Top 10 Phrases to learn in Catalan for your visit to Barcelona


 

You’ve booked the holiday, you have the accommodation and flights sorted, you’re excited and ready to go. But you want to impress and stand out when you’re in Barcelona, and there’s only one way you can REALLY stand out, and that is by speaking Catalan.
So it would be best to have some phrases up your sleeve for when the time comes.
 
Below are some Catalan phrases that you could learn easily and use them for your time in Barcelona.
 
It’s also worth mentioning. Don’t worry too much about the pronunciation of these phrases. When I first moved to Barcelona, a local had said to me that they don’t mind too much about the accent and pronunciation when you speak Spanish/Catalan.
 
As long as you try, the people here respond to effort and if you don’t assume everyone speaks English, you’ll be fine.
Parles anglès? – Translation: “Do you speak English?” 
This phrase is a vital expression to know in any language when you travel to any country. It can prove to be a real get out of jail free card to pull when you have no real idea what’s going on.
 
A word of warning with this one, if you want to try and fit in with the locals, don’t automatically use this wherever you go because as I mentioned at the start of this article, they do like and respect tourists that come over and put in the effort to at least try to speak the lingo.
Ariel view of Barcelona

Ariel view of Arc de Triomf. – Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash

Quant val …? – Translation: “How much is it?” 
A classic. If you walk into somewhere and you’re asking questions in Catalan, I bet the shop owners would respect you may even offer a nice deal or two. 
 
Also, for bars and restaurants, it’s a great easy phrase to ask if you’re scouting around looking at which authentic Catalan bar or restaurant to go to.
 
Which leads me nicely onto…
Tindrem una taula per a dos – Translation: ” We will have a table for two” 

A romantic night out? No problem here, the best restaurants wherever you go are going to be the smaller, locally-owned restaurants that are a fair distance from the tourist hotspots.

So, when you find one of these in Barcelona, likelihood is they will be Catalan restaurants, so walking in, asking for a table for two or four or more, it’ll get you straight in the good books with waiters straight away and set a lovely atmosphere for your meal out.

Three different coffees.

A coffee trio. – Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Puc prendre un cafè si us plau? – Translation: “Can I have a coffee please?” 
Coffee is ingrained into the culture in Barcelona and Catalunya, and unless you hate coffee and refuse to touch it then you’ll most likely be in many situations during your holiday where coffee will be consumed.
It’s a strong phrase to know, you’ll fit nicely into the lifestyle out here if you can order a coffee… trust me.
On ès l’estacio de metro? – Translation: “Where are the subway stations?” 
The metro network in Barcelona is very popular and cheap, so it may very well be your first choice when it comes to getting around the city. This phrase would be very useful as well if you happen to get a little lost.
The locals will definitely know where the closest metro station is, and if you ask in Catalan, there’s every chance the locals will be more than happy to help you out.
Notebook and pencil

White pencil and notebook. – Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Com estàs? –Translation: “How are you?” 

A lovely way of chatting to locals if you are confident Catalan speaker and want to engage in a longer form conversation. “Com estàs” is a great gateway into that. It’s a nice casual and pleasant greeting for someone you’ve never met before.

Perdoni – Translation: “Forgiveness” 
Now I know British people never use the word “forgiveness” to apologise, but they do in Barcelona. “Perdoni” is a more informal way of saying sorry in Catalan, and you’ll always get on the good side of people if you know “perdoni.
 
People here tend not to use this as much, compared to people in Britain for example, so if you’re going for that local image then my advice would be to only use it in more low-key situations where you obviously need to apologise for something. i.e. walking into someone.
Necessito un metge – Translation: “I need a doctor” 

Now I’m hoping you won’t need to use this one but just in case, it’s a good and safe one to know. Again, wherever you go it’s always handy to know this in the local language just to be sure you get the best help possible.

Barcelona city centre.

Barcelona cityscape. – Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Quin es el teu nom? – Translation: “What is your name?” 

This is a great one to know if you plan on re-visiting the same places on your trip to the city and are looking for that impeccable service. It’ll really mean a lot to the locals here to make a mental note of their names.

It shows effort, willingness, and love for people here if you remember their names.

Plannig a trip to Barcelona ? Get ready !

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DÉU N’HI DO! – Translation: “AMAZING! ” 
This is a bit of a strange one because there isn’t really a direct English translation for this particular Catalan expression. However, it is often used when someone wants to describe something as amazing, wonderful etc, so if you can pull this one out of your sleeve you will be an absolute hit with the locals, that’s for sure.
 
Catalan street party

People wearing the Catalan flag. – Photo by Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

It’s regarded to be a difficult language to learn, Catalan, but if you nail these key phrases I have listed above, you will impress for sure.
With these sayings locked down, during your holiday in Barcelona, you will become confident, more relaxed and truly feel like a local.
 
But like learning any language, the most important thing… have fun!