If you’re wondering what language is spoken in Barcelona, the answer is Spanish. Learning the local language not only gives you the added edge while you’re taking your break, but it also give you the upper hand for future trips away: Spanish is also spoken in a range of other countries, including Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, and most of central and south America. In total, Spanish is estimated to be the native language of around 332 million people worldwide. Try speaking Spanish in Barcelona, even if it’s just ‘hello’ or ‘please’, means you can enjoy a greater sense of freedom while away on your holidays.
Spanish began its life as a language created between the Celts and the Iberians, somewhere back in the 6th century. Fast forward a few hundred years, the part of Europe they inhabited fell under Roman rule and was renamed Hispania. At this point, the ‘Celtiberians’ started to pick up the Latin used by the invading force. Using a mixture of their own tongue and Latin, the Celtiberians gave birth to a language, known as Vulgar Latin. In future centuries, Hispania was conquered by the Moors and the Christians, each of whom influenced the language to some degree. The language in Barcelona is the modern-day descendant of that fusion of languages and cultures.
With its roots in Roman, modern Spanish is relatively simple to learn but, unless you’re booking a year in advance and prepared to attend regular classes, becoming fluent in time for your next city break isn’t likely. However, it’s not important to be fluent in the Barcelona language; all you need are a few choice phrases. In addition to helping you out, they’ll also show the locals that you’re willing to have a go, which can create a good first impression.
While some of the locals might have a loose grip of English, it’s far better to try and learn a little Spanish. In addition to allowing you to be able to get to grips with daily tasks, such as ordering food, asking for the bill or even asking where the toilet is, knowing a little of the lingo can help create genuine connections between people. Part of the fun of going on holiday is to meet and make new friends; while you might not sound like a native, knowing a few phrases helps to break the ice and get the conversation started.
Learning the language in Barcelona doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common and useful phrases that people use on their holidays and translated them for you. On top of that, we’ve even included some sound files, to help you with their pronunciation. Simply click on the ‘play’ icon and you’ll hear just how they should be said. A few minutes a day should be enough to commit the most important to memory, allowing you to make the most of your getaway to this beautiful and friendly city. Buena serte.