So I’ve been learning Spanish for roughly two months now, as I’m preparing to travel to Spain for the summer to get some real practice. Though, I can’t help thinking that I might come across some people who speak Catalan as well. My question is, should I just stick to Spanish or would I actually need to learn some Catalan before I go? I’ll be going to either Seville or somewhere near Barcelona. Haven’t decided yet.
If you have only learnt Spanish for two months (even if you have studied a lot, hour wise), I’d say that there is a risk that your Spanish and Catalan might become mixed up in the short term.
If you go to Barcelona, I’d say you do fine getting by with Spanish. Barcelona is a multicultural city both on a global scale and people from all over Spain do settle in Barcelona. I believe that support for independence in Barcelona is something like 50-50 by which I mean that Spanish is spoken in Barcelona.
People might be less inclined to speak Spanish in the rural countryside but I doubt anyone would complain about a tourist speaking Spanish.
Honestly, there are parts of Catalonia where you’ll have problems getting to speak Catalan. You definitely will be fine just using Spanish, in my experience.
Yup. Good to go with Spanish.
I had no problems with my poor Spanish in Barcelona but in Lloret de Mar 90 km from Barcelona I thought I’ve lost my ability to understand Spanish. They could understand me but I was not able to catch any word. Because they responded in Catalan
While speaking Spanish in Catalonia will certainly get you by, it still all depends on your interests. If your goal is solely functionality, Spanish will be sufficient even in Catalonia. However, if you want to really connect with catalonian people and build relationships with them, Catalan will be extremely useful, because it shows them you’ve done something you didn’t have to, and they really really appreciate that. I’m speaking from experience. Depends on your desires.
I am Spanish, I travel frequently to Catalonia, and can guarantee you you will be perfectly understood in Spanish, and specially as a foreigner, you will not expected at all to speak Catalan. However, in many/most places you will find things are only written in Catalan, and maybe English, but no Spanish.
Catalan is a beautiful language, and if you want to get a feel of it, the Catalonian tv has a great website full of interesting content, most of it with subtitles. Watching series there is how I have learned the Catalan I know:
The Catalan government also has a free website for learning the language, called parla cat.
This thread might come in handy.