Difference Between Catalan and Spanish

What is Catalan?

Catalan is a Western Romance language. It is separate from the Spanish language. It differs entirely from Spanish despite some similarities in vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.

The official language of Andorra is Catalan and is spoken in Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, the French Pyrenees, and the island of Sardinia, Italy, etc.

The Catalan-speaking territories are known as the Pa├»sos Catalans or “Catalan Countries.” Catalan is a widely spoken language in different parts of Spain and abroad, and approximately 10 million peoples speak this language.

The origin of the Catalan language is from the northern region of Catalonia between the 8th-10th century. It is spread over the rest of Catalonia’s Valencian country 12th to 13th centuries.

Catalan spreads astonishingly to the literary world, arts, and politics but begins to decline rapidly for various reasons. The Catalan declines rapidly due to the decay of its literature and the political instability of Spain.

What is Spanish?

Spanish is also a Western Romance language. It is spoken by half a billion people, mainly in America and Spain. Spanish is the second most spoken language globally after mandarin Chinese and the fourth most spoken language after English.

Additionally, Spanish is among the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is used in European Union, America, and many international organizations. It is the third language used online after Chinese and English websites.

Besides this, about 75% of Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin, while the rest is borrowed from Ancient Greek. Spanish is among the most taught foreign languages globally after English and French.

It is the most prominent language of Mexico for the native speaker. Spanish is the official language of 20 countries. The Spanish language evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia in the 5th century after the dispersal or collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Pieces of evidence of the Spanish language are found in the Latin texts of the Spanish language in the 9th century. Spanish colonialism introduced it in America and overseas countries in the early modern period.

Difference Between Catalan and Spanish

We have discussed in detail that Catalan and Spanish are distinct languages. Spanish is the official language of Spain, while Catalan is the official language of the small country of Andorra.

Spanish and Catalan are part of western romance languages based on Latin. Spanish is a mixture of Latin and Greek languages and is part of the Iberio-Romance family. In contrast, Catalan is part of an Occitan romance with Occitan, a southern French language.

However, the difference between Catalan and Spanish is minor. Vocabulary and grammar are common in both languages.

Spanish language in written is entirely phonetic and has a sound, while Catalan is not phonetic. Spanish has five vowel sounds, whereas Catalan has eight vowel sounds.

Comparison Between Catalan and Spanish

Parameters of ComparisonCatalanSpanish
DefinitionSpanish is also a Western Romance language. It is spoken by half a billion people, mainly in America and Spain.Catalan is a Western Romance language. It is separate from the Spanish language. It differs entirely from Spanish.
Official LanguageIt is the official language of three autonomous communities.It is the official language of almost 20 countries.
Spoken by several people.Ten million people speak Catalan.Half a billion people speak Spanish.
OriginFrench and Latin.Latin and Greek.
Family of LanguagePart of Occitan Romance.Part of the Iberio-Romance.

References

  1. Catalan at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022).
  2. Some Iberian scholars may alternatively classify Catalan as Iberian Romance/East Iberian.