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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:

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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:

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.

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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.

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Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

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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.

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