Franja de Ponent

( La Franja )
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Context of La Franja

La Franja (Catalan pronunciation: [la ˈfɾandʒɛ]; "The Strip"; Aragonese: Francha) is the area of Catalan-speaking territories of eastern Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó (Aragonese Strip), Franja de Ponent (Western Strip) or Franja Oriental d'Aragó (Eastern Strip of Aragon) in Catalan (in Aragonese: Francha Oriental d'Aragón, "Eastern Strip of Aragon"; or simply Francha de Lebán/Levant, "Eastern Strip", or ...Read more

La Franja (Catalan pronunciation: [la ˈfɾandʒɛ]; "The Strip"; Aragonese: Francha) is the area of Catalan-speaking territories of eastern Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó (Aragonese Strip), Franja de Ponent (Western Strip) or Franja Oriental d'Aragó (Eastern Strip of Aragon) in Catalan (in Aragonese: Francha Oriental d'Aragón, "Eastern Strip of Aragon"; or simply Francha de Lebán/Levant, "Eastern Strip", or Francha d'Aragón, "Aragonese Strip"; in Spanish: Franja de Aragón, "Aragonese Strip").

La Franja is usually considered to be comprised by a part of the municipalities of the following Aragonese administrative comarcas: la Ribagorza/Ribagorça, La Litera/La Llitera, Bajo Cinca/Baix Cinca, Bajo Aragón-Caspe/Baix Aragó-Casp, Bajo Aragón/Baix Aragó and Matarraña/Matarranya.

La Franja has been part of Aragon since the medieval kingdom of Aragon; never in its history has it been part of Catalonia; however its population speaks in Catalan, presumably since the Middle Ages; consequently this territory is considered a part of the so-called Catalan Countries.

Among the territories where Catalan is spoken (Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, Andorra and Roussillon, among some other little territories), La Franja is currently the one where oral knowledge of Catalan is the most universal; this is due to low immigration to the area compared to the other ones. Roughly 80% of adults can speak Catalan. In all of Aragon there are 55,513 speakers of Catalan, according to census data.

The thin strip of land is very diverse geographically, ranging from valleys in the Pyrenees to the flat lands by the Ebro; all are included under this umbrella term. La Franja does not have any official political recognition within Aragon, nor is it a separate historical entity in and of itself; the territories only have in common being administratively and historically Aragonese and linguistically Catalan. The term is mostly used in the neighbouring Catalonia, especially by Catalan nationalists, though it has lately become common in Aragon too. Some right-wing political forces in Aragon prefer not to use the word Catalan when speaking of the language of eastern Aragon, and have used a number of alternative names for it, even in the Language Act of Aragon of 2013.

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