A Short List of Essential Catalan Phrases To Know

03 January 2024
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: Moosa Moseneke

So, the official language of Spain is Spanish. Or Castilian Spanish, to be more specific. And by learning that, you’d immediately know that in general Spanish is spoken all over Spain. However, the country of Spain is so vast that Spanish isn’t the only language spoken here.

For example, in Barcelona, people here speak both Spanish and Catalan (btw Catalan is a language NOT a dialect of Spanish). That’s because Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia. And in Catalonia, Catalan is a very common language to use, as it is actually one of its two official languages (as you’ve guessed it, Spanish and Catalan are its two official languages).

If you happen to traverse the Barcelona streets on the way to a football match, you’ll notice signs and street names and other things in Catalan. Or if you happen to stroll along the cobblestone streets of Valencia, you’ll hear Catalan around you. Furthermore, you’ll notice and hear Catalan in more communities all over Catalonia and Valencia, the Balearic islands, the small European country of Andorra, the French village Roussillon, even down to the small Sardinian city called Alghero.

Yeah, Catalan is a special language and some might even say that it has more similarities to French than Spanish. And, again, it would be very incorrect to call it a dialect of Spanish, even if it is used in the Catalonia region of Spain. Catalan is a language, a language that appeared between the 8th and 10th centuries. Catalan is an old language that you should know about.

  • good morning: bon dia (bon dee-yah)
  • good afternoon: bona tarda (bo-na tar-da)
  • good night: bona nit (good night)
  • hello: hola (oh-la)
  • goodbye: adéu (ah-dyo)
  • bon appétit: bon profit (bon pro-feet)
  • please: si us plau (si oos plow), per favor (per fah-vor)
  • thank you: merci (mer-si)
  • thanks: gracies (gra-syes)
  • you're welcome: de res (de res)
  • do you speak english: parles anglès (par-les ang-gles)
  • I’m sorry: perdó (per-doh)
  • how are you: com estàs (kom es-tas)
  • good, thanks: molt bé, gràcies (mol beh gra-syes)