Déu n’hi do, com parla català!
To learn or not to learn Catalan? If you are an expat in Catalonia, you might be in this common dilemma as you constantly hear different opinions about the topic.
In this article I’ll share with you the difficulties, the benefits and insight into Catalan culture and society that has come from knowing it, the reception I’ve received from local people and more.
I moved to Catalonia 3½ years ago and decided to study Catalan after finishing my course in the Spanish language. Obviously, as an expat I also had the same questions and doubts: should I learn the Catalan language, do I really need it, is it practical, will I get into society? In my Spanish school, I heard from many international students that Catalan people are very closed and even if you learn the language, that’s not the way to get into the society and make local friends. Well, that depends. Read the rest of this article…
An article from the wonderful Claire Gledhill about why it’s useful to learn a bit of Catalan if you’re staying in Barcelona. And it’s free!
What language do they speak in Barcelona?
For anyone landing in Barcelona ready to start a few months study, experience the city or look to making a new life here, learning Catalan is probably not high on their to-do list. In fact many visitors or new arrivals may be blissfully unaware that they have indeed set foot in one of Spain’s autonomous regions which has its own distinctly different language, cuisine and cultural heritage.
Where do they speak Catalan apart from Catalonia?
Catalan may be viewed as a minority language, and at least geographically it is, only being spoken in Catalonia, some regions of southern France, and dialectal versions in the Valencia region, Balearic Islands and a small section of northern Sardinia. However, with over 9 million speakers, which ranks it alongside Danish, it is certainly not a dying language yet is not recognised by the European Union. And just to be clear, Catalan is NOT a dialect of Spanish, nor a mix of Spanish and French, but an individual Romance language, although of course as any student of a Latin rooted language will know there are similarities between them all.
Now let’s be clear, I am no fluent or even proficient user of Catalan, yet 100 hours of free Catalan classes (more about that later) has given me a base which I believe has opened up another side of Barcelona that I would miss out on without this knowledge. Read the rest of this article…