More than 300 languages spoken in Barcelona

Over 50 foreign language teaching projects

A student during an English class
A student during an English class / Norma Vidal
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 2, 2024 01:09 PM

Barcelona has residents from 184 different nationalities and more than 300 languages are spoken in the city, according to a study conducted for the 'Barcelona, the city of 300 languages' project. 

Out of all 300 spoken languages, 80 of them comprise the vast majority of spoken languages in Barcelona. This number is an approximate, calculated by looking at nationalities with more than 1,000 people living in the city. 

Added to these 80 languages are the official and co-official languages of Spain, the languages of the Romani people: Romani and Caló, as well as sign language and many others spoken by small groups.  

The study also revealed that 16.7% of children enrolled in school speak a language that isn't Catalan or Spanish at home. 

Language teaching projects 

The use of different languages reinforces linguistic diversity and inclusivity in Barcelona and also shows the pedagogical value of maintaining knowledge of different languages. 

There are more than 50 community projects dedicated to teaching diverse languages in the Catalan capital. Among the most taught languages are Arabic, Urdu and Chinese, apart from English and French. 

These projects come from a diverse range of initiatives, some of them being taught in an official language school or developed in a school context, while others are offered by cultural or religious centers. In some cases, the government of a foreign country collaborates with an organization in Barcelona to offer language classes. 

Languages at municipal facilities 

The study also looked at the languages used in various municipal facilities, such as libraries. It was found that there were requests to loan books in 130 different languages. However, not all languages requested are identified as a spoken language in Barcelona, as some are dead, like Latin.  

It was also found that the city council's translation and mediation center received 27 different language requests for translations and 19 for mediation. 27 languages have also been requested for the Service for Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees (SAIER).