Definition of Catalan in English:



  • 1A native of Catalonia in Spain.

    • ‘The populations least likely to feel Spanish are Catalans and Basques, although these large, complex regional populations are by no means unanimous in their views.’
    • ‘But native Catalans will tell you that they are really a separate nation from the rest of Spain.’
    • ‘This involved in particular the Basques, the Bretons, the Galicians, the Catalans, the Occitanians, the Welsh and the the Irish.’
    • ‘There were minorities of Basques, Catalans, and Celts.’
    • ‘In Perpignan they are Catalans first and French second, and they have a very strong association with the Catalans in Spain.’
    • ‘The other groups are the Galicians, Basques, Catalans, Levante, and Andalusians.’
    • ‘Its success was assured after it defeated the Duke of Athens at the battle of Kephissos in 1311, and the Catalans remained dominant in Greece until the 1380s.’
    • ‘A survey the other day revealed that 80% of Catalans want Spain to lose every possible game.’
    • ‘Both are widely spoken by people whose formal education and written culture have been wholly or mainly in (as the case may be) English or Castilian, though since the 1980s the situation has changed for younger Catalans.’
    • ‘There is no such thing as plagiarism in politics and this is where the experience of the Basques, Catalans and Flemish over 25 years may be helpful.’
    • ‘He did not make the mistake, to which some British and most French writers were prone, of judging Catalans not only by their difference from other Spaniards but by superficial resemblances to French ways and style.’
    • ‘Liverpool's Anfield stadium has the Koppites, the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona its drum-thumping Catalans.’
    • ‘Like Basques and Catalans, Gallegos see themselves as slightly apart from the rest of the country, and an even greater percentage of the population speak the regional language than in the Basque country or Catalonia.’
    • ‘At that time, much of their territory was seized by Spaniards, Gascons, and Catalans.’
    • ‘In recent years the Catalans have run a superbly orchestrated campaign for the return of archives that were taken from Catalonia to Salamanca at the end of the civil war by Franco's troops.’
    • ‘Regionalism plagued Spain and Philip feared that the Catalans would help the Aragonese - they did not but his fear was genuine.’
  • 2mass noun A Romance language closely related to Castilian Spanish and Provençal, widely spoken in Catalonia (where it has official status alongside Castilian Spanish) and in Andorra, the Balearic Islands, and parts of southern France. It has about 6 million speakers in all.

    • ‘A translator of French, Spanish, and Catalan, she writes often about literature and art.’
    • ‘Everyone speaks Spanish too, and most people also speak Catalan.’
    • ‘A minority of these youths do not speak Catalan and have no sense of belonging to Catalonia.’
    • ‘Like Catalan and Castilian, Gallego is a Romance language (one with Latin roots).’
    • ‘Andorra's official language is Catalan, a Romance language spoken in Catalonia, a region in Spain.’
    • ‘Road signs in Catalonia are printed in both Catalan and the national language, Castilian.’
    • ‘They regard Valencian as just a southern dialect of Catalan, so this move has actually undercut their status.’
    • ‘I couldn't really understand what they were saying - nearly everyone in Sitges speaks Catalan, and my high-school Spanish class didn't prepare me for that.’
    • ‘Gasol speaks three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.’
    • ‘In the larger European context, the situation of Scots resembles that of Frisian in the Netherlands, Nynorsk in Norwegian, Occitan in relation to French in France, and Catalan in relation to Spanish in Spain.’
    • ‘The older generation, at least the working classes and the fishermen, still speak Catalan.’
    • ‘He also knew Catalan, Portuguese and German and taught himself some Greek and Turkish.’
    • ‘The parliament has already spent £102000 providing advice in a dozen other languages, including Catalan, French, Spanish and German.’
    • ‘Regional languages and dialects such as Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, Alsatian, and Flemish are still in use, and some are taught in regional schools.’
    • ‘Its inhabitants are Catalan rather than French, with a history rich in Spanish influence, particularly between the 13th and 17th centuries, when it was ruled first from Majorca and then from Aragon.’
    • ‘Two of the main regional languages - Catalan and Gallego - are Romance languages that bear some degree of similarity to Castilian.’
    • ‘In fact, the citizens of Barcelona, an ancient port city in Spain founded by the Romans in 15 B.C., have spoken Catalan as their native language for more than a thousand years.’
    • ‘The audience had to work hard to follow what was happening with the dialogue flowing in English and Catalan and the translations flashed up on a screen behind.’
    • ‘Sue wanted the girls to learn classic Castilian - the most widely used form of Spanish - versus Catalan, Galician, or Basque.’
    • ‘The main language spoken in Andorra la Vella is Catalan, but many of its inhabitants also speak Castilian, French and Portuguese.’


  • Relating to Catalonia, its people, or its language.

    • ‘She has spent a long time living in Barcelona where she is immersed in the culture, language and politics of the Catalan capital.’
    • ‘A hefty marble fountain-piece sits in the middle of it all and there is one wink to Catalan style in the twisty modern standing lamps dotted around the dining room and lounge area.’
    • ‘Study of the Catalan language is required in the region's schools.’
    • ‘Their parliament, government and universities were closed and the Catalan language banned.’
    • ‘The Catalan culture is marked by a special language and music, which bind the people across political barriers.’
    • ‘This is what is driving the ever-more vigorous assertion of the Catalan language as a unifying regional factor.’
    • ‘Earlier this year the return of the archives to Barcelona was a cause of pride and joy for Catalan nationalists.’
    • ‘The Catalan architect Enric Miralles, who designed the building, was given instructions to meet the founding principles of the parliament: accessibility, accountability and the sharing of power.’
    • ‘Three years later he started writing songs in his native Catalan language, influenced mainly by political singer songwriters.’
    • ‘The repertoire includes works by Catalan composers from the end of the 19th century.’
    • ‘As I said, my first language is Spanish, but I feel that my roots are Catalan.’
    • ‘And, though that alone may endear him to Catalan fans, it is the pace, intelligence and ability to create and score goals - all apparent in the second leg at Highbury - that make him a clear favourite to move to Barcelona.’
    • ‘Where the Scottish and Catalan situations most clearly differ, however, is in the language situation.’
    • ‘He still has problems with the Catalan language, more comfortable with English and German, but he has been making attempts to be less of a non-compromiser.’
    • ‘The capital is Eivissa, which is Ibiza in the Catalan language.’
    • ‘In addition to its tolerant history, the town is proud of the Catalan culture and language it shares with the rest of the Catalonia region of Spain.’
    • ‘Alghero is a place for evening strolls atop battlements and along cobbled streets, and echoes everywhere with Catalan influences.’
    • ‘I was myself struck hearing a politician from the republican left party express fears that Catalan culture was being ‘swamped by immigrants’, the language Thatcher used in the 1980s.’
    • ‘The red and yellow Catalan flag was displayed prominently around the stadium while the full range of Catalan anthems washed down from the stands throughout the game.’


From French, from Spanish catalán, related to Catalan català ‘Catalan’, Catalunya ‘Catalonia’.