"Ah yes, I remember it well" (sung, with a strong French accent).
Oh well, I see you're still well on song!
Trouble wth strong French accents is that there are as many as there are French cheeses: understand one (roughly) and another will instantly defeat you at the next filling station. They do it on purpose. Like the Welsh and the island Scots. I don't want to neglect the Mallorquins here, either, who use it as a wonderful means of defeating you when you have a couple of dfferent 'trades' in the house, as in plumber and builder: you know you're being stitched up but can't prove it because you can't understand a bloody word.
I was invited to become member of an arts group here some two or three years ago. The official national language of the country, as in Spanish, is Castilian, and that's challenged by Catalan from the Barcelona region which, I understand, is being forced upon the Balearics in place of the official Castilian. (The effect is/was? to bar top, mainland doctors from state hospitals here on the island unless they also spoke Catalan in addition to the official Castilian. On top of that, Mallorca's home language is Mallorquin, and Ibiza, its neighbour, apparently has a version
of that as its natural tongue. I have no idea about Menorca, never having set foot there. So, unless you are pretty cool with three languages on this small island you can be at a serious disadvantage.) Anyway, during the first year of the club's life, the President was from Madrid and the meetings were carried out, mainly, in Castilian which I could understand well enough to keep up. He left out of frustration, and the next year it all reverted to the local Mallorquin, which flowed sweetly over the top of my head. I left. On later meeting the person who'd invited me to join, I attempted to explain that I couldn't understand the patois, but apparenty that's my fault. Ye gods, isn't one version of the language enough to struggle with, especially when all the members have fluency in both their island and national languages as their norm since birth? Clearly, a cosa nostra is better than an international view. How sad and backward-looking for a creative group of some quite talented people!
I believe that in the major league of life, they are now trying to kick Catalan back out of its 'local' rôle and reintroduce Castilian as top, official dog. That, of course, as with gun legislation elsewhere, opens local wounds and allows politicians to divert attention from other problems they'd rather not face, such as corruption, funding for grandiose buildings that now lie incomplete because the money that never existed has now run out. See Palma de Mallorca's sea-front.
If Eduardo (in Barcelona) is still present, could he perhaps offer a more authoritative and informed view on this current Castilian/Catalan language issue for us, please?