If you decided to spend a season in Catalonia, the first recommendation would be to inquire a little knowledge about their culture and especially about their language, because it will help you adapt better and learn another language.
It’s important to know that Catalan culture is different from the Spanish one, they clearly share traditions and gastronomy but it is its diversity that makes Catalonia more interesting, and in that aspect its language, Catalan, stands out.
Catalans feel a great love for their history, and they prefer to use and defend the Catalan language, which for them is the mother tongue, in order to keep the language alive as well as their customs and their legacy.
Where the Catalan language comes from
The Catalan language is a Romance language that comes from the Latin spoken by the ancient Romans and that was influenced by other languages such as Ibero-Basque and the Arabic and Germanic languages.
It was born between the 8th and 9th centuries, but the first texts written in Catalan are documented from the 12th century. These texts were part of books on laws, such as Llibre jutge, or on religious matters, such as the Homilies d’Organyà.
It was in the 13th century that Ramón Llull, a prestigious Mallorcan writer, philosopher, mystic and theologian, uses Catalan in literary prose as an instrument of communication and a useful tool in cultural expression.
Thanks to him, the Catalan achieved recognition, and later it becomes the official language of the Crown of Catalonia and Aragon, which favored it to spread to other countries and give fame to literature written in this language.
Some information of the Catalan language.
- In Andorra, France, Italy, the Balearic Islands, most of the Valencian Community, the eastern part of Aragon and a small Region of Murcia you can also find communities that speak in Catalan.
- During the Franco dictatorship, the persecution of Catalan was so intense that the publication of books, newspapers, telegrams and even telephone conversations in Catalan was forbidden.
- The Catalan language survived thanks to the family transmission and because of the many Catalan writers who wrote great works in this language, from exile during the dictatorship.
- It’s the 75th most spoken language in the world, and according to UNESCO, it is the tenth most translated language in the world.
- The Catalan language has a recognized linguistic influence and its resources and studies on grammar, lexicography, etymology, dialectology, terminology, language history and onomastics are comparable to those of the major languages.
Reasons to learn the Catalan language.
Before going to any new region with a different culture and language, it is best to always learn at least the basics, but if you decide to learn more about Catalan, you will have some benefits:
- You’ll have a better communication with new friends and neighbors, speaking Catalan will make you easily integrate with people from the community.
- It will give you more job opportunities, since in some companies in the region it is an indispensable requirement.
- Greater learning resources, in Catalan universities the two official languages are used and they expect the student to manage both perfectly.
- It will facilitate you day to day, since you will feel part of its culture, you will be able to read the newspapers or books written in Catalan, listen to the radio stations in Catalan without problems, as well as the television programs, among other things.
And if you decide to stay and establish a home in this interesting and beautiful community, you’re also going to be part of the beautiful tradition of keeping this language active.
The Catalan experience is also lived in their language
There has even been a bit of controversy surrounding the use of the Catalan language, but the truth is that the society of Catalonia is not exclusive and they speak both their own language and Spanish, in addition to saying that you will find a good number of people who understand well English and many other languages.
Catalonia is synonymous with multicultural, especially if we refer to its capital Barcelona, cosmopolitan and charming as the most famous cities in the world, and if you have the opportunity to share with the locals, you will know that Catalan is nothing but diversity.
And the Catalans love their language as a form of their own expression, of identity and of which they are very proud, since it is part of the non material wealth that makes them unique. The only remaining question you should ask yourself is: When will I be joining this cultural festival?