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Catalan phrasebook: Wikis

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Catalan (Català), spoken in Catalonia, Land of Valencia (where it is called Valencià), Balearic Islands (where it is sometimes called Mallorquí or Eivissenc), Andorra (where it is the only official language), the south of France (north Catalonia) and the Sardinian city Alghero, is spoken by about 7 million people, making it the 8th language in the European Union. It is, like Spanish and French, a Romance language, and people who hear it for first time have the impression that it's a mix between them. It's a separate language however, as old as the other Romance languages, and you will be very welcome if you try to say some words while you are in a Catalan-speaking region.

Like Spanish and most other languages, Catalan nouns (words for things) have genders. Every noun is either masculine, like home ("man") or feminine, like dona ("woman"). The gender of things doesn't always seem to follow logically from the meaning of the word; why a house (casa) is feminine but a car (cotxe) is masculine is just one of the vagaries of the language. Fortunately, the gender of a noun is usually but not always indicated by the last letter of the word; -a indicates feminine nouns, but as a difference from Spanish, masculine words don't have a common ending.

Adjectives also have gender and number. Like nouns, -a usually indicates the feminine form. Adding an -s at the end of an adjective makes it plural. Adjectives need to match the noun they describe in both gender and number. For example, borratxo "drunk", when modifying les dones ("the women"), makes les dones borratxes.

In this guide, where genders of nouns or adjectives comes up, we use the form "/a" to differentiate. It should be clear from context when to use the feminine and when to use the masculine form.

Pronunciation Guide

Written Catalan may seem less phonetic as Spanish or Italian to an anglophone foreigner, but it is definitely less complicated to pronounce than French or English. It has variations from one region to other; the model presented here is the standard pronunciation, similar to the language of the region in Barcelona. Each of the major dialectal areas has its differences in pronunciation and vocabulary (just like English does in Britain, by the way): Western (Lleida province and Ebre river basin), Balearic (Balearic islands), Valencian, etc...

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Vowels

To know how to pronounce vowels in Catalan, is necessary to know the strong syllable of the word; a, e, and o change if are in the strong syllable or a weak one. In other words, some vowels are reduced when unstressed or unstressed.

stressed as the 'a' in "article" [ah], and unstressed 'a' in "sofa" [uh]
stressed as the 'e' in "pet" [eh], and unstressed 'e' in "open" [uh]
like 'ee' in "bee"
stressed as the 'o' in "hot" and "port" [oh], unstressed 'oo' in "zoo" [oo]
silent between 'g' and 'e/i' and between 'q' and 'e/i', elsewhere as 'u' in "flute" [oo]

Watch for the different accent signs in e and o: è sounds always as 'e' in "bed", é sounds as 'ea' in "bear", ò sounds as 'o' in "bond" and ó sounds like the 'o' in "score". Like Spanish, stress usually falls on the second-last syllable unless the word ends in certain consonants (l,r,z,d) and has an accent. Also the i with the two dots 'ї' indicates that the vowel sound should be pronounced as a separate syllable: Ensaїmada [ehn-SUH-ee-mah-duh] Sweet pastry.

