The Catalan Language
One of the official languages of Catalonia, an autonomous community in the northeast of Spain, Catalan is very closely related to Provençal and Castilian Spanish.
Catalan is a captivating language with a rich history and vibrant present. Millions speak it, and it remains an integral part of many communities around the world.
Origins and Brief History:
- Catalan originated in the Middle Ages, emerging from Vulgar Latin around the eastern Pyrenees in the 9th century.
- It developed and expanded southwards through the 11th and 12th centuries, being established as a prestigious language in the Crown of Aragon by the 13th century.
- The language suffered a period of decline from the 15th to 18th centuries due to political and cultural shifts, notably being banned from public use during Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975).
- It experienced a revival in the late 20th century, after the end of Franco’s regime, when it regained recognition and official status in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
Number of Speakers and Official Status:
- Catalan is spoken by approximately 10 million people worldwide, making it the sixth most spoken Romance language.
- It is an official language in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community (under the name Valencian), all autonomous communities in Spain.
- It holds co-official status outside Spain in Alghero in Sardinia, the Italian island of Sardinia, Andorra, and a microstate in the Pyrenees.
Examples of Catalan Text:
A famous Catalan saying: “L’aigua és la vida i el riu en és la llar” (“Water is life and the river is its home”).
Where and How it is Used:
- Catalan is widely used in various settings: in education, in the media, on the internet, and in public administration in the regions where it’s official.
- It’s also used in cultural products such as literature, music, and cinema. For example, Barcelona’s famous annual book fair, La Diada de Sant Jordi, is a hub of Catalan literature.
English Words in Catalan and Catalan Words in English:
- Many English words have found their way into Catalan, especially technological and modern terms like ‘internet’, ‘blog’, ‘smartphone’, ‘hashtag’, etc.
- Conversely, ‘paella’, a traditional Valencian (and by extension, Catalan) dish, and ‘cava’, a type of sparkling wine from Catalonia, are both words of Catalan origin that have been adopted into English.
Catalan is more than just a language – it’s a symbol of identity and resistance for its speakers. Its history is a testament to the resilience of cultures and the power of communication in maintaining and forging identity.
Historically, Catalonia was a principality that extended into the south of France, although the language now has no official status in France itself. Research has suggested that, daily, more Catalonians use Spanish rather than Catalan as their primary language, although some use both in equal measures. Catalan is also spoken in the Balearic Islands, Andorra and part of France, and the Italian island of Sardinia.
Brightlines offers Catalan translation services, including quality assurance, consultancy and copywriting for businesses wanting to reach out to customers in Catalonia.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.