February 21st is globally known as International Mother Language day. Never heard of it before? Well, UNESCO founded it in 2000. This day stands for cultural and linguistic diversity. We should celebrate that we all are different and that we each have different cultural backgrounds and mother tongues. We should protect our native languages and promote multilingualism and peace amongst us all.
¿Hablas un poco de español or catalan? Do you speak a little Spanish or Catalan? Great! Spanish and Catalan are namely the mother tongues of the vibrant Barcelona. Many people think that Catalan is a dialect, however, it is an official language. Catalan is a language created by the romans and it has various forms and dialects. The language is spoken in different areas such as Catalonia y Valencia, but also in the country of Andorra; and in some parts of France. The language has some similarities with the French language and Spanish (Castilian). As Barcelona is the capital of the region of Catalunya, many Catalonians live in the city.
If you really want to make a good first impression, try to greet the locals in Catalan. This will be appreciated a lot as Catalunya wants to be acknowledged for its independence. Here’s a beginners guide if you’re not familiar with the language yet:
Uncomfortable with the idea of talking in a foreign language? No worries! Barcelona is a very international city, being the home of people from all over the world. You have plenty of opportunities to meet new people, even from your own country. There are plenty of activities to do! Curious? See our activities.
Moreover, Linguapax delivers the International Linguapax Award in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day. The price is delivered towards linguists; researches; professors or leaders of the civil society, to acknowledge their work in linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
Photo credit: www.under30ceo.com