like 'b' in "bed"
when followed by 'e' or 'i', like 'c' in "cell", otherwise like 'k' in "kid"
ç
like 'c' in "cell"
like 'd' in "dog"
like 'f' in "fine"
when followed by 'e' or 'i', like 'j' in "james", otherwise like "g" in "go" (in the clusters "gue" and "gui", the "u" is silent, unless it bears a diaeresis, as in "güe" and "güi")
gu, gü 
like 'Gu' in McGuire or 'w' in "wire"
silent
like 'j' as in "jean" (French pronounciation)
like 'c' in "cat"
like 'l' in "love"
ll 
like 'lli' in "million" (palatized l)
l·l
like 'l' in "love"
like 'm' in "mother"
like 'n' in "nice", and like 'n' in "anchor"
ny 
like the Spanish "ñ" as in Señor; the y is soft sign.
like 'p' in "pig"
like 'q' in "quiche" (always with a silent "u")
like 'r' in "butter"; except at the beginning of a word, or after "l" and "n"
like 'r' in "row"; at the beginning of a word, or after "l" and "n"
rr 
like 'rr' in "mirror"; identical to the sound above
like 'ss' in "hiss" except when is between vowels, when it sounds like 'z' in "zone". Sometimes pronounced like a soft "sh".
ss 
like 'ss' in "hiss". Always goes between vowels.
like 't' in "top"
tx
pronouned like the 'ch' as in "chip"
like 'b' in "bed"
like 'w' in "weight" in English words, like 'b' in "bed" in Germanic words
like 'sh' in "short", except if is between two vowels, when sounds like the x as in "Axel"
like 'z' in "zone"
Hello (informal). 
Hola. (OH-lah). For the formal equivalent of "hola" see good morning, good afternoon, good evening, below.
How are you? 
Com estàs? (KOH-m ehss-TAHSS?) (informal); Com està? (KOH-m ehss-TAH?) (formal)
Fine, thank you. 
Molt bé, gràcies. (mohl behh, GRAH-syehs)
What is your name? 
Com et dius? (informal) (kohm eht thyoos?) / Com es diu? (formal) (kohm ehs thyoo?)
My name is ______ . 
Em dic ______ . (ehm theek...)
Nice to meet you. 
Molt de gust. (mohl theh goos)
Please. 
Si us plau. (sees-PLOW)
Thank you. 
Gràcies. (GRAH-syehs) OR Mercès. (MEHR-sehhs)
You're welcome. 
De res. (deh rrehs)
Yes. 
Sí. (see)
No. 
No. (noh)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Dispensi. (DEES-pehn-see)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Perdoni. (pehr-THOH-nee)
I'm sorry. 
Ho sento. (oo SEHN-too) OR Em sap greu. (ehm sahp greh-oo)
Goodbye 
Adéu. (uh-THEH-oo) OR Adéu-siau. (uh-THEH-oo-syah-oo)
I can't speak Catalan [well]. 
No parlo [bé] el català. (noh PAHR-loo [be] ehl kah-TAH-lah)
Do you speak English? 
Parles anglès? (informal); Que parla anglès?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Que hi ha algú que parli anglès?
Help! 
Ajuda! Auxili!
Good morning. 
Bon dia.
Good afternoon. 
Bona tarda.
Good evening (when it's dark) 
Bon vespre.
Good night. 
Bona nit.
I don't understand. 
No ho entenc.
Where is the toilet? 
On és el lavabo? OR On són els serveis?
Leave me alone. 
Deixa'm en pau!
Don't touch me! 
No em toquis! (nom-TOH-kees)
I'll call the police. 
Trucaré la policia!
Police! 
Policia! (poo-lee-SEE-ah)
Stop! Thief! 
Al lladre!
I need help. 
Necessito la teva ajuda.
It's an emergency. 
És una emergència
I'm lost. 
M'he perdut.
I lost my bag. 
He perdut la meva bossa.
I lost my wallet. 
He perdut la meva cartera/bitlletera.
I'm sick. 
Estic malalt (woman: Estic malalta)
I've been injured. 
Estic ferit/ferida
I need a doctor. 
Necessito un metge. (nah-sir-see-toom-MEH-djer)
Can I use your phone? 
Puc utilitzar el seu telèfon?
u/una (Male/Female) (OON/OO-nah)
dos/dues (Male/Female) (DOHS/DOO-wehz)
tres (TRREHS)
quatre (KWAH-truh)
cinc (SEENK)
sis (SEES)
set (SEHT)
octu (OOC-thoo)
nou (NOH-oo)
10 
deu (DAY-oo)
11 
onze (OHN-zuh)
12 
dotze (DOH-tzuh)
13 
tretze (TRAY-tzuh)
14 
catorze (kuh-TOR-tzuh)
15 
quinze (KEEN-zuh)
16 
setze (SEHT-zuh)
17 
disset (dee-SEET)
18 
divuit (dee-BWEET)
19 
dinou (dee-NOH-oo)
20 
vint (BEENT)
21 
vint-i-u (been-tee-OO)
22 
vint-i-dos (been-tee-DOHS)
23 
vint-i-tres (been-tee-TREHS)
30 
trenta (TRAYN-tuh)
31 
trenta-u (trayn-tuh-OO)
40 
quaranta (kwuh-RAHN-tuh)
50 
cinquanta (sin-KWAHN-tuh)
60 
seixanta (say-SHAHN-tuh)
70 
setanta (suh-TAHN-tuh)
80 
vuitanta (bwee-TAHN-tuh)
90 
noranta (noo-RAHN-tuh)
100 
cent (SENT)
200 
dos-cents (DOHS-SENTS) or dues-cents (DOO-wuhz-SENTS)
300 
tres-cents (TRES-SENTS)
1000 
mil (MEEL)
2000 
dos mil (...)
1,000,000 
un milió (...)
1,000,000,000 
mil milions
1,000,000,000,000 
un bilió
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
número _____ (...)
half 
mig (MEECH)
less 
menys (...)
more 
més (MEHS)
now 
ara (AH-ruh)
later 
després (duh-SPRAYS)
before 
abans (uh-BAHNS)
morning 
matí (muh-TEE)
afternoon 
tarda (TAHR-thuh)
evening 
vespre (BAY-spruh)
night 
nit (NEET)

