A language of Spain

Alternate Names
Català, Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Catalonian, Catalán

6,890,000 in Spain (2010). Population total all countries: 7,220,420.


Northeast, Barcelona area; Catalonia, Valencia provinces, Balearic Islands; Carche region, Murcia Province. Also in Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Valencia AC (1982, Autonomy Act, No. 9/1982, Article 7), Valencian in local laws. Statutory provincial language in Catalonia AC (1979, Autonomy Act, No. 4/1979, Article 3(2,5)).


Algherese, Balearic (Balear, Eivissenc, Insular Catalan, Mallorqui, Menorqui, Menorquin), Catalan-Rousillonese (Northern Catalan), Central Catalan, Northwestern Catalan (Aiguavivan, Lleidatà, Pallarese, Ribagorçan), Valencian (Valencià, Valenciano). Standardized variety is a literary composite of several dialects and written form is most similar to Barcelona speech. Pallarese and Ribogorçan dialects less similar to standard Catalan. Benasquese and Aiguavivan people live in isolated valleys and have distinct phonology from their neighbors. Tortosin may be more similar to Valencian. Central Catalan has 90% to 95% inherent intelligibility for speakers of Valencian (1989 R. Hall, Jr.). Lexical similarity: 87% with Italian [ita], 85% with Portuguese [por] and Spanish [spa], 76% with Ladin [lld], 75% with Sardinian [src], 73% with Romanian [ron].

Language Use

5,000,000 L2 speakers (1994 La Generalitat de Catalunya). All domains. All ages. Also use Spanish [spa], French [fra], Italian [ita], Logudorese Sardinian [src] or Occitan [oci].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%. Literacy rate in L2: 96%. High literacy in Catalan (60%) is recent. Pallarese and Ribogorçan speakers have less education, less contact with the standard, and live in high valleys of the Pyrenees. Some Valencian desire separate literature. Radio programs. TV. Grammar. Bible: 1478–1993.
Latin script.
Other Comments


Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All