Catalan Language Facts
If you’re thinking about learning Catalan it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Catalan language facts:
5 Interesting Catalan Language Facts
1. Catalan is a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin
Widely used across the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages, Catalan declined when Spain was unified in 1479 onward. Catalan saw a revival in the 19th century, before being banned during most of the 20th century by the Francoist dictatorship.
2. Catalan is spoken by an estimated 9 million people
Catalan is mainly spoken in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community, and in the French department of the Pyrenees-Orientales. Catalan is an official language in Andorra, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community and a co-official language in the Italian city of Alghero in Sardinia.
3. Catalan has been banned and repressed several times during its long history
Catalan was banned for the first time in 1714 after the Catalans’ defeat in the War of Spanish Succession. The Spanish language was used as a tool to unify Spain and the use of Catalan declined as a result. After the renaixena movement which saw the revival of Catalan in the 19th century, Catalan was banned once again in the 20th century. From 1940 to 1978, Catalan was strictly banned by Franco. Despite this, Catalan managed to survive and is today spoken by over 9 million people.
4. Catalan has six dialects, from East to West
Catalan has the following dialects:
- Alguerese, spoken in Alghero;
- Balearic, spoken in the Balearic Islands;
- Rousellonese, spoken in Roussillon, a region in southern France;
- Central Catalan, spoken mainly in Barcelona, Tarragona and Girona;
- Northwestern Catalan, spoken in Lleida, in parts of Tarragona and La Franja;
- Valencian, spoken in Valencia.
5. Catalan shares similarities with other languages
Catalan is a Gallo-Romance and is very similar to Occitan. It has more in common with French and Italian than with Spanish.
How to book with Cactus
Simply select which language you would like to learn and from the box below and click lets go.
Take level test
This is a quick test to help you find the right course for your current level of knowledge.
Book your course
Use our simple online booking system to select your course.
Frequently asked questions
What will I learn?
Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.
How do I know what level I am?
Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.
Do I receive a qualification or certificate?
At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)
Do I need a course book?
You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.
Still have questions?
Sign up for our offers
Exclusive discounts on your course with Cactus directly on your inbox!