Clock time

NOTE: Catalan express time using a scheme based on quarters of hour:

un quart de X means (X-1) hour + 15 minutes, or 45 minutes before X hour
dos quarts de X means (X-1) hour + 30 minutes, or 30 minutes before X hour
tres quarts de X means (X-1) hour + 45 minutes, or 15 minutes before X hour
the X hour 
les X
the X hour in the early morning/morning/midday/afternoon/evening/night
les X de la matinada /matí/migdia/tarda/vespre/nit
one o'clock AM 
la una de la matinada (...), literally the one in the early morning
two o'clock AM 
les dues de la matinada (...)
noon 
migdia (...) literally half day
one o'clock PM 
la una de la tarda (...)
two o'clock PM 
les dues de la tarda (...)
midnight 
mitjanit (...)
9.15 
un quart de deu
11.30 
dos quarts de dotze
15.45 
tres quarts de quatre
17.37 (aprox.)
dos quarts i mig de sis, literally two quarters and a half of six

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minut(s) (...)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ hora (hores) (...)
_____ day(s) 
_____ dia (dies) (...)
_____ week(s) 
_____ setmana (setmanes) (...)
_____ month(s) 
_____ mes (mesos) (...)
_____ year(s) 
_____ any(s) (...)

Days

today 
avui (uh-BWEE)
yesterday 
ahir (uh-EE)
tomorrow 
demà (duh-MAH)
this week 
aquesta setmana (uh-KEH-stuh suht-MAH-nuh)
last week 
la setmana passada (luh suht-MAH-nuh puh-SAH-thuh)
next week 
la setmana que ve (luh suht-MAH-nuh kuh BAY)
Monday 
Dilluns (...)
Tuesday 
Dimarts (...)
Wednesday 
Dimecres (...)
Thursday 
Dijous (...)
Friday 
Divendres (...)
Saturday 
Dissabte (...)
Sunday 
Diumenge (...)

Months

January 
Gener (...)
February 
Febrer (...)
March 
Març (...)
April 
Abril (...)
May 
Maig (...)
June 
Juny (...)
July 
Juliol (...)
August 
Agost (...)
September 
Setembre (...)
October 
Octubre (...)
November 
Novembre (...)
December 
Desembre (...)

Writing time and date

June 13th of 2004: tretze (13) de juny de 2004

black 
negre (...)
white 
blanc (...)
gray 
gris (...)
red 
vermell (...)
blue 
blau (...)
yellow 
groc (...)
green 
verd (...)
orange 
taronja (...)
purple 
lila (...)
brown 
marró (...)

Transportation

Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Quant val el bitllet per anar a _____? (...)
A single ticket to _____, please. 
Un bitllet senzill a _____, si us plau. (...)
A return ticket to _____, please. 
Un bitllet d'anada i tornada a ____, si us plau.
Where does this train/bus go? 
A on va, aquest tren/autobus? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
On és el tren/autobus que va a _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Aquest tren/autobus para a _____? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Quan marxa, el tren/autobus que va a _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Quan arribarà aquest tren/autobus a _____? (...)

