We explain that what is the difference between Catalan and Spanish with table. Learning a new language is a great hobby and a passion for many people. It can be a great idea to choose and learn any foreign language of your choice. However, confusion can arise when choosing between two languages that are quite similar but with some subtle differences. Catalan and Spanish are two of those languages.
The main difference between Catalan and Spanish is that Catalan is not a phonetic language (that is, not related to sounds), while Spanish is a phonetic language with five vowel sounds.
However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:
Comparison table between Catalan and Spanish (in tabular form)
Catalan Spanish Comparison Parameter
|Description||A language closely related to a native of Castile, Spain and widely spoken in Catalonia (a region of Spain)||A language is spoken in Spain and in many parts of South America and is considered the second most widely spoken first language in the world.|
|Number of speakers worldwide||10 million speakers according to certain reports||500 million speakers according to certain reports|
|Is it a phonetic language?||Not||Yes|
|Which of the two languages is used more in Spain?||Catalan is the second most used language in Spain||The Spanish language is spoken and written more in Spain|
|Which of the two languages is easy to learn?||Easier, however, it may differ from person to person. For someone who knows the Italian language, Catalan can be easy.||Difficult than Catalan, but again it can vary from person to person. For someone who knows the French language, Spanish can be easy.|
|Where is it commonly used?||Some parts of Spain, Andorra||Throughout Spain more countries in Central and South America|
|Can it be assumed that a person who knows or speaks Catalan knows Spanish and vice versa?||Yes, people who understand Catalan can also know Spanish||Not|
|Which one has more vowels?||Catalan has more vowels||Spanish has fewer vowels (only 5)|
|Is the male vowel present?||Not||Yes|
|Are consonant clusters used (ie clusters of consonants spoken in immediate succession)?||Yes||Not|
|Does the future language have a subjunctive?||Not||Yes but not that much|
|Is there a “z” sound?||Yes||Not|
|Is the simple past tense used?||Not||Yes|
|Is the spelling of the language predictable?||Not||Yes|
|Is a definite article used before names?||Yes||Not|
|Does the language use voiceless vowels and voices?||Yes||Not|
What is Catalan?
Catalan denotes the language belonging to a native or inhabitant of Catalonia, which is a region in the northeast of Spain. Catalan is widely spoken in the regions of Catalonia, Andorra, Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
Catalan is considered a Romance language, that is, an evolved language from Vulgar Latin (that is, a spoken form of the non-classical Latin language).
Catalan first came into use in the 10th century and later spread through multiple writings in philosophical, literary and academic articles. Although Latin was a prominent language in those times, Catalan left its mark although it was followed by some stage of prohibition.
However, in the 19th century the Catalan language gained prominence as one of the most preferred languages in the literary field in Spain and elsewhere, with Catalan being the official language of Andorra. Although Catalan is the second most widely spoken language in Spain, it is quite different from Spanish.
On the contrary, the language has more similarities with the Italian language. For example, the word “nephew” is indicated as “nebot” in Catalan and “nipote” in Italian, but it is indicated as “nephew” in Spanish. Although Catalan is a widely spoken language in Spain, it cannot be considered a dialect of the Spanish language.
What is Spanish?
Spanish is another Romance language with a large number of speakers around the world and especially one of the commonly preferred foreign languages. Spanish is the language of a native of Spain. The Spanish language is known as Spanish in Spain.
Spanish first appeared in the 9th century and easily gained a considerable reputation. Some of the common attributes of the Spanish language include Roman writing, five vowel sounds, there is an accent on the vowels, there is no use of apostrophes. It is important to note that Spanish is a phonetic language. Spanish is spoken with multiple accents and dialects.
The Spanish language has around 500 million speakers. Many countries in Central and South America have Spanish as their official language. Furthermore, Spanish is considered the second most widely spoken native language in the world after Mandarin.
Spanish can be considered the most romantic language in the world because of the passion and beauty that fill the words in Spanish.
Main differences between Catalan and Spanish
- Catalan is a non-phonetic language, Spanish is a phonetic language.
- The Catalan language generally excludes the vowel «o», for example a cat is called «gat». Nouns and adjectives in Spanish can end in vowels like o, e, or, for example, a cat is called “gato”.
- Catalan uses groups of consonants. The Spanish language uses vowel sounds between consonant sounds.
- The Catalan language uses apostrophe and hyphen in spelling. This may not be the case in the Spanish language.
- Catalan has more vowels than Spanish, which has five vowel sounds.
- Catalan shares some similarities with the Portuguese language. Spanish does not share similarities with the Portuguese language.
Catalan and Spanish have many similar characteristics, such as two gender names, the structure of the grammar, a similar word, the neuter gender of the pronouns, etc. As a result, it can be difficult to choose the correct language to learn, especially if someone is trying to gain knowledge of something new.
Although Catalan and Spanish may have subtle similarities and differences, learning any of these languages will depend on multiple factors, such as the student’s exposure to a foreign language or culture, intelligence level, or interest in the language.
Of note is the fact that some people may even speak a mixture of Catalan and Spanish, so it can be difficult to know exactly who speaks what language, especially in a large group setting.
In short, Catalan and Spanish are two great languages of Spain that can be part of someone’s additional foreign language learning to be more equipped from a linguistic perspective in this highly competitive era.