La importancia de las lenguas

¿Sabíais que España tiene 4 lenguas cooficiales?:

  1. Castellano (or Español as we tend to call it) is the official language in 20 countries/territories. Castilian is the only official language in Spain. The other four listed below are co-official languages.
  2. Gallego– With 2.4 million speakers Gallego is spoken in the Galician community.
  3. Euskera– A language spoken in the Basque Country that is very unique to the other languages in Spain.
  4. Catalán– Catalán is spoken in Cataluyna/Cataluña.
  5. Aranés- A lesser known language that is spoken around the border between France and Spain.

Cuando llegué en España, I was really shocked to notice that little people were referring to the main language as Español, but instead were using the word Castellano. Me han dicho que the reason for this is because in Spain we have to recognise that there is not only one official language and that the word Español gives people the impression that there is only one language in Spain. Sin embargo, is you ever go to South America you will notice that they only use the word Español.

En mi opinión, Valencia ha sido un buen sitio para aprender el idioma. As it it not the capital nor the most visited spot in Spain, the public do not have the same requirement to speak English for tourist reasons like you would find in Madrid or Barcelona. This means that workers will be happy to let you practicar castellano con ellos and not interrupt to switch into English. Tenemos suerte que los nativos aquí tienen más paciencia y nos dejan hacer errors y mejorar.

My favourite spot in the region: Xativa.

I have found it to be a huge advantage being able to speak Spanish here. A lot of Brits believe that they can come to Spain and everyone will adjust to English for them, but all of my most positive experiences here have been when I pushed myself to speak Spanish and connect with a native in their mother tongue. Una vez, I got a discount on my meal for speaking Spanish,

My favourite experience in learning the language here was the time I had to get my trousers sewed back up. I was so nervous as the vocabulary was a little out of my speciality and I remember rehearsing my lines 10 times as I walked to the shop. ‘¿Sería posible coser mis pantalones aquí?‘ ‘Claro que sí’, she responded as she laughed. ‘Es una tienda de costura.‘ I then got to speak with the lovely lady for 15 minutes as she fixed my trousers and she was very kind in letting me practice my Spanish with her. Now, I will never forget that coser means to sew.

The beloved sewing shop

As for my Valencian, no os voy a mentir I have learned very little in terms of the active language (speaking and writing) but I have noticed a huge improvement in my passive language ability (reading and listening). Cuando voy a la Mercadona, intento decir unas palabras en Valenciano a los cajeros, but it is often limited to gracias (gràcies) and adiós (adéu). I spent a lot of time confused about the Valencian language as depending on who I spoke to, they would tell me it is either a dialect or a language. I hope no native Valencian speaker reads this blog post as I can confirm it is a dialect of Catalan.

Os dejaré with some niche but useful phrases for when you live in Spain. Can you guess what they mean?:

Con tarjeta porfa.

¿Es posible hacer una copia de estas 3 llaves?

No, ¡ya está!

¿Tiene alguna cita a las 10 de la mañana el lunes?

¡Que tengas un buen día!

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