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attractions you recommend in barcelona? Watch

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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    The hotel staff will speak to you in English. I've stayed in many hotels in Barcelona and they have all had multilingual staff. The locals will know you are a tourist (seriously, they will - they can spot it a mile off) and will start off by speaking in English anyway. It is always nice going somewhere with my son and getting this treatment and seeing their faces when he responds in fluent, locally accented Spanish.

    The sign posts everywhere are in 3 languages; Spanish, English and Catalan. Catalan independence is a very hot political issue, and best avoided as a topic of conversation. The locals speak Catalan, but they all also speak Castilian Spanish and certainly won't expect a foreigner to know any of it.

    Getting into the city from the airport is very simple on the train, and you really can't get it wrong, plus it's really cheap, as is the metro.
    ok, at risk of sounding ignorant - whats the difference between spanish and catalan?
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    (Original post by shawtyb)
    ok, at risk of sounding ignorant - whats the difference between spanish and catalan?
    Dialect. It's like a northern English accent and a southern English accent. Some different words for different things and a slightly different grammar/conjugation style. Generally catalonians will speak Standard Spanish too.
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    (Original post by shawtyb)
    ok, at risk of sounding ignorant - whats the difference between spanish and catalan?
    I'm assuming that you don't want a linguistic analysis of the difference, although my son tells me Catalan is basically Spanish with the last letter missed off. I think he is over-simplifying a bit there.

    Catalan is the dialect spoked in Catalonia, the region of which Barcelona is the capital, and it is a mix of Spanish and French, to be a bit over-general. Speaking Catalan was banned when Spain was under the rule of General Franco, until the mid 70s, and it is a big thing with supporters of Catalan independence as a result. Think of it as being like Welsh in the UK. Speaking it defines you as a native of an area which is not the one which is the main centre of government.

    It won't trouble you at all. They won't expect foreigners to know any words in Catalan. They don't expect tourists to even bother with Spanish, tbh.

    If there is anything specific you'd like to know, my son is coming home this afternoon for a holiday, and I will ask him.
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    (Original post by iEthan)
    Dialect. It's like a northern English accent and a southern English accent. Some different words for different things and a slightly different grammar/conjugation style. Generally catalonians will speak Standard Spanish too.
    ok cool thanks

    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    I'm assuming that you don't want a linguistic analysis of the difference, although my son tells me Catalan is basically Spanish with the last letter missed off. I think he is over-simplifying a bit there.

    Catalan is the dialect spoked in Catalonia, the region of which Barcelona is the capital, and it is a mix of Spanish and French, to be a bit over-general. Speaking Catalan was banned when Spain was under the rule of General Franco, until the mid 70s, and it is a big thing with supporters of Catalan independence as a result. Think of it as being like Welsh in the UK. Speaking it defines you as a native of an area which is not the one which is the main centre of government.

    It won't trouble you at all. They won't expect foreigners to know any words in Catalan. They don't expect tourists to even bother with Spanish, tbh.

    If there is anything specific you'd like to know, my son is coming home this afternoon for a holiday, and I will ask him.
    so its alot deeper then just choosing a different language. ok - understood! thanks!!
    can u ask him, obviously bar the pick pockets, what else is it best to avoid or watch out for?
    any anything he thinks i should know (i have 3 young kids if its any consolation)

    also, id at least try and speak spanish where i can, i hope theyd appreciate it
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    (Original post by shawtyb)
    ok cool thanks



    so its alot deeper then just choosing a different language. ok - understood! thanks!!
    can u ask him, obviously bar the pick pockets, what else is it best to avoid or watch out for?
    any anything he thinks i should know (i have 3 young kids if its any consolation)

    also, id at least try and speak spanish where i can, i hope theyd appreciate it
    I will ask him. Certainly pickpockets are the big thing, especially on Las Ramblas. I haven't personally had any trouble, though. (Touch wood etc.) Las Ramblas late at night is home to prostitutes and drug dealers, but you'll not be out at that time if you have kids.

    If you try to speak Spanish, I'm sure they will appreciate it, but they will still speak back to you in English!

    With kids, there is mileage to be got out of the marina at the bottom of Las Ramblas, where there are lots of yachts to look at. On Las Ramblas itself there are lots of stalls selling caged birds, which will interest the kids, but it's prime pickpocket territory, so be ultra vigilant. The beaches are good, although they are artificial and topped up with lots of sand by the council. There are areas for playing beach volleyball and so on. They will like the cable car over the sea, I am sure. It's been a long time since I had to cater for young kids, so I am out of the loop there, but he teaches young kids so he will know some useful things.The Spanish are a pretty kid-friendly nation.

    You might find it worth your while to do the hop-on, hop-off, open-topped bus tour to get your bearings and get around. One of the stops is the Olympic stadium, which you can go in and look around for free, and that might appeal to the kids in prime Olympic season. If art is your thing, the Museum of Catalan Art is terrific.

    I'm sure you are already sensible about sun block, but it is very, very hot there so keep slapping on the sun block. If you need anything like an extra T shirt or the like, El Corte Ingles has several branches and is pretty much Debenhams.
 
 
 
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