Barcelona preview

Spain

If you are going to live in Barcelona for any length of time, it will not be enough to speak only English. Learning Spanish is the most useful thing to do, as it is spoken throughout Spain and all Catalans understand it, but if you really want to be appreciated by the locals, learn Catalan.

Interestingly, being able to speak Catalan makes things much easier if you are applying for jobs, dealing with bureaucrats, or simply complaining about an error on your phone bill. Although it is extremely unlikely that you will be the recipient of past bad attitudes to Spanish-speakers, there is still a fierce devotion to Catalan in Catalunya. All efforts to speak Catalan rather than Spanish are very much appreciated, especially by the old-school locals.

Depending upon your experience with Latin-based languages, Catalan can be relatively straightforward. Catalan sounds almost like a direct fusion of Spanish and French, and depending upon your ear for languages, you will be able to pick…