Why Learn Catalan When You Visit Barcelona

Are you planning a trip to Barcelona? Then prepare your trip by studying some survival Spanish to help you interact with the locals a bit better. But don’t just learn Spanish as you will be surprised to find out that lots of the signs, posters, ads and all things written around don’t look quite like the Spanish. They use a language called Catalan. You’ll see it all over the place during your stay in Barcelona so it helps when you learn Catalan.

Barcelona, Spain

Is Catalan different from Spanish?

Catalan is different from Spanish. It is a Romance language which evolved from Latin, just as Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese, to name a few. Catalan is a language spoken in Catalonia, Andorra, and some parts of France and Italy. Interestingly, a Spanish speaker cannot understand Catalan. Most Catalan speakers understand Spanish because they learned it from school. Interestingly, Catalan is mutually incomprehensible for Spanish speakers who have not studied the language.

If you’re there for a short trip, then you probably don’t need to learn the language. However, if you’re staying there a bit longer, like an academic year or more, then learning Catalan can be helpful. While it is not rude to speak Spanish in Barcelona, trying to engage in Catalan to Catalan speakers will be highly appreciated.

Learning Catalan will help you bond and fit in better with the locals. So if you are staying in Barcelona for a long period, learning the language will get you closer to the culture and make the most out of your experience.