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
Com puc arribar _____ ? (...)
...the train station? 
...a l'estació de tren? (...)
...the bus station? 
...a l'estació d'autobusos? (...)
...the airport? 
...a l'aeroport? (...)
...downtown? 
...al centre? (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...a l'alberg de joventut? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...a l'hotel _____? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...al consulat d'Estats Units/Canadà/Austràlia/Regne Unit? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
On hi ha molts... (...)
...hotels? 
...hotels? (...)
...restaurants? 
...restaurants? (...)
...bars? 
...bars? (...)
...sites to see? 
...llocs per visitar? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Pots indicar-me al mapa? (...)
street 
carrer (...)
Turn left. 
Tomba a l'esquerra. (...)
Turn right. 
Tomba a la dreta. (...)
left 
esquerra (...)
right 
dreta (...)
straight ahead 
endavant (...)
towards the _____ 
cap a _____ (...)
past the _____ 
després de _____ (...)
before the _____ 
abans de _____ (...)
Watch for the _____. 
Vigila el/la/els/les _____. (...)
intersection 
intersecció (...)
north 
nord (...)
south 
sud (...)
east 
est (...)
west 
oest (...)
uphill 
cap amunt (...)
downhill 
cap avall (...)

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi! (TAHK-see)
Take me to _____, please. 
Porta'm a _____, si us plau. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Quant costa anar a _____? (...)
Take me there, please. 
Porta'm allà, si us plau. (...)
Do you have any rooms available? 
Teniu alguna habitació disponible? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Quant costa una habitació per una/dues persona/persones? (...)
Does the room come with... 
L'habitació té... (...)
...bedsheets? 
...llençols? (...)
...a bathroom? 
...lavabo? (...)
...a telephone? 
...telèfon? (...)
...a TV? 
...televisió? (...)
May I see the room first? 
Puc veure l'habitació, abans? (...)
Do you have anything quieter? 
No hi ha res més silenciós? (...)
...bigger? 
...més gran? (...)
...cleaner? 
...més net? (...)
...cheaper? 
...més barat? (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
D'acord, l'agafo. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Em quedaré _____ nit(s). (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Em podeu suggerir un altre hotel? (...)
Do you have a safe lockers? 
Teniu caixa de seguretat? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
L'esmorzar/ el sopar estan inclosos? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Quan s'esmorza/se sopa? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Si us plau, netegeu la meva habitació. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Em podeu llevar a les _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Vull marxar. (...)
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Accepteu dòlars americans/australians/canadencs? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Accepteu lliures esterlines? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Accepteu targes de crèdit? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Pot canviar-me diners? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
On puc canviar diners? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Pot canviar-me xecs de viatge? (Pot can bee AR ma - sheks de vee AT dje)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
On puc canviar xecs de viatge? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Quin és el canvi? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
On hi ha un caixer automàtic? (...)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
Una taula per una persona/dues persones, si us plau. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Puc veure el menú, si us plau? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Puc veure la cuina? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Teniu cap especialitat de la casa? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Teniu cap plat típic? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Sóc vegetarià. (...)
I don't eat pork. 
No menjo porc. (...)
I don't eat beef. 
No menjo vedella. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
Només menjo menjar kosher. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Pots fer-m'ho més lleuger, si us plau? (amb menys oli/mantega/llard)
fixed-price meal 
menú de la casa (mer-NOO-der-ler-KAH-zer)
à la carte 
a la carta (...)
breakfast 
esmorzar (...)
lunch 
dinar (...)
tea (meal
tè (...)
supper 
sopar (...)
I want _____. 
Vull _____. (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Vull un plat que tingui _____. (...)
chicken 
pollastre (...)
beef 
vedella (...)
fish 
peix (...)
ham 
pernil (...)
sausage 
salsitxes (...)
cheese 
formatge (...)
eggs 
ous (...)
salad 
amanida (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
verdura (fresca) (...)
