Catalan language

Romance language

The Catalan language is a Romance language spoken in Catalonia, Valencian Community, the eastern part of Aragon, the Balearic Islands, a small zone of Murcia (all of them in Spain), Andorra, North Catalonia (in France) and the Italian city of L'Alguer. Together, those places are often called the Catalan Countries.

Pronunciation[kətəˈɫa] (EC) ~ [kataˈɫa] (WC)
Native toAndorra, France, Italy, Spain
RegionSee geographic distribution of Catalan
EthnicityCatalan people
Native speakers
11.5 million (2009)[1]
Standard forms
Catalan (regulated by the IEC)
Valencian (regulated by the AVL)
Latin (Catalan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Latin Union


 Spain (co-official language in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and the Valencian Community)
Recognised minority
language in
 France (co-official language of the department of the Pyrénées-Orientales and the city of Perpignan)

 Italy (official language of the comune of Alghero in Sardinia)

 Aragon (Spain)
Regulated byInstitut d'Estudis Catalans
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
Language codes
ISO 639-1ca
ISO 639-2cat
ISO 639-3cat
Global Catalan Countries.svg
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Where Catalan is spoken.

The language that most similar is Occitan. Catalan also has similarities to other Romance languages, such as Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.

There are about 6 million people who speak Catalan as a first language and about 4 million people as a second language. Catalan is the sixth-most-spoken Romance language and also the most-spoken language that is not an official language in the European Union.

Chronological map showing the development of the languages of southeastern Europe, including Catalan


  1. Catalan at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Some Iberian scholars instead classify Catalan as an Iberian Romance, an Ibero-Romance or an East Iberian language.