Catalan, despite what some people may think, is not just a dialect of Spanish. The Catalan language, however, is a Romance language, which means it evolved from Latin and shares its roots with languages like French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
It's commonly spoken by Catalans in Catalonia as well as in the Valencian Community (where the language is known as Valencian), the Balearic Islands, parts of southern France, and even in a city in the North of Sardinia.
While you can see from a lot of the words that the language is closely related to Spanish and French, the pronunciation is quite different.
As an official language in a lot of the aforementioned regions, people use the language all the time in their everyday lives and like it when people from abroad make the effort to speak their language, too.
Would you like to learn to speak Catalan?
Here’s how to get Catalan lessons.
Learning Catalan in Spain
To learn a foreign language, the best thing you can do is get lessons where the language is spoken.
By living in a foreign country, you can immerse yourself in the culture and language that the locals speak. You’ll have to speak your new language in class, in the morning, in the evening, and throughout the day!
For example, those who want to learn English will often go to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
By spending a few months in a foreign country, you can learn a lot of vocabulary just from speaking regularly with the locals.
Catalan is spoken in Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, and parts of France including the Pyrénées-Orientales region. There are Catalan speakers from the south-west of France to the south-east of Spain. It’s also spoken in the Italian city of Alghero in the north of Sardinia.
There are 9.23 million who speak Catalan as either their first or second language. The good news is that Catalan is a Romance language and is related to Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. It also uses the Latin Alphabet so you won’t have to learn a new writing system.
Sign up for language classes!
You can find Catalan language schools:
According to Intercat, a freely available platform for Catalan language resources, 75% of the population of Catalonia speaks a good level of Catalan. 90% of 15 to 29-year-olds speak the language at a good level.
The biggest cities in Catalonia include Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona, and Girona. These cities are great places to learn Catalan and also a great way to discover the Costa Dorada and Costa Brava.
Are you ready to live in Catalonia?
The Consorci de Normalització Lingüística organises language classes across Catalonia. These include beginners’ classes for foreigners.
You can also sign up to classes by level, choosing when you can attend them. The lessons tend to line up with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level. You can go from A1 level to C2 level.
One of the best ways to learn how to speak Catalan is by working in a Catalan business and living in a Catalan-speaking community. You’ll hear the language spoken every day and conjugating the verbs and learning the grammatical rules will become second nature to you.
Private Catalan Tutorials with Superprof
Can’t get to Spain?
You can always learn a foreign language from the comfort of your own home.
How else could you learn Catalan?
With a private tutor on Superprof, of course!
Whether you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, need intensive classes, or preparing for exams, our tutors are there for you. A quick search and you can find them. There are plenty of native Catalan speakers ready to help you learn their language. There are also plenty of different classes available, too.
You can choose your Catalan tutor according to your objectives and a wide range of criteria:
- The hourly rate
- The tutor’s experience
- The level being taught
- Your level
- The tutor’s level
Keep in mind that bigger cities tend to have more tutors available. However, the rates also tend to be higher. There are tutors originally from Catalonia as well as those who’ve learnt Catalan as a second language at school, college, or university. Rurally, there isn't often as many tutors. Smaller towns and cities also mightn’t have any Catalan tutors. That said, you don’t necessarily need a person to teach you how to speak Catalan.
Learning Catalan with an App
You can learn almost every other language with an app, why not Catalan?
Language learning apps have grown a lot in recent years.
In 2018, 205 billion apps were downloaded globally. This number is expected to grow to 258 billion by 2022. Language apps are included in this number.
Just search “Catalan” in the App Store or Google Play Store and you’ll find plenty of language learning apps. There are a lot of different language learning apps out there.
The biggest language learning app is Duolingo. This offers plenty of different lessons and activities. You can study vocabulary, learn grammar, or even practise speaking. You can earn points and the app encourages you to stay motivated.
Looking for other resources?
Here are 5 apps for learning Catalan:
- 50 languages
- Learn bots
- Vocabulary Trainer
- Lets Limited
- Learn Catalan
Surely, you’ll be able to find a few minutes a day to practise!
Websites for Learning Catalan
You can also find free Catalan lessons and courses on the web.
Here are a few sites to help you:
The free Catalan-language resources portal Intercat. Intercat is a database that allows you to learn Catalan and was developed by students in Catalan universities.
Parla.cat is another site for learning to speak Catalan. The site is available in English. There are 4 different levels: Basic, Elementary, Intermediate, and Sufficiency.
The site’s main content is free but if you want to benefit from a private tutor, though, you'll have to pay.
Voluntariat per la llengua
This site’s name translates to “Volunteer for Language”. This is a programme for those wanting to learn Catalan through conversation either online or face-to-face. It’s a great way to learn the language while making friends.
Essential Catalan Vocabulary
Here are some phrases to get you started in Catalan.
They could come in handy on your next holiday!
- Hello: Bon dia (morning) / Bona tarda (afternoon) / Bona nit (night)
- How are you? Com va tot? / Com va això? / Com estàs?
- Fine, and you?: Molt bé, i tu?
- What’s your name?: Com et dius?
- My name is [...]: Em dic [...]
- Nice to meet you: Molt de gust
- How much does it cost?: Quant costa?
- Please: Si us play
- Thank you very much: Moltes gràcies
- You’re welcome: De res
- Yes: Si
- No: no
- I don’t understand: No entenc
- Can you repeat that?: Pot repetir?
- I don’t know: No ho sé
- Excuse me: Perdó
- I’m sorry: Em sap greu
- Help!: Ajuda!
- I’m lost: M’he perdut
- The toilets: els banys
- See you soon: Fins aviat
- Goodbye: Adeu
If you've decided that you're going to learn Catalan, you can find a private tutor on Superprof today! Just search for it (or anything else you want to learn) and you'll be able to view the profiles of plenty of experienced and qualified tutors.
You can see how much they charge, read reviews left by their students, and get in touch with them to organise a private tutorial. A lot of the tutors on the platform also offer free tutoring for the first hour so try a few different ones out before deciding on which is best for you.
You must get along with your private tutor as you'll be spending a lot of time with them. After all, you can't learn to speak a language overnight and you'll have to regularly speak with your tutor so find someone you click with!
There are different types of tutorials available, too. While face-to-face tutorials are usually more expensive than online or group tutorials, they allow the tutor to tailor the whole class to you and every minute is spent ensuring that you're learning the language.
Group tutorials work out cheaper per student per hour, though, as every student is sharing a portion of the cost of the tutor's time. In these tutorials, however, your tutor will have several other students to worry about and can't spend every minute helping you.