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Can You Work in Barcelona if You Don’t Speak Spanish?

spanish flag with blue skies
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. ShBarcelona tells you how!

Related article: Find your next job with Europe Language Jobs

What to take into consideration

Barcelona is an International City

square in barcelona with palm trees

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 in Barcelona

spanish words starting with an E

Photo via Pixabay

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 in the city centre 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.

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.

Have you managed to get a job in Barcelona?
Did you speak Spanish when you started the job?

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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