Can you manage on a trip to Barcelona just by speaking English?

As in the rest of Catalonia, Catalan and Castilian are the two official languages ​​of the city of Barcelona. Catalan is said to be spoken by 7 out of 10 Barcelona citizens, while Catalan-Castilian bilinguals represent almost 85% of the city’s population.

But what if it’s Shakespeare’s language that we master, rather than Cervantes’? Can you manage on a trip to Barcelona just by speaking English? Response elements.

Barcelona, ​​European tourist city par excellence

When a city is one of the places that attracts the most year-round tourists on its continent, English – the travel language par excellence – is never far away. Gold, this is precisely the case with Barcelona which in terms of attendance surpasses the prestigious Berlin, Florence or even Athens.

Barcelona, ​​one of the 10 most visited cities in Europe

Every year the organization Euromonitor International publish its Top 100 city destinations ranking, in other words its ranking of the 100 most popular cities for tourists. But in Europe, Barcelona rises to a 7th place (and even 6th, if we exclude the Turkish city of Istanbul). It is overtaken by the unbeatable London, Paris and Rome, however attracts more than Amsterdam, Vienna and Venice… waiting potential restrictive measures.

In Barcelona, ​​there are more British tourists than French tourists

According to figures provided by the Barcelona Tourist Office in the late 2010s, the 15 most visited places in the city (Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, FC Barcelona museum, etc.) attracted more than 20 million tourists a year. Among these curious people there were mainly Spaniards and, right after them, the British. His Majesty’s subjects are followed by the French, then the Italians and eventually by the Germans.

How many English speakers live in Barcelona?

It is not only travelers who speak English in Barcelona: there are authentic English speakers who, for professional reasons or to enjoy a sunny retirement, have preferred Mediterranean coast to their country of origin.

A welcoming city for the British …

British residents of Barcelona constitute one of the largest communities of foreign nationals in the city. In early 2020, official data showed more than 9,000 foreigners of British citizenship inside the municipality.

… And for Americans

The inhabitants of Uncle Sam’s land are not left out. Catalonia is the 2nd region in Spain with the most US citizens. Of the approximately 8,800 Americans who preferred Catalonia to their home state, the vast majority live in the province of Barcelona.

Do Spaniards speak English?

The French are often laughed at for their approximate knowledge of English – and their sharp accent – compared to the Germans, the Dutch or even the Scandinavian countries. But what about the people of Spainanother Latin country on the old continent?

6 out of 10 Spaniards say they cannot read, speak or write in English

In 2017, a study was passed on by El País revealed that almost 60% of Spaniards declared that they could neither read, understand nor write in Shakespeare’s language. The latter, however, remains the most widely spoken foreign language in the countryfar ahead of French, German and even Portuguese.

Who speaks English in Barcelona?

Barcelona is resolutely multicultural, very cosmopolitan and boasts a decent English level, above the national average. This finding is especially true among young people.more accustomed to soft force English speaking and studying abroad than their seniors. As a general rule, restaurant and hotel staff in the main areas (Plaza Catalunya, Las Ramblas…) speak Shakespeare’s language well. Guided walks are also in English. Only downside: taxi drivers, generally less comfortable with this foreign language …

How do you ask a Barcelona man if he speaks English?

To avoid any rudeness or frustration, simply ask the person you are talking to in their mother tongue, if he speaks English. To do this you will tell him:

  • Dressed Ingles? (in Castilian)
  • Speak English? (in Catalan)

The other regions of the Spanish-speaking world where English is spoken

You do not master the language of Cervantes, but want to explore a city, a region, a country, a culture of Spanish heritage by trusting only on your knowledge of English ? It’s possible by crossing the Pyrenees … or the Atlantic Ocean.

Speak English in areas of Spain outside Barcelona

The county town is not the only Spanish town where English is a valuable tool for all travelers who do not understand the local language. To explore the Iberian Peninsula Englishyou are doing perfectly:

  • to Madridthe country’s capital
  • to Valence3rd largest city in Spain by population
  • to Sevillejewel of the autonomous community of Andalusia
  • to Málagaabout a hundred kilometers from the Strait of Gibraltar
  • on it Costa del Solcoastline from the tip of Tarifa to Gata cap

Speak English in Central and South America

Britain, North America and Australia do not have a monopoly on English: Shakespeare’s language is recognized as one of the official languages ​​in more than 65 countries around the world. It is evident on the American continent that the examples are the most numerous. Therefore, to discover a Spanish-speaking country where the English language is official, you can travel:

  • to Belizeeast-southeast of Mexico
  • to Puerto Ricounincorporated organized territory in the United States
  • on it British Virgin Islandsin the Caribbean Sea

Non-exhaustive list!

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