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Tumbit's take on Spain : Mr Grumpy

Mr Grumpy has lived and worked in Spain for 6 Years. He is self-employed and has a 3 year old Daughter that speaks better Spanish than he does. Despite the occasional moan about 'Spanish Bureaucracy' he enjoys the Spanish lifestyle and the warmth and friendliness of the Spanish people.

Spanish Regional Languages : Valenciano
17 September 2010 @ 17:41

In writing my recent blog "Spanish Regional Languages – For or Against ?" I realised that I was completely ignorant of most of the languages of Spain, and like most of the English I simply stuck my head in the sand whenever it came to even attempting to understand anything other than very basic Castellano. This is getting more and more difficult today as my daughter attends a typically Valencian nursery in the village and is slowly learning more and more Valenciano every day and is starting to look like that before long Valenciano will be her first language, followed by Castellano - and finally, English.

All of her school meetings and parents evenings are likely to be held in Valenciano aswell and so whilst I have been succesful in ignoring the language so far, I realise that I am just delaying the inevitable by continuing to find excuses in learning some.

With this in mind, I have dug a little deeper on the some of the major Spanish Regional Languages to investigate both their origins and a few useful phrases that you might like to be aware of – nothing will get you acceptance into your local community faster than a few key phrases in the local language !

A recent study by the Regional Government found that most Citizens do not normally speak Valenciano. Apparently, out of the 6'600 people Interviewed 39.5% used the language at home, 33% used the language with friends and 18% used the language in larger department stores.These averages fell to single digits when the demographic was based just on residents of the major cities – Alicante and Valencia.

There is also some debate as to whether it is actually a language in it's own right – many academics argue the case that it is in fact a dialect of Catalan. Equally puzzling is the fact that Valencian is agreed to have 5 distinct “ Sub-Dialects” that have their own subtle differences !


Here are a few useful key words and phrases that it may be useful for you to know :

English Castellano (Spanish) Valenciano
Good Morning Buenas Dias Bon Dia
Goodbye Adios Adeu/Au
Please Por Favor Per Favor
Thankyou Gracias Gracies
Yes Si Si
No No No
Bread Pan Pa
Holidays / Parties Fiestas Festes
Happy Christmas Feliz Navidad Bon Nadal
Coffee Cafe Cafe
Water Agua Aigua
Petrol Gas Benzina
Beer Cerveza Cervesa
Wine Vin Vi


You will find that many of the words are exactly the same in Valenciano as they are in Spanish, and the ones that are different seem to be a hybrid of Spanish and French ( As does Catalan ).

Like 0


alexestornel said:
28 September 2013 @ 09:09

We're new here in Cullera, Valencia and I just came across your blog. Are you still in Valencia?
Also, after reading your statistics I would dare to say that they're definitely higher here in Cullera and surrounding pueblos in Valencia. I'm fluent in Castellano and everywhere we go all we hear is Valenciano. I get approached in Valenciano and it's only when I respond back in Castellano that they switch. I have noticed that a lot of people mix Valenciano and Castellano while speaking. Because of that I can make out most of what they're communicating.
We too have a son in nursery (guadería) and most of his activities are in Valenciano which I think is great. They did say that if we preferred they could speak to him in Castellano.
It seems that there's definitely a big push to revive the language now that legislation has passed wherein Valencia has made Valenciano their primary language and Castellano sencondary. Most if not all public schools teach primarily in Valenciano.
Luckily the Valencianos are much nicer than the Catalan and though their language is 98% similar, their egos are drastically different. I love Barcelona and Catalunya but unlike the Valencianos, they have no desire to speak Castellano unlessed forced.
Anyways, great blog! Thanks.

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