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Old 08-23-2005, 07:24 PM   #1
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It arrived today!

After searching and searching and seeing outrageous prices at used outlets and eBay, I finally found the out-of-print Teach Yourself Catalan (book and CD) for only a few clams at Overstock.com. I used a book/CD from this series to quickly learn Dutch and it worked pretty well - at least, until I got to the advanced stuff and my head started to spin.

Dunno when I'm gonna start, but I think I'm gonna make this the next language on my list. I've never undertaken trying to learn a "minority" language before, but I'm pretty serious about my desire to move to Barcelona one day, so I think knowing it would be essential.

Has anyone here tried learning Catalan before? If so, do you know of any good resources for practice aside from going to the Mediterranean? Not that I'd mind doing that, but at this point in time, it's not exactly practical

Molt be...
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:38 AM   #2
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I don't really remember what they are now but while I was there it was easy to pick up a few words. Almost everyone greeted me in Catalan and then switched to Spanish when I said I didn't speak it.

Doesn't it seem like an interesting mix of French and Spanish though? That's what I thought, anyway. Kinda like how dutch is a weird mix of German and English, lol.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:30 AM   #3
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yeah on one of rick steves shows in barcelona he sais it sounds like a mix between spanish and french. i dont remember hearing anyone speak catalan when i was in barcelona though. i did see graffiti on a wall saying "esto no es espana"(isnt this spanish and not catalan?) which i think translates to "this is not spain". it was near the sagrada familia.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:52 PM   #4
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I got a confusing mixture of Spanish and Catalan. In the tourist areas, though, since most of the people were on working holidays, I mostly got English because they spoke no Spanish either

But going into the suburbs and towns outside of Barcelona, it was almost pure Catalan - some of the old people didn't even speak Spanish without hemming and hawing. In fact, some of the younger folks in Tarragona were a bit offended that I didn't speak Catalan, but one nice waitress at a restaurant was happy to take a break to teach me a little of the pronunciation.

It's definitely got the French/Spanish thing going, but there's supposedly a good deal of Italian in the mix, too. I dunno when I'm going to take it on - I just recently learned Spanish, so I dunno if I want to confuse myself until I'm more comfortable with that one...
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by omisan@Aug 24 2005, 10:52 PM
I dunno when I'm going to take it on - I just recently learned Spanish, so I dunno if I want to confuse myself until I'm more comfortable with that one...
[snapback]74729[/snapback]
Heh. Yeah, it's a pain in the ass when you're learning two or three at a time and you start mixing them up. "Ein, zwei, drei, cuatro, cinco... wait..."
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:21 PM   #6
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Omi - do you speak Spanish at all?

What I learned about Catalan:

I have a brother that speaks fluent French and mediocre Spanish and in Spain (outside Barc of course) people would speak in Catalan, and to him, it sounded like "gibberish" but he could make certain things out. He had difficulty with a lot of things though, even though he's a very linguistic person.

My sister in law, on the other hand, who is Mexican and grew up with Spanish as a regular language, says different. She says Catalan is pretty much just a dialect of Spanish and that the words are very similar, just "written with an accent." She also got an edu degree in teaching Spanish, so I really trust what she says.

I speak none of the above languages, but comparing both, I believe my sister in law.
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:10 PM   #7
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My language skills are probably on par - fluent in French and mediocre (at best) in Spanish. Of course, with a little immersion and some cerveza para la cabesa my Spanish all of a sudden starts to flow to the point that people *think* I can speak it well... Must be some primal thing in the brain that alcohol unlocks! I think it's more from living in California than the 3 months of study
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