What is the official language spoken in Andorra?
Catalan is the only official language spoken in Andorra. The country’s historical and traditional language, it is used by politicians and institutions, television and radio.
It is therefore the main language of the country, throughout the territory, especially for the inhabitants of Andorran nationality living in the Principality. These represent one-third of the country’s population.
Andorra is the only country in Europe in which nationals of origin are in the minority. The nationalities that live side by side are diverse. The role played by tourism in the economic activity of the country also means that several other languages are spoken in Andorra.
Only one official language spoken in Andorra, yes, but ...
Catalan is also the main language of about 25% of immigrants of Spanish descent who have moved to Andorra (these represent between 30% and 40% of the Andorran population and come largely from Catalonia and the region of Valencia), Spanish, French, Portuguese are widely spoken languages in Andorra.
Spanish is thus the second most spoken language in Andorra, ahead of Portuguese (16% of expatriates in Andorra are of Portuguese origin) and French.
Moving to Andorra: is it easy to communicate?
In fact, it is very easy to communicate in Andorra even if you do not speak Catalan, the official language of Andorra. Indeed, almost everyone speaks Spanish (Castilian, more precisely) in the Principality and a good number of nationals also speak French.
The preponderance of tourism (eg skiing in winter, and hiking in summer) in the economic activity of the Principality partly explains this situation since the vast majority of visitors come from Spain and France. In the village of Pas de la Casa, on the border between France and Andorra, the French language is thus very widespread.
Moving to Andorra la Vella and to Principality: the importance of Catalan
The language in power
Several languages are therefore spoken in Andorra. However, the authorities carry out a particularly offensive policy of defending the official language of the country, for reasons both historical and political, that is to say, recognition at the international level. For example, the first Andorran President spoke to the UN in Catalan, a very symbolic act in the Principality.
Catalan remains at the base of the functioning in Andorra. At school, in the professional sphere or on television, the official language spoken in Andorra is omnipresent, as Judith Pedros, a journalist of the TV Andorra, explains. "We try to broadcast mainly programs in Catalan and all our newspapers are in Catalan. The target is to show our culture to the viewers. "
Moving to Andorra: your children will speak Catalan, no doubt!
The current policy of defense of the Catalan language is expressed particularly through the education system, where it predominates from kindergarten to the third.
If you are thinking about moving to Andorra, your children will have to face the official language of the country. But not only: many courses are also taught in French or Spanish and adapted to the practice of each. Do not panic, then, if you and your darlings are not yet familiar with Catalan!
The specificities of the official language spoken in Andorra
Catalan is a language of Roman origin formed in the 12th century on the ashes of Latin. Spoken by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, he still focuses on a small area of Europe.
We find the first traces of the official language spoken in Andorra since the 8th century, its popularity in the 13th and 14th centuries being undeniable: Catalan spread out from Mallorca to Sicily, from Valencia to Naples and Athens, through Sardinia. Less widespread since then, it is far from dying!