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Catalan language

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Pronunciation [kətəˈɫa] (EC) ~ [kataˈɫa] (WC)
Native to Andorra, France, Italy, Spain
Region See geographic distribution of Catalan
Ethnicity Catalan people
Native speakers 11.5 million  (2009)[1]
Language family
Standard forms
Catalan (regulated by the IEC)
Valencian (regulated by the AVL)
Writing system 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 by Institut d'Estudis Catalans
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ca
ISO 639-2 cat
ISO 639-3 cat
Linguasphere 51-AAA-e
Global Catalan Countries.svg
Where Catalan is spoken.

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 in the Italian city of L'Alguer. These places are often called the Catalan Countries.

The language most like Catalan is Occitan. It is also a bit similar to Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.

There are about 6 million Catalan native speakers and about 10 million people who can speak Catalan. The Catalan language is the 6th most spoken romance language and also is the most spoken language of the European Union that is not official.

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 may alternatively classify Catalan as an Iberian Romance languages|Ibero-Romance language/East Iberian.