How To Guides
- Childbirth & Education
- Legal Formalities
- Pensions & Benefits
- Property & Accommodation
Did you know...?
...you can learn Spanish at a variety of locations in the UK aswell as on residential and day courses in Spain?
Regardless of your standard, and whatever level you wish to reach Cactus Language has a program to suit your needs!
- For Whom the Road Tolls
- Spanish Tourism Stats Confusion
- Mixed Reaction to ECB Rate Cut
- Join us on the Costa del Sol to discuss your Spanish IHT requirements
- Wincham announce opening of Marbella office
- Unauthorised Financial Advisers in Spain : UPDATE
- Community Insurance in Spain
- Caldendar Girls
- Own a Property in Spain ? Then you need to read the following
- EU Summit Eagerly Anticipated
- Travel Money Made Easy !
- Considerations when Insuring your Boat in Spain
- QROPS – HMRC Introduces changes that create havoc in the market place
- QROPS – All Change From April 2012
What is 'Catalan', and where is it spoken ?
As most people now know, there are two official languages in Catalunya: Spanish (or Castilian, known locally as castellano) and Catalan...
Catalan isn’t a dialect of Spanish, it is a separate language which in many respects is as close to French as it is to Spanish. The Catalan government has spent a lot of money trying to increase the number of people who speak Catalan. Not surprisingly, some students have written to us asking whether Catalan could interfere with their Spanish studies. The answer is generally “no”.
Our centres in Barcelona teach Spanish, not Catalan and our host families will also speak Spanish (not Catalan) to them. Students may overhear some conversations in Catalan, but they are equally likely to overhear conversations in English, French, Arabic or Italian - Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city!
According to a recent survey, over 67% of the people in Barcelona consider Spanish to be their first language. In small towns and villages Catalan is more widely spoken but in Barcelona, because of a long history of immigration from other parts of Spain, the dominant language is very definitely Spanish. Five of the seven television channels currently available broadcast in Spanish, and all the leading newspapers - including those published in Barcelona - are also written in Spanish. What’s more, everyone in Barcelona automatically uses Spanish to speak to foreign students as they don’t expect them to know any Catalan, so there is very little danger of students being asked to understand anything other than Spanish while they are here.
The only issue is that many signs (including street signs and many shop fronts and the occasional menu) are written in Catalan (most menus and advertisements are in Spanish or are bilingual) and students may find this confusing. Reading signs is a valuable part of the learning process (especially for beginners and elementary students) , and those with an intermediate level or above will tend to be able to distinguish between Spanish and Catalan signs. Those with a lower level, though, should be aware that, in this area and only in this area, they will be slightly disadvantaged when comparing Barcelona with other destinations.
Finally, it is also worth bearing in mind that all Catalans are totally bilingual and that they speak Spanish without any noticeable accent. So what the Spanish students will hear in Barcelona is in fact much closer to normal or “correct” Castilian Spanish than the Spanish they would hear in some other regions of Spain where Spanish is often spoken with a very strong regional accent.
Comment on this Blog
More Blogs By Sarah Gooding
- Why Visit Pamplona ?
- Visit San Sebastian this November and feast on the delights of Gastronokima
- Halloween vocabulary in Spanish
- Spanish in Pamplona
- Who takes foreign language courses abroad?
- Our most popular FAQ's about learning Spanish
- 10 great contemporary films to help you learn Spanish
- Easter in all its glory: Semana Santa in Seville
- Our Top 5 Language & Activity Courses in Spain
- The Different Types Of Language Courses Explained
- Au pairs in Spain
- Benefits in Spain and 'La Ley de Dependencia'
- Registration of a Child Born in Spain in the UK
- Registering your child for state education in Spain
- Registration of a Birth with the Spanish Authorities
- Claiming Child Benefits
- Applying for a Student Visa
- How to Apply for Free State Healthcare in Spain
- Having A Baby in Spain
- Further Education in Spain
- Homeschooling in Spain
- Cosmetic Surgery in Spain
Blogs From Cactus Worldwide Ltd
- Top 10 FREE Things to do in Sevilla
- 5 Great Reasons to Visit Granada
- Our Best Value Spanish Language Courses
- 10 reasons to study Spanish in Murcia
- Visit Valencia this July
- 10 Spanish Words that defy the gender rule
- Top 10 FREE Things to do in Malaga
- Las Fallas: not your average fireworks display
- The Variations Of Spanish in the World
- How The Spanish Celebrate Christmas
- Study Spanish in Almeria
- TEFL - Tap Into Teaching English In Spain
- Top 10 things to do in Madrid
- Launch of specialist DELE exam preparation evening course
- Why not take a GCSE or A Level revision course in the sun this October?
- Top 10 Things To Do In Alicante
- 10 reasons to choose 1 to 1 language training
- The language plateau: how to reach the peak of your knowledge
- Top 6 beach locations for learning Spanish
- Learn Spanish in Marbella this June and discover the history behind the glamour