Barcelona has two official languages. Partly Spanish, partly the region of Catalonia's own language, the Romanesque Catalan. Most residents, 95 percent, understand Catalan, but only 74 percent speak it, and just under half, 47 per cent of the region's 7.5 million inhabitants can write it.
Catalan resembles both Spanish, French and Italian but have a sharp accent which gives a distinctive timbre. The language had its heyday between 1200 and the 1400s when there were frequent in the literature, including in Tirant lo Blanc, said to be the first novel in Europe.
The language was banned in 1939 in connection with the dictator Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. People were punished even if they only spoke Catalan in the street. The result was a generation who can not read or write the language they learned to speak at home. Today, authorities are struggling to restore the Catalan language as the main language used in the region. It is therefore often the only language used in public signs, maps and publications.
Although many, especially in the touristy areas, speak English, so appreciate the people that tourists recognize their language by trying on some of the phrases in Catalan.
Barcelona residents are known as a people with a talant towards business and a passion for their work. The lax attitude to the duties and responsibilities stereotyped there on Spaniards existent in Barcelona, which the residents gladly point out. A solid portion of the city's business is based on family businesses. Barcelona is full of shops. The population has high standard of living, this is something they get for the right to work long and hard. When barcelona residents go out to eat, they sit for hours and enjoy both the food, drinks and snacks in a good company.
The city's drivers are law-abiding, but impatient.
The love for the city's symbol, the football team Barcelona FC, is incredible. When the team wins - the streets become filled with celebrating people.
Although Barcelona residents are people who cherish their traditions, they are at once open and tolerant.