Once you are fluent in Spanish, the next step to full integration is learning Catalan. As you may have noticed that Catalans are very proud of their origins and they all are fluent in both Catalan and Castilian. So, if you want to penetrate the local sphere, buy a house or start your own business, you will need, sooner or later, to learn Catalan. Barcelona is promoting its own language to foreigners and ShBarcelona has listed for you the best ways to learn Catalan for free in the city.
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In person: Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüística
This public institution aims to spread the use of Catalan in all industries. Therefore, it offers language courses for all levels, from beginners to advanced. At the time of enrollment, a language test is carried out in order to place the student in the appropriate level. For the basic levels (B1, B2, B3 and CB), the courses are free and intended for people who have just arrived in Barcelona. For other levels, prices can vary from 10 to 400 euros depending on which package you pick and your social advantages. To apply for a class, you must be either over 18 years old, or be 16 years old and have not completed compulsory schooling in Catalonia.
There are several packages available: face-to-face classes (45 hours of class, divided over 4, 8 or 12 weeks); semi-attendance courses (45h in class + 45h at your home with an interactive CD-ROM); and distance courses (from home with a personalized follow-up by a tutor).
Related article: An introduction to the Catalan language
Parla.cat is a free virtual learning space. You can either choose the self-managed learning method, if you want to be fully autonomous or choose to study with a tutor. This method involves a virtual classroom to enable students to interact with each other. This method is not free, though, but you will have all the support you need from your tutor and the virtual community, on top of easy access to the course materials. Once registered, you will have access to all the resources and tools to help you learn catalan.
Parla.cat is financed by Generalitat de Catalunya and provides students with a Virtual Rambla through which users can access digital media, literature portals, on-line libraries, videos, music, games, etc. and interact in chats and forums with other members of the community.
Related article: Barcelona Languages and Friends, the language community in Barcelona
Via app: Book2
Finally, if you want to be perfectly independent during your learning, or you feel like you will have no time to attend classes, opt for a free app. Book2 is a free app that allows you to learn 50 languages. Basically, you pick your native language and then the language you want to learn, and you are good to go! Using this app, anyone can learn any language for free. Free learning is a human right according to Book2! Download some of their hundreds of mp3 files on your smartphone, and listen to it anytime, anywhere, while commuting, for instance. Learn online or off-line, acquiring basic vocabulary for beginners to be used in real life situations.