32nd International IBBY Congress - 32º Congreso Internacional de IBBY

The strenght of minorities - A forza das minorías - La fuerza de las minorías

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See you in Santiago! > What do we speak?

What do we speak?

Galician people speaks both Galician and Spanish language. Nearly every Galician can understand Galician and Spanish, and only the oldest people can't write Galician properly.

Galician language is derived from the Latin spoken in the northwest of Hispania; as a Romance language it is part of the same family as Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian or Romenian. It is a language closely related to Portuguese, both of which had virtually the same history until the middle of the 16th century. Despite a divergent history since the Middle Ages, even today Galician and Portuguese are mutually intelligible almost without effort.

Galician is spoken in Galicia and in some areas bordering the Eastern Galicia. It is also spoken by emigrant communities in Latin America (above all in Argentina and Uruguay), Europe (especially in Germany, Switzerland and France) and Spain (mostly in Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque Country). In all, around two and a half million people speak it, being the first language of around two million of these, who use it regularly in their daily lives.

Today, Galician is recognized with the status of official language of Galicia , and is present at the school and the media. It is the first language of the majority of the inhabitants of Galicia. It is also the most used in daily life.

More information:

  • Loia, a website about the Galician language.