Blog Article

Catalan for beginners

Catalan for beginners

Do you speak Catalan? If you are planning to move to Barcelona, better to have some basics of the official language of Catalonia. More than 9 million people speak this western romance language and, even though it may sound similar to Spanish, it is a language on its own.

When you decide to move abroad, one of the first things you need is communication. You’ll need to communicate in order to find a flat or a room, to find new friends, to know and understand a new culture. Many people underestimate the value of learning a new language, but, believe us, it will ease your life.

Imagine needing some information about the best neighbourhoods in Barcelona. The natives knows where you should look for your room, the best prices, the best-connected areas, etc. As some may not speak English, you need to manage at least some basics of their language in order to talk to them and collect this important info. Of course, some basics of Spanish are more than enough to do these simple tasks.

Nonetheless, as Barcelona treasures two amazing languages, it may be interesting to learn some phrases and basics of the beautiful Catalan language. A full immersion that you will enjoy for sure! That’s why we have created this short list of expressions that you’ll use for sure during your stay in Barcelona.

Let’s start with the greetings…

Hola! >>> Hi!

Bon dia! >>> Good morning!

Bona tarda! >>> Good evening!

Adèu! >>> Bye!

Fins aviat! >>> See you soon!

Que vagi bé! >>> Take care


… and some politeness expressions

Sisplau >>> Please

Moltes gràcies >>> Thank you very much

De res >>> you’re welcome

No es mereixen >>> It was nothing, really

Perdó >>> Excuse me

Ho sento >>> I’m sorry


When you meet some new friend…

Com et dius? >>> What’s your name?

Em dic___ >>> My name is ___

Jo sóc el/la ___ >>> I’m ___

Encantat/ Molt de gust! >>> Nice to meet you!

D’on ets? >>> Where are you from?

Sóc de ___ >>> I’m from ___

Vinc de ___ >>> I come from ___

Que parles català? >>> Do you speak Catalan?

Jae ns veurem >>> We’ll be in touch


… or when you meet an old acquaintance

Quant temps! >>> Long time, no see!

Com estàs? >>> How are you?

Estic molt bé, gràcies! I tu? >>> Very well, thank you! And you?

Què passa? >>> What’s up?

Som-hi! >>> Let’s go!

Bona sort >>> Good luck


When you ask for the time…

Quina hora és? >>> What time is it?

És la una de la nit >>> It’s 1.00 AM.

Són les cinc en punt >>> It’s five o’clock

Són tres quarts de quatre del vespre >>> It’s 3.45 PM.


… and when you don’t understand

No ho entenc >>> I don’t understand


To have a conversation…

Quin temps fa? >>> What’s the weather like?

Fa bo >>> It’s nice

Fa sol >>> It’s sunny

Hi ha boira >>> It’s foggy

Plou >>> It rains

Hi ha humitata >>> It’s humid


… to express your needs

Tenir fred >>> To be cold

Tenir calor >>> To be hot

Tenir gana >>> To be hungry

Tenir set >>> To be thirsty

Tenir son >>> To be sleepy

Tenir por>>> To be afraid


Those are just few of the several expressions you may need during your stay. However, this is a good start and if you manage to remember all these things, you’re in business! So, take note and start learning Catalan

Once you’ve memorized all these phrases, you’ll be able to speak with your Catalan flatmates and colleagues, isn’t that amazing? Small talks, but it is a beginning! Small tips to learn quicker and more:

  • When you look for a room, opt for a shared flat. You may meet native people and international, too: great chance to train the language and improve your skills.
  • Try to speak Catalan or Spanish as much as possible. Even though you can use English to communicate, make an effort and try to speak the local language: you’ll make the most of your experience abroad.

It’s time to practice… Fins aviat!