(fresh) fruit 
fruita (fresca) (...)
bread 
pa (...)
toast 
torrades (...)
noodles 
fideus (...)
rice 
arròs (...)
beans 
mongetes (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Em pots dur un got de _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Em pots dur una tassa de _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Em pots dur una ampolla de _____? (...)
coffee 
café (...)
tea (drink
te (...)
juice 
suc de fruita (...)
(bubbly) water 
aigua amb gas(...)
water 
aigua mineral sense gas (...)
beer 
cervesa (ser-BEH-zer); (informal) birra
red/white wine 
vi negre/blanc (BEE NEH-gra/BLANK)
May I have some _____? 
Podries dur-me una mica de _____? (...)
salt 
sal (SAHL)
black pepper 
pebre (...)
butter 
mantega (...)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Perdoni? (...)
I'm finished. 
Ja he acabat. (...)
It was delicious. 
Estava deliciós. (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Pots endur-te els plats. (...)
The check, please. 
El compte, si us plau. (...)
Do you serve alcohol? 
Teniu alcohol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Hi ha servei de taules? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Una cervesa/dues cerveses, si us plau. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Un got de vi negre/blanc, si us plau. (...)
A pint, please. 
Una pinta de cervesa, si us plau. But in Catalan speaking Spain it is better to ask for a quinto (20 cl), a mitjana (33 cl) or a canya (tap beer).
A bottle, please. 
Una ampolla, si us plau. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ amb _____, si us plau. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rom (...)
water 
aigua (I-gwah)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tònica (...)
orange juice 
suc de taronja (...)
Coke (soda
coca-cola (KOH-ka-KOH-la)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Teniu alguna cosa per picar? (...)
One more, please. 
Un altre, si us plau. (...)
Another round, please. 
Una altra ronda, si us plau. (...)
When is closing time? 
A quina hora tanqueu? (tankeu)
Do you have this in my size? 
Teniu això en la meva talla? (...)
How much is this? 
Quant costa això? (...)
That's too expensive. 
És massa car. (...)
Would you take _____? 
Agafaries _____? (...)
expensive 
car (...)
cheap 
barat (...)
I can't afford it. 
No puc pagar-ho. (...)
I don't want it. 
No ho vull. (...)
You're cheating me. 
M'estàs timant. (...)
I'm not interested. 
No hi estic interessat. (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
D'acord, me'l quedo. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Em pots donar una bossa? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Feu enviaments (a l'estranger)? (...)
I need... 
Necessito... (...)
...toothpaste. 
...pasta de dents. (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...raspallde dents. (...)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (...)
...soap. 
...sabó. (...)
...shampoo. 
...xampú. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...calmant. (...)
...cold medicine. 
...medicina per el refredat. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...medicina per l'estómac. (...)
...a razor. 
...una fulla d'afeitar. (...)
...an umbrella. 
...un paraigües. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...crema protectora pel sol. (...)
...a postcard. 
...una postal. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...segells. (...)
...batteries. 
...piles. (...)
...writing paper. 
...paper per escriure. (...)
...a pen. 
...un bolígraf. (...)
...English-language books. 
.. llibres en anglès. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...revistes en anglès. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...diari en anglès. (...)
...an English-Catalan dictionary. 
...diccionari anglès-català. (...)
I want to rent a car. 
Vull llogar un cotxe. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Puc obtenir una assegurança? (...)
stop (on a street sign
para (...)
one way 
un sentit (...)
yield 
cedeix el pas (...)
no parking 
no aparcar (...)
speed limit 
límit de velocitat (...)
gas (petrol) station 
benzinera (...)
petrol 
benzina (...)
diesel 
gas-oil (...)
I haven't done anything wrong. 
No he fet res de dolent. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
Ha estat un malentès. (...)
Where are you taking me? 
On em porteu? (...)
Am I under arrest? 
Estic arrestat? (...)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Sóc un ciutadà Americà/Australià/Britànic/Canadenc. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Vull parlar amb l'ambaixada/el consulat Americà/Australià/Britànic/Canadenc. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Vull parlar amb un advocat. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Puc simplement pagar una multa ara? (...)
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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