Valencian, also called Valencià or Valenciano, is a language spoken by over 2.5 million people within the Valencian Community of Spain. It is a language which some will consider more as a dialect of Catalan and others consider it to be a separate language. Whether you consider them to be the same language or two languages which are very similar is up to you to decide. In my opinion Valencian and Catalan are very simular to eachother in written form, however when spoken it seems to me Valencian is closer to Spanish. The Catalan accent come across to me as very sweet as and from a foreigners perspective is so different from Valencian.
Obviously your opinion on this might vary, because even in the Valencian language there are so many different types of accents that you will find in the community. It changes from town to town and I have especially notice that the language is being used more often in towns rather than cities. Some areas strictly use only Valencian, whereas other seem to mix the language with Spanish. So what is this language all about?
The Valencian language
Valencian is the official native language of the Valencian community and together with Spanish is used widely on a daily basis. Valencian is a Occitano-Romance language (a branch of the Roman language group). Valencian is a rather “young” language. It’s challenging for Valencian to be an independent language. Many consider it to be the same language as Catalan as there is only a 5% difference between them. Even is you consider Valencian to be and independing language it is still hard to find a pure version of it where it is not mixed with Spanish.
Where is Valencian spoken?
Valencian is spoken in the Valencian Communidad, which stretches all the way from Catalonia to south of Alicante. Valencian is also spoken in the region of Murcia and El Carche.
Over 1/3rd of all inhabitants of the Valencian region has the Valencian lanaguage as their mother tongue. And over half is able to speak Valencian. It is known that Valencian is mostly spoken in towns with less than 20.000 inhabitants. Here local households will most likely speak Valencian as their mother tongue. Most often cities in the Valencian Communidad stick with Spanish.
Valencian is also integrated in the public school system. The rule of thumb is that in the classes of infantil, primairy and the institute maintain a system where 60% of classes are held in Valencian, 30% in Spanish and 10% in English.
Is Valencian an official language?
No, it is not. The language has a legal status, but it is not an official language like Catalan is.
Vocabulary similarities with Catalan
Valencia has especially a lot of common with Catalan when it comes to it’s written form. Here are a few examples of Valencian and Catalan words that are very much alike.
|Valencian words||Catalan words||English translation|
|Fa fred||Fa fred||It’s cold|
However there are also example of when the words are completely different. For example:
|Valencian words||Catalan words||English translatiion|
Vocabulary similarities with Castillano (Spanish)
Vocabulary similarities with French
The Valencian language has a lot of similarities with the French language. And although French native speakers might not agree with you at first, they can understand the language in no time if they put a bit of effort in. There are also words from the French language integrated into Valencian. For example:
|Valencian words||French words||English translation|
|Jo aprenc||J’apprends||I learn|
Examples of Valencian language:
Què és això? – What is this/that?
Com va tot? – How’s everything going?
Bé, i vosté? – Fine, and you? (form.)
Moltes gràcies. – Thank you very much.
De res. – You’re welcome.
Bona sort! – Good luck!
Un brindis! – I propose a toast!
Com es diu en anglés? – How do you say it in English?
Felicitacions!/Enhorabona! – Congratulations!
Fins demà. – See you tomorrow.