Girona Manifesto on Linguistic Rights

01 Mar 2012

SA PEN thanks member Mandla Langa for arranging the translation of the Girona Manifesto on Linguistic Rights into all official South African languages for PEN International. The translations are below. The Girona Manifesto arose out of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights also drafted by Catalan PEN – with support from South African PEN. It is an important page of principle for all languages, everywhere.


Carlos Torner Pifarré of Catalan PEN was largely responsible for the drafting of the original Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights. He kindly asked me to join his working Committee on behalf of South African PEN and I was very happy to do so. I personally approached the following for support in principle and they all agreed to sign the Declaration; Nelson Rolihlhla Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Minister Ben Ngubane, then Minister of Arts and Culture. Carlos and others approached other important signatories; the Dalai Lama, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat, inter alia. The Girona Manifesto is an admirable one-page summary of the original UDLR.

Anthony Fleischer, President, SA PEN