- 1. What do I need to know to ensure that I have a good time at the URV?
- 2. What should I know about Catalonia before I arrive?
- 3. What presence do Catalan, Spanish and English have at the URV?
- 4. What is the language policy of the URV?
- 5. How can I find out which language is used to teach a particular subject before I register?
- 6. How can I learn Catalan before I arrive at the URV?
- 7. How can I learn Catalan at the URV?
- 8. Can I continue to learn Catalan after I have left the URV?
- 9. Will learning Catalan be useful for me?
- 10. Apart from the university, which social settings is Catalan used in?
- 11. How many people speak Catalan?
- 12. Is it easy to learn Catalan?
- 13. How can I practice Catalan at the URV?
- 14. Am I ready to immerse myself in a new culture?
You should know about the linguistic and cultural status of Catalonia, a country with its own language (Catalan). The following website will help you.
The languages used at the URV are Catalan and Spanish (both official) and to a lesser extent English. Catalan is the language of both Catalonia and the URV, and is thus also the most frequently used language by the university's administration. In undergraduate courses, around 65% of classes are taught in Catalan, about 30% in Spanish and around 5% in English. In contrast, teaching in postgraduate courses is mainly in Spanish and English. The teacher has the right to choose which language he or she wishes to use in class, and this choice must be respected. The most widely used language in research is English.
The law establishes that the language of the URV is Catalan, but that Spanish is also a co-official language of the University. This means that teachers and students have the right to use either of these two languages. The URV's Plan for Language Policy guides this multilingual situation by promoting Catalan as the language of preference in normal everyday use whilst also encouraging multilingualism among its students and at an institutional level, in particular by increasing knowledge of English.
Teachers must state which language they will use to teach a particular subject before the registration period opens. Therefore, to find this out, you simply have to contact your faculty or school.
- Intercat: portal providing interuniversity resources, including free online courses in Catalan, bilingual university guides and self-correcting exercises
- Parla.cat: self-study or taught, from beginner's level
Face-to-face courses around the world:
- Institut Ramon Llull: courses at different universities (find one in your country)
The URV offers you free courses to help you learn Catalan as quickly as possible.
- Gràcies Programme (A1): 10 hours of beginner's language learning in the classroom and 5 hours of online cultural learning
- Basic 1 (A2.1): 28 hours classroom learning and 12 hours online learning (this course can also be done entirely online)
Continuing with Catalan:
- Basic 2 (A2.2) 28 hours classroom learning and 12 hours online learning (this course can also be done entirely online)
- Elementary 1 (B1.1): 40 hours online with a tutor and 6 hours of classroom learning.
- Elementary 2 (B1.2): 40 hours online with a tutor and 6 hours of classroom learning.
For general information, write to: infosl(ELIMINAR)@urv.cat
Yes, without a doubt! Learning Catalan will help you to get to know the Catalans much better and will open up new social and professional opportunities to you. Furthermore, the URV's Catalan courses will provide you with a language proficiency certificate that will be useful for your academic record and your curriculum vitae.
Catalan has a strong presence in all social ambits of Catalonia, including the public administrations (in particular the town councils and the Catalan Government), the world of business and work, the media, schools, the ambits of leisure and culture, the social networks, in public spaces, and so on.
In 2012 Catalan had more than 10 million speakers, who make up 72% of the population of the Catalan-speaking territories (Catalonia, Andorra, the Balearic Islands and parts of the regions of Valencia and Aragon). It is the ninth European language in terms of number of speakers.
Learning Catalan is like learning any other language, although you will obviously find it easier if you already speak another Romance language (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, etc.). And if you really want to learn Catalan, you will be able to do so with relative ease thanks to the various courses offered by the URV.
If you already speak a little Catalan and would like to practice some more, you can sign up for a Tàndems Lingüístics de la URV. There you will find native speakers with whom you can do language tandems; that is, you get to practice Catalan and they get to practice your language.
You can find out by answering this test on inter-cultural openness.