The dialect in Barcelona

Old Jan 28th, 2008, 10:17 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The dialect in Barcelona

I am going to Barcelona for 4 months to study. I am a Spanish minor and heard that the dialect there is quite different from the rest of Spain. Is it a bad idea to study the language in Barcelona if I plan on using what I learn there in the States?
Gracias
BoarderBabe is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 10:28 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it is a separate language - Catalan.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 10:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23,082
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It probably would have been better to choose an area outside Catalonia if improving Spanish is your aim. I am sure that you can get Spanish classes in Barcelona, but once you step into the street, you are as likely to hear Catalan as Castilian (sp?), which is what we call Spanish. All things being equal, it would be better to hear the same language in the classroom and in the street.
Michael is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 10:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Catalans speak excellent Castillan. Although I have not seen it recenetly, Catalans when encountering a Madrileno, would try and speak a better Castillan. I do not know if the younger Catalans engage in such one upmanship.

Many believe that Catalan has its origin in Provencal.

IMHO studying in Barcelona would broaden your experience as a linguist rather than harm it.

Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:11 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you going to study at a univeristy in Barcelona? I would inquire as to what they use and teach. They are very proud of the Catalan language, and they do NOT view it as a "dialect" of Spanish, they feel it is it's own language. I know (from friends who live their, and one is a "native&quot that they now teach school children in Catalan, and most often what you will hear in the streets in Catalan (my friend who is fluent in Spanish and just now encountering Catalan says that there are a number of words that are very different, so sometimes she has to ask shopkeepers to repeat, etc.)

To answer your question, I think it depends on what you are hoping to learn.
jonesie is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The dialect is in fact a language. Catalan is actually one of the three co-official languages spoken in Spain, besides Castilian.

Catalunya is a bi-lingual region, with street signs in both Castilian and Catalan, and a multitude of newspapers, or radio and TV stations in Catalan.

Of course, everybody will be able to communicate in Castilian, and Barcelona is the home of many language schools (for Castilian).

But it's not as if you were 100% immersed in the Castilian language like e.g. in Madrid, since most or many locals communicate in Catalan, so what you will hear on the streets is lots of Catalan and Castilian -- and English and German, of course ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:25 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My daughter just returned from a semester in Barcelona. She had a wonderful experience, but said her one disappointment was that she didn't get the opportunity to practice speaking the Spanish language nearly as much as she expected because Catalan was more prevalent.

Her classes were in Spanish so she says she can understand the language much better, but can't speak it a whole lot better than when she went over.

She was in an apartment with other study abroad kids, so it may have been better if she'd done a home stay.
kareng is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:44 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
depends on your priority and level of spoken language already.

however, being in barcleona is enticing in itself.. so unless your other options excite you as much.. i wouldnīt worry about it since, frankly, the majority of students end up seeking out english speaking foreign friends to whittle the time away with anyway.

only the really serious linguists would worry about this and might find it a plus, as mentioned by aduchamp.

( i have met very few serious linguists on these trips. people think they are serious and have good intentions, but do not approach these lessons with the same fervor and willpower as someone on a mission).

you only need one castillian speaker in your neighborhood to practice your spanish with, and barcelona has the biggest immigration of sevillanos and other castillian-speaking spaniards of any province.

enjoy!
lincasanova is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cowboy1968 writes: "The dialect is in fact a language. Catalan is actually one of the three co-official languages spoken in Spain, besides Castilian."
Two others are Euskera and Galego. You can probably get along with Catalan and Galego; you may find alien Euskera, language of Basque (Euskadi) people. Its syntax doesn't seem to be that of a Romance language.
A dialect of Catalan is spoken down the Coast in Valencia and as far as Alicante.
I speak Castellano in Barcelona and have never had a problem, probably thanks to the Franco Regime (Uno, Grande y Libre).

NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 10:21 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
you have all been so helpful. Since my main focus is to learn a Spanish that I am going to be able use here in the States (which would not be Catalan and so on) I think I will look at other cities. Perhaps Seville or Madrid. But Barcelona is still an option for excursions! Thanks a lot!
BoarderBabe is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 10:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,455
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
You might want to rent the video Auberge Espagnole, a movie about a French student who comes to Barcelona to study and shares an apartment with students from all over Europe. One of the issues in the film is the difficulty of attending university classes in Catalan (although these were students taking regular university classes, not classes specifically for people hoping to learn Spanish). The film is also very entertaining and full of Barcelona scenery.

In Barcelona, people say Castellano (Castilian) when referring to the language that we outside of Spain think of as Spanish. I was corrected by people when I talked about the language as Espanol. I think the idea is that there are several languages known as Spanish, including Castellano, Catalan, and the others mentioned in this thread.
Nikki is online now  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 10:45 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,227
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try Salamanca In Seville you will learn spanish with andalusian accent..which I suppose is not what you are crossing the pond for (it's more similar to the south american accents). Madrid it's ok if you want to be in a big city, if you prefer a smallest one, Salamanca would be my first choice, their Spanish courses are top quality.
kenderina is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 11:49 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ditto kenderinaīs suggestion. i studied in salamanca. they speak very pure castillian.

valladolid is also good, but salamanca holds a special place in my heart as well as being a world heritage site.

but donīt miss barcelona!
lincasanova is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 05:51 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The pronunciation in Southern Spain (Andalucia) is the closest I have come across to Latin American Spanish (as commonly used in the US). Catalan won't help you a lot as it is pretty different to Castilian Spanish. Bon dia, for example, is good day in Catalan - about half way between French (Bon jour) and Castilian (Buenos dias). Seville sounds a good bet.
Carolina is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 05:59 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Carolina-

I humbly beg to differ with you. I found the Spanish in the south, difficult to understand. If someone is going to learn a language they should learn the purist form because the rest of the world will chip away.

Idioms vary substantially throughout the Spanish speaking world, so start out with the fundamentally correct form.

Another example would be Galicia. I love Santiago and the university there is exceptional as well but most of the the people in the region speak Gallego. Thus what is learned in class would be put to limited use outside the class.
If Salamanca or Madrid are alternatives, I would choose one.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 07:32 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,923
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
I think Salamanca is a good choice. My daughter studied in Madrid (chemical engineering taught in Spanish not Spanish) and she really improved her language skills.She has native speakers tell her she has a very good accent. We had traveled to Barcelona a year earlier and she was disappointed that so few people were speaking Spanish and she didn't get to practice.

My daughter's high school AP Spanish teacher always took a group of students to Salamanca in the summer. She used www.enforex.es and thought it was a good program.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 07:38 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Carolina in that I found the pronunciation in Andalucia to be closest to the Spanish I'm used to hearing, i.e. Latin American Spanish.

And Aduchamp, just out of interest, could you explain what you mean by "idioms vary substantially" and "start out with the fundementally correct form"? Just curious...
maryanntex is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 08:45 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kenderina has it right, it requires a little of common sense : to learn or practice Castillian, the best place would be
Castille,..... Salamanca, Valladolid...., it seems a little obvious I would think....
Graziella5b is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 10:10 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,719
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that Barcelona might not be the best choice under the circumstances. However, I studied Spanish for several months in Granada and don't really agree that one should only study in a city where there is no discernable accent.
For a start, your classes are not going to be taught in the local dialect or with a broad accent, and outside of the classroom, I think it's a great thing for a language student to be thrown out of their comfort zone and start dealing with new accents and vocabulary. That's the beauty of learning a new language.

It's a bit like saying that students learning English shouldn't go to Edinburgh or the south-west of England, but should only learn the language in, say, Oxford, or that students of French should only go to Tours.

So I don't think that BoarderBabe should rule out Andalusia - if that's what appeals - simply on the basis of the accent.
hanl is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 11:02 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,968
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you learn Spanish in Spain it will be slightly different (in vocabulary and pronounciation) to that spoken in the US (assuming that most speak Latin/South American Spanish), understandable but a little different.

Odin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -