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The Languages You Should Expect In Spain
By Scott Graves at 2013-02-12 01:31:38
It is not surprising that the language that is universal and official in Spain is actually Spanish. It is however not as easy as that because the language question in Spain is a little controversial. Spanish belongs to a class of languages called Romance. Others in the group include Romanian, French, Catalan, Portuguese, Occitan, Italian, French as well as Galician. Spanish is a major branch in the family. People who live outside Castile call Spanish Castilian.
In different parts of Spain, there are other languages that are spoken including Asturaian, Catalan, Galician and Basque among others. In respective regions, you may find that the languages are quite dominant and some are actually legalized within the country’s constitution as being official languages. Galician, Basque and Catalan are recognized official languages in the constitution.
The Basque language has its origins quite debated but all other languages spoken on the Iberian Peninsula belong to the romance family. For a person who knows Castilian, it is very easy to pick the other languages. To be in a better position when you are travelling in Spain, get to learn some words of local languages as well as Spanish so as to be able to get along with the locals easily. Spaniards really appreciate any foreigner who is interested in their language and you will be very endeared to them if you make an effort.
Catalan is very distinct and is very familiar to Castilian. It is however close to the Oc branch in the romance languages. When you listen to Catalan, you may think it is a cross of French and Castilian but it is a language in its own right. It is spoken mostly in the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Catalonia.
Galician is close to Portuguese. It is spoken mainly in Asturias and Galicia. For Galicians, the official language is Spanish. Asturiano on the other hand is spoken in Asturias and has a semi official status. It is also spoken in Leon and Salamanca. It is however not recognized by the constitution as an official language.
Aragonese is yet another popular language spoken north of Aragon. It is not an official language and is a close relative of Catalan. The language is used vigorously in the Pyrenees villages while some people mix it with Castilian.
Aranese is an official language recognized in Catolina but not Spain. It is spoken in Aram valley along with Castilian and Catalan. It is related to languages such as Catalan, languedc as well as Limousin.
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