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In collaboration
with Rough Guides

50+ essential Catalan phrases you need to know

Catalan (Català) is widely spoken within the Spanish region of Catalonia, and also Valencia and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera). On paper it looks like a cross between French and Spanish and is generally easy to read if you know those two. 

Few visitors to Catalonia realise how important Catalan is to those who speak it: never commit the error of calling it a dialect. However, you’ll get by perfectly well in Spanish as long as you’re aware of the use of Catalan in timetables, on menus, and so on. 

In collaboration
with Rough Guides

Words and phrases


Yes, No, OK  Si, No, Val

Please, Thank you Si us plau, Gràcies

Hello, Goodbye Hola, Adéu

Roughly 9 million people around the world speak Catalan and for 4 million of them, it is their first language. 

Good morning Bon dia

Good afternoon/night Bona tarde/nit

See you later Fins després

Sorry Ho sento

Excuse me Perdoni

I (don’t) understand (No) Ho entenc

Do you speak English? Parleu anglès?

Where? When? On? Quan?

What? How much? Què? Quant?

Here, There Aquí, Allí/Allà

This, That Això, Allò

Open, Closed Obert, Tancat

With, Without Amb, Sense

Good, Bad Bo(na), Dolent(a)

Big, Small Gran, Petit(a)

Cheap, Expensive Barat(a), Car(a)

I want Vull (pronounced “vwee”)

I’d like Voldria

Do you know? Vostès saben?

I don’t know No sé

There is (Is there?) Hi ha(?)

What’s that? Què és això?

Do you have…? Té…?

Today, Tomorrow Avui, Demà

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Directions and transport

How do I get to…? Per anar a…?

Left, Right A l’esquerra, A la dreta

Straight on Tot recte

Where is…? On és…?

…the bus station …l’estació de autobuses

…the train station …l’estació

…the nearest bank …el banc més a prop

…the post office …l’oficina de correus

…the toilet …la toaleta

Where does the bus to…leave from?  De on surt el autobús a…?

Is this the train for Barcelona? Aquest tren va a Barcelona?

I’d like a (return) ticket to… Voldria un bitlet (d’anar i tornar) a…

What time does it leave (arrive in)? A quina hora surt (arriba a)?



1 un(a)

2 dos (dues)

3 tres

4 quatre

About 72.3% of Barcelona's total population speaks Catalan.

5 cinc

6 sis

7 set

8 vuit

9 nou

10 deu

11 onze

12 dotze

13 tretze

14 catorze

15 quinze

16 setze

17 disset

18 divuit

19 dinou

20 vint

100 cent

1000 mil

Menu reader

To have breakfast Esmorzar 

To have lunch Dinar 

To have dinner Sopar 

Knife Ganivet 

Fork Forquilla 

Spoon Cullera 

Table Taula 

Bottle Ampolla 

Glass Got 

Menu Carta 

Soup Sopa 

Salad Amanida 

Hors d’oeuvres Entremesos 

You’ll hear these casual phrases out and about in Barcelona – and dropping them in to conversation will make you smug with sophistication: 

Fem un café? Let’s have a coffee
Salut i força al canut! To health and money
Déu n’hi do! Wow!
S’ha acabat el bròquil The jig is up
Quatre gats Four cats (as in, only four people turned up, a small gathering)

Omelette Truita 

Sandwich Entrepà 

Toast Torrades 

Tapas Tapes 

Butter Mantega 

Eggs Ous 

Bread Pa 

Olives Olives 

Oil Oli 

Vinegar Vinagre 

Salt Sal  

Pepper Pebre 

Sugar Sucre 

The bill El compte

I’m a vegetarian Sóc vegetarià

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