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Can you work in Barcelona if you don’t speak Spanish?

Written by Vicky York

The two official languages in Barcelona are Spanish and Catalan. But what if you only speak English? You are dying to live and work in this amazing city (and who can blame you) but don’t speak the language. So, is it absolutely essential to speak Spanish in order to work here? Well, it might be difficult but it is entirely possible.

Related article: Find your next job with Europe Language Jobs

An International City

Photo via Pixabay

Barcelona is a great international city with around 17% of its residents coming from outside of Spain. As well as this, the city is extremely popular among tourists with an estimated 32 million visiting last year. The good news is that because of this you will find many stores and local people who speak English and you won’t have any problem getting by day to day without being able to speak the local languages.

Related article: What is the difference between Spanish and Catalan?

Finding Work

Your best bet for finding an English-speaking job is working for an international company. Luckily, Barcelona is home to various international companies where English is the main language spoken in the office.

There is also the possibility of working in the tourism sector as you are at a great advantage speaking English. Bars, restaurants and hotels are always on the lookout for help, especially in the summer months. However, you should bear in mind that for some positions such as receptionists you will be required to speak Spanish in order to communicate with local people.

Photo via Pixabay

Another option is applying to be a nanny or au pair as many families are looking for English speakers to help their children learn the language. This can be a great option as you can also pick up some Spanish from the kids and family!

Of course, if you’re thinking of staying in Barcelona for the long term then you may want to consider learning Spanish. It is a lot easier to pick up the language being in the country. Or why not try to learn Catalan? The government here offers free classes, although you need to have a decent level of Spanish beforehand as the classes are given entirely in Catalan.

Looking for an apartment in the city? ShBarcelona can help you find the perfect one.

About the author

Vicky York

Vicky is a UK copywriter and translator based in Barcelona. An avid traveller, festival follower and music lover.

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