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18 Essential Catalan phrases you should know

Posted on April 15, 2018 | By Andre Arriaza

Catalonia is an autonomous region within Spain that has its own unique identity and culture, which includes a language called Catalan which is remarkably different from the Spanish language which is spoken all over the country. Its roots can be traced back to the vulgar Latin language which was used in the ancient Roman Empire. In different times of history the Catalan language has been suppressed, and these days it is the official language, along with Spanish, of Catalonia, moreover, it is spoken in Andorra, Valencia (as Valencia), the Balearic Islands, Southern France and in some areas of Sardinia, Italy.

As a tourist visiting Barcelona and its surroundings, you might be preparing yourself with some key phrases in Spanithat’snd thats great, however, if you would really want to impress the locals, you might want to have some of the key Catalan phrases that every foodie and traveler alike should have at hand. It is a way of showing respect to greet people, express gratitude and ask for some basic things. In this article you will find a few Catalan expressions that are easy to learn and will help you communicate effectively when you visit this region.


You will probably meet a few interesting strangers during your trip to Barcelona, Catalonia and you might want to say hi to them. Saying your greetings in Catalan will surely attract a warm-hearted response. You might even make a few friends in the process. To get started, the phrases listed below will be very useful to you in breaking the ice during social interactions;

1. Good Morning – Bon dia.

2. Good Afternoon – Bon Tarda.

3. Good Night – Bona nit.

4. Please – Si us plau.

5. Thanks – Gracies or Merci.

6. Cheers – Salut.

7. Do you speak English? – Parla angles?

8. Nice to meet you – Moit de gust

9. I’m sorry – Ho sento

walking in Barcelona and chating


Catalonia boasts one of the world’s most delicious cuisines. This Mediterranean cuisine has strong Italian, Arab and French influences which give it a unique savory blend that you can learn by taking cooking classes in Barcelona. Your trip to this region cannot be complete before you sample some of the amazing Catalan gastronomy. And when you visit the hotels and restaurants, placing your orders and expressing your appreciation in Catalan will earn you lots of respect. The phrases below will be useful to any foodie during their trip;

1. A table please – Una taula si us plau

2. The menu – La Carta

3. Red wine – Vi negre

4. White wine – Vi blanc

5. Glass of wine – Copa de vi

6. Draft beer – Una canya

7. A glass of water – Un got de aigua

8. The bill please – El comte si us plau

9. That was delicious! – Estava bonissim!

Tapas in Barcelona


1. Good Health and strength to your balls! – Salut i Força al canut! – it is used when toasting for an aim.

2. Give me the short version – Fer-ne cinc centims – it translates as to make it five cents, but it means to go to the point.

3. Few people – Quatre Gats – it translates as four cats and it is used when few people shows up.

FER VERMUT ∼ the epitome of Catalan phrases

Catalan people have a long-standing social tradition of regularly getting together with friends and family while sipping on a glass of vermouth. The term fer vermut loosely translates to ¨go have a vermut¨ and it is the prelude to the long Sunday Catalan lunch. Nowadays, however, the term is also commonly used to refer to the act of going out for any kind of drink. So if someone tells you ¨fer vermut¨ in Cataluna, you are simply being asked to go out for a fun drinking session that certainly implies eating some delicious tapas.

You can have a glimpse of this fantastic tradition in Barcelona and a lot more by joining one of our culinary experiences, especially the Bodegas and Tapas Tour at El Born and La Barceloneta, the Authentic Food Tour of Barcelona at Sant Antoni´s foodies district, or the Wine Tasting Experience at El Born, all include a glass of vermouth and incredible insights about this drink plus other local drinks such as cava and wine and the best tapas of this beautiful city.

You have now hopefully grasped the most important Catalan phrases. You will hopefully have a blast visiting Cataluña in future. So adeu (goodbye) and que vagi be (take care).


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