese, as spoken in north eastern Portugal, and Asturian Bable.

Today Leonese is rarely heard and is recognised as a seriously endangered language by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). However there are efforts for it to gain wider acceptance and campaigns for its teaching. The Province of León government supports the knowledge of this language by celebrating regular “Leonese Language Days” and by sponsoring literary efforts in the Leonese Language.

In 2001 the University of León created a course for Teachers of the Leonese language, and Local and Provincial Governments developed Leonese language courses for adults. Now the Leonese language can be studied in most important villages of Leon, Zamora and Salamanca. The “Leonese Language Teachers and Monitors Association” was created in 2008 for the promotion of Leonese language activities. Leonese language classes started in 2008 and were taught in sixteen schools in León city from 2008-2009, promoted by the Leonese Local Government’s Department for Education.

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