Knowing the neighborhood language is a vast advantage as soon as relocating abroad. Return many human being speak English in Barcelona and even if you deserve to speak Spanish reasonably well, you’ll certainly want to include these Catalan words and also phrases to her vocabulary to really impress the locals in Barcelona.

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Catalans view their culture, your heritage and also especially their language, as entirely distinct to the of the rest of Spain. Here room some crucial Catalan words and also phrases the will help you in your day-to-day life in Barcelona.


In Barcelona, 98% the the population speaks Castilian Spanish (Castellano). Around 50-60% of Barcelona’s total population speaks Catalàn. 

As the an ar of Catalonia has two official languages, you’ll discover that signs and also other essential public information are always noted in both languages.


1. Hola/Bon Dia (Hello)

The official greeting in Catalan is ‘Bon dia’. If friend can’t fairly remember the phrase, a basic ‘Hola’ is the best means to greet world in Barcelona.


2. Adéu (Goodbye)

In Barcelona, that doesn’t issue whether people are speak Spanish (Castellano) or Catalan because when it comes to saying goodbye, it"s the share to speak "adéu".


3. Merci/Gràcies/Gracias (Thank you)

Catalan human being have embraced the French indigenous "merci" to say thanks. If this French word no appeal come you, there are various other words that can be used for thanking people in Barcelona, for example "gràcies" in Catalan and also "gracias" in Spanish!


4. Menú del día

In Spain, the "menú del día" (menu that the day) is readily available at restaurants throughout the midday meal (la comida). Enjoying the menú del día is the most economical means to eat in Spain as you deserve to usually get a three course meal in between €10-15.


5. Una caña

One expression you will hear regularly when life in Spain is "una caña". This describes a tiny draft beer—usually around 200 ml. One reason for that popularity, is the the smaller size way the beer stays cooler in the summer.


6. Cava vs. Champagne

Cava is the sparkling alcohol of Spain, many notably, of the state of Catalonia. That is quickly making a name for itself together a major rival to the world famous French Champagne. Cava is also really much an daily drink and also most restaurants and also bars will serve the by the glass (copa de cava).


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7. La Mercè

Every year in ~ the finish of September, Barcelona hold its largest street party (La Mercè Festival). The festival lasts for about 5 days, through thousands of people taking to the roads of Barcelona to see the events, parades and fire runs (Correfoc).


8. Castellers

The tradition of building human towers in Catalonia, an ext commonly recognized as "Castellers", has existed for over 200 years. The Castellers do their tower building during the key parts of bigger festivals, such together La Mercè.


9. Calçotada

Calçotadas are classic Catalan barbecues take location from January to April. No calçotada is finish without the common sweet, grilled feather onions well-known as ‘calçots’.


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10. Generalitat de Catalunya

The Generalitat (Government that Catalonia) is the mechanism that is responsible for organising Catalonia"s self-government. Everything concerning information, procedures and services in Catalonia deserve to be discovered on their website


11. Mossos d"Esquadra & Guàrdia Urbana vs. Policía Nacional & Guardia Civil

The Mossos d"Esquadra are the official police force of Catalonia. Castle combat crime and also terrorism, and also also help to keep order throughout demonstrations and protests in Barcelona.The Guàrdia Urbana are the municipal police pressure for the city of Barcelona. Castle supervise the everyday life the the citizens, ensuring their safety and also general well-being. They also regulate traffic and also issue fines if necessary.The Policía Nacional is the official nationwide police force of the Spanish Government. They take care of criminal investigation, judicial, terrorism and also immigration matters. The Guardia Civil the armed forces police pressure of the Spanish Government. They monitor borders, airports, roads, the coastline and other essential places, objects or persons.


12. La Agencia Tributaria

The Agencia Tributaria (Tax Agency), is the revenue company of Spain and also is responsible because that the reliable application that the national tax and customs systems.


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13. La Senyera & L"Estelada

As girlfriend walk about Barcelona, you"ll watch three different Catalan flags hanging from balconies and also official buildings:La Senyera - 4 red stripes ~ above a yellow background.L"Estelada - an added white star top top a blue background.L"Estelada (Vermella) - an added red star.

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La Senyera is the official flag the Catalonia, Aragón, the Balearic Islands and Valencia. L"Estelada is an unofficialize flag and also is generally waved by supporters of Catalonia"s independence from Spain. The difference between the two varieties of L"Estelada is your political stance, L"Estelada was adopted by Nationalists and L"Estelada Vermella was embraced by leftist groups to symbolise a socialist freedom movement of all Catalan-speaking areas.


14. Barcelona, Barna, BCN, Barça, Barca

The typical abbreviation because that Barcelona by locals is "Barna". Another common abbreviation is "BCN", i beg your pardon is additionally the airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport.The abbreviation "Barça" uses only to the football team (FC Barcelona). The hatchet "Barca" actually way "a little boat" in Spanish.


One final word you might see or hear a lot as an expat in Spain is the word ‘Guiri’. This is a colloquial Spanish word offered to describe foreign tourists, specifically from countries in Northern and also Western Europe.