|Spoken by:||9.1 million|
|Spoken in:||In Spain:
the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Valencia, Aragon (in La Franja), Murcia (in Carxe).
Catalan (/ˈkætəlæn, -ən, ˌkætəˈlæn/; autonym: català) is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin and named after the medieval Principality of Catalonia, in northeastern modern Spain. It is the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia (where the language is known as Valencian). It also has semi-official status in the Italian commune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, in some villages of Region of Murcia called Carche and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These territories are often called Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".
Catalan evolved from Vulgar Latin in the Middle Ages around the eastern Pyrenees. 19th-century Spain saw a Catalan literary revival, culminating in the early 1900s.
Catalan has five orthographic vowels: a, e, i, o, u. These correspond to seven vowel phonemes: /a, e, ɛ, i, o, ɔ, u/ and eight allophones: [a, e, ɛ, i, o, ɔ, u, ə].
a is pronounced [a] in stressed syllables, [ə] in unstressed syllables.
e is pronounced [e] or [ɛ] in stressed syllables. When the e is unaccented, there is no rule for telling which one it is, but é is always [e] and è is always [ɛ]. In unstressed syllables, it is pronounced [ə].
i is always pronounced [i].
o is pronounced [o] or [ɔ] is stressed syllables. When the o is unaccented, there is no rule for telling which one it is, but ó is always [o] and ò is always [ɔ]. In unstressed syllables, it is pronounced [u].
u is always pronounced [u].
Catalan uses the Roman alphabet: a (à), b, c, ç, d, e (è, é), f, g, h, i (í), j, k, l, m, n, o (ò, ó), p, q, r, s, t, u (ú), v, w, x, y, z
In addition, the following digraphs are used:
ll: a voiced palatal lateral in most dialects
l·l: /l:/, although many pronounce simply /l/
rr: /r/ (the sound that occurs when rolling your tongue)
ss: always /s/, never /z/
ny: like Spanish ñ, or in English "canyon"
tx: like 'ch' in Spanish
ix: like 'sh' in English
ig: like 'ch' in English
qu: before e, i it's /k/, elsewhere it's /kw/
gu: before e, i pronounced /g/, elsewhere /gw/
In most dialects, 'b' and 'v' have merged to /b/.
'c' is pronounced /s/ before 'e' and 'i', /k/ elsewhere.
'g' is pronounced like in English "triage" before 'e' and 'i', /g/ elsewhere.
'h' is not pronounced in native words.
'j' is pronounced like the 'g' in English "triage".
's' is voiced to /z/ between vowels.
Common difficulties Edit
Like other Romance languages, Catalan makes active use of the subjunctive mood.
There are two verbs for 'to be': 'ser' and 'estar' (although they are not necessarily used in the same way as Spanish 'ser' and 'estar).
Most of the grammar will be familiar for those who speak Spanish, but there is a notable exception: the weak pronouns 'en', 'hi' and 'ho'.
Basic Phrases Edit
Good morning--Bon dia
Good afternoon--Bona tarda
Good evening--Bona vespre
Good night--Bona nit
You're welcome--De res
What's you're name?--Com et dius?
Pleased to meet you--Encantat/Encantada
Complete Catalan with Two Audio CDs: A Teach Yourself Guide (English based) - available from Amazon and other retailers
Digui, digui (Catalan based) - television show as listed on IMDB.com
Parla.cat (Official Course, Multi-Language based)