Parles Català? A Language Guide for Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and is the country’s largest tourist destination for city breaks. But, the first language of the locals is Catalan, as it is the capital city of the region of Catalonia. Catalan is therefore the language you will be most likely to hear when visiting.

Many people can get confused about which language to use when visiting Barcelona. Should they try the more widely spoken Spanish, or the more nuanced Catalan? Truthfully, you can learn and use either. Everyone educated in the Catalan school system learn Spanish, as well as English and French. However, the locals of Barcelona take pride in their cultural heritage, and so would very much appreciate anyone attempting to speak their language. Therefore, this language guide will help you with a few useful words and phrases in Catalan.


Hola! – Hi!

Bon dia – Good morning

Bona tarda – Good afternoon

Bon vespre – Good evening

Bona nit – Good night

Molt de gust – Nice to meet you

Perdoni – Pardon/Excuse me

Adéu – Goodbye  

Benvingut/Benvinguda – Welcome (m/f)

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Sí – Yes

No – No

Potser – Maybe

Com estàs? – How are you?

Molt bé, gràcies – Fine, thank you

Què passa? – How’s it going?

Sisplau – Please

Gràcies/Mercès – Thank you

De res – You’re welcome

Com et dius? – What is your name?

Em dic … – My name is …

Parla anglès? – Do you speak English?

No parlo (be) el català – I don’t speak Catalan

No ho entenc – I don’t understand

Parli més a poc a poc, sisplau – Speak more slowly, please

No sé – I don’t know

Avui – Today

Demà – Tomorrow

Ahir – Yesterday

On vius? – Where do you live?

Visc a … – I live in …

Around and about

On és el lavabo? – Where is the toilet?

On és el metro? – Where is the metro?

Quina hora és? – What time is it?

Em pots ajudar? – Can you help me?

Quant val, aixo? – How much is this?

Et puc fer una pregunta? – May I ask you a question?

Una taula sisplau – A table please

El Menú – The menu

M’agradaria … – I would like …

Copa de vi – Glass of wine

Vi negre – Red wine

Vi blanc – White wine

Un got d’aigua – A glass of water

Estava deliciós! – That was delicious!

El compte sisplau – The bill please

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