Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, proudly displays its colours and language!
Almost immediately after the commemoration of the Diada de Catalunya (11/09), which celebrates the spirit of resistance of the Catalan people, we are again plunged into the culture of this proud region thanks to the approaching festival La Mercè. This event is a celebration of the city’s patron and protective Saint Mercè, so if you happen to be in Barcelona when it takes place, why not get into the spirit of things and try to immerse yourself as best you can. The Catalan people appreciate it when tourists make an effort to speak the language and you’ll find out that a simple ‘thank you’ (pronounced ‘merrçi’) will cost you little effort but will go a long way.
Here’s a basic guide to the Catalan language which, in reflection of the region’s geographical location, sounds like a combination of Spanish and French.
Contrary to what is often thought, Catalan is a language rather than a dialect and is often difficult to decipher. Street signs and advertisements around the city all use Catalan in their message (for example, using the Catalan word ‘carrer’ for street instead of the Spanish ‘calle’) and the language is at the heart of almost everything within society: schools, churches and doctors all communicate principally in Catalan. Even university lectures, containing foreign ERASMUS students, are taught in Catalan.
Here is a list of useful and commonly used words for the different situations you may encounter whilst in Barcelona. Everything from social situations, to food, to accommodation:
- Yes – Sí
- No – No
- Excuse-me – Disculpi
- Please – Si us plau
- Thank you – Merci or Gràcies
- You are welcome – De res
- I don’t understand – No entenc
- How many does it cost – Quant costa?
- What time is it? – Quina hora és?
- Where is it?- On és?
- How can I get to …? – Com puc anar a …?
- Where is the bus? – On estan els autobusos
- Where is the beach? – On és la platja?
- Can I pay with credit card? – Puc pagar amb targeta de crèdit?
- Where can I get some cash? – On puc treure diners?
- I’ve lost all my papers – He perdut els meus documents
- Where is the police station? – On és la comissaria?
- Where are the toilets? – On és el bany?
- Help! – Ajuda! or Socors!
- Hello – Bon dia
- How are you ? – Com estàs?
- Good, and you ? – Bé, i tu?
- What’s your name ? – Com et dius?
- My name is … – Em Dic …
- Nice to meet you ! – Encantat!
- See you soon – Fins aviat
- I don’t speak Catalan – No parlo català
- Good afternoon – Bona tarda
- My number is – El meu número és
- I live in … – Visc a …
- Goodbye – Adéu
- Breakfast – Esmorzar
- Lunch – Dinar
- Dinner – Sopar
- Table – Taula
- A table for two please – Una taula per a dos, si us plau ?
- Chicken – Pollastre
- Fish – Peix
- Ham – Pernil
- Sausage – Salsitxa
- Cheese – Formatge
- Salad – Amanida
- Bread – Pa
- Eggs – Ous
- Pasta – Pasta
- Rice – Arròs
- Beans – Mongetes
- Juice – Suc
- Water – Aigua
- Hotel – Hotel
- Apartment – Apartament
- Youth hostel – Alberg juvenil
- Pension – Pensió
- Do you have a room for tonight? – Té una habitació per aquesta nit?
- There is no towel in my room – No hi ha cap tovallola a l’habitació
- Can I keep the keys? – Puc quedar-me les claus?
- Do you have a safe? – Té una caixa forta?
- Can you call me a taxi? – Pot trucar un taxi per mi?