Language

About 10 million people speak Catalan

What is Catalan?

Catalan is the language of Catalonia. It had already evolved from common Latin by the 9th century and belongs to the western branch of the Romance languages.

Where is Catalan sopoken?

The linguistic domain extends over 68,000 km2 in four different states: Andorra, Spain (in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and the east of Aragon), France (Département des Pyrénées Orientales) and Italy (in the city of Alghero in Sardinia).

How many people speak Catalan

About 10 million people speak Catalan actively and some 12 million understand it. It is the 9th most spoken language in the European Union.

Do people also speak Spanish in Catalonia?

Catalan and Spanish are official languages in Catalonia and most of the people are bilingual. They are both taught at school and people can use them indistinctively when dealing with public administration. In the Val d’Aran region (the north-western corner of Catalonia), the official language is Aranese (Occitan dialect) and Catalan and Spanish are co-official.

What is the status of Catalan elsewhere?

Catalan is the only official language in the Principality of Andorra. It is also official alongside Spanish in the Valencia region (under the name of Valencian) and in the Balearic Islands. In the Catalan-speaking area of Aragon, there is no legal status for the Catalan language but some city councils and institutions do recognise it. In the French territories where Catalan is spoken, it has a merely symbolic official acceptance. In Alghero, Catalan is recognised in Sardinia’s Statute of Autonomy.

Is Catalan recognised by the EU?

Although the Catalan language is spoken by 10 million Europeans, it is not on the list of the 24 EU official languages.

Is Catalonia a multilingual society?

Catalonia is a proud and inclusive multicultural and multilingual society. More than 200 different languages are spoken on the streets of Catalonia, from Abron to Zapoteca. In its drive for multilingualism, the Catalan Government has recently rendered it necessary to demonstrate an intermediate level of English, French, German or Italian to get a university degree.

Did you know?

  • The Catalan version of Wikipedia was created right after the original English language site and it is currently 17th in the ranking of articles published per language. Furthermore, Catalan is the 8th most-used language on the internet and the first one to have its own internet domain: .cat.
  • Occitan is spoken in some regions of France and Italy but only enjoys an official status in Catalonia, in the Val d’Aran.
  • Barcelona is the world’s publishing capital for Spanish, being the city where most Spanish-language books are published.

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