In Barcelona, and in general in the whole Catalonia, Catalan will be noticed through basic city’s equipment such as traffic signals or the street names among others. Catalan will be listened to through the citizens in the street, in the restaurants, and some people will probably go to you in this language. Moreover, not only books, newspapers and magazines published in Catalan play an important role but also the theatre, the musicals and the cinema in this language are significant.
Catalan is a Romance language derived from Latin and was the original own language of Catalonia, between the 8th and the 10th century. Just like other languages of the same origin such as French or Spanish, Catalan was already formed and could be clearly differentiated from the rest.
Barcelona influenced enormously the language reaffirmation and formalization, since due to the conquests carried out by several generations of counts of the house of Barcelona, the city was an important centre of power several juridical, economic, religious and historical texts written in Catalan remain in the city.
After the defeat of Catalonia in the succession war in 1714, the Catalan language suffered diverse stages of prohibition and repression, until once the Spanish Civil war finished, it a new period of opening propitiated by the laws of autonomy enhanced the language.
Nowadays, Catalan is the official language of Andorra and in Catalonia together with Castilian. In other regions of Spain such as in País Valencià or in the Balearic Island, the dialectal varieties of Catalan and Spanish share their status. In addition, also in the Oriental French Pyrenees, and even in some places of Sardinia (in Italy) Catalan is spoken although it is not considered an official language.