Depending on what course we’re doing, we better know at least one language besides our first language. I know some courses may not require this but in mine it should be almost mandatory. For the parts where we discuss something related to Portugal, of course we have data on our own language but this is just an exception. Not only do we study stuff about other continents and countries, but it’s also uncommon for us to have many bibliographical resources in Portuguese. Thus, we have to fall back on other languages. Because of all of this, I’ve been using in the past three years other four languages: English, French, Spanish, and lately Catalan. English will always be the basic and it’s super easy to understand; French is a lot more trickier but still easy to use if we put enough effort on it; Spanish is easy but annoys the hell out of me; and Catalan is my new and latest challenge.
Most of the bibliography I’m using for my third year dissertation is either in Spanish or Catalan. As I said Spanish is not a problem but Catalan might be. Or at least I thought it would be. Imagine a text of 100 words in Catalan – I can understand more or less 80-85 of its words. Considering the fact that I never studied Catalan, I think this is a good statistics. When reading something in Catalan, it seems that this language merged Spanish and French words to create its own Catalan words. However, if you hear someone speaking it, it won’t resemble anything French and maybe just a little bit Spanish. For us Portuguese people, if we pay attention to someone speaking Catalan, we will notice that some words sound just like their counterparts in Portuguese (with a bit of a Spanish accent of course). There’s still a big difference between our two languages but I found this to be an interesting detail.
The video is here to show you guys how speaking Catalan sounds like. I chose a clip from Barcelona’s YouTube channel because it was the first thing I thought of in Catalan (I mean who doesn’t know of their existence?), not because I’m a fan of the club – much on the contrary, I cannot stand them.