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Living in Andorra: languages spoken

When you decide to live in a new country, your lifestyle changes. New eating habits may be necessary and sometimes even new clothing styles. But, there is also the language. Sometimes it is necessary to learn the official language of the host country. For Andorra, this is Catalan. Although Spanish, French, Portuguese and English are also spoken in Andorra, its government is keen to promote it. In fact, even though it is a French-Catalan co-principality, being governed by the President of the French Republic and the Bishop of Urgell, French is not considered an official language, but only Catalan.

To better communicate with the local population and to easily understand their culture, it would be more than advisable to learn Catalan if you plan to immigrate to Andorra. For the Principality, mastering Catalan would also be an asset in all areas. When applying for residency, among other things, be aware that the procedures and forms to be completed are all in Catalan. The sooner you speak Catalan, the easier it will be to integrate. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you do not speak a word of Catalan.

Official languages in Andorra

Andorra is a territory that wants to be 100% Catalan and the Andorrans do not miss an opportunity to make it known. You can understand and feel this very quickly once you have settled in the Principality of Andorra. The Andorran culture and life have no similarities with those of France. And despite the fact that it belongs to Catalonia, it is not attached to the way of life or customs in Spain either.  

Catalan: the official language of Andorra

In Andorra, there is only one official language and that is Catalan. It is spoken everywhere in Andorra and even more so at the Government. All administrative, judicial, land, financial and other formalities are carried out in Catalan. For this reason, it can be complicated for a foreigner to deal with various administrative tasks related to expatriation, such as applying for a residence permit, if they do not speak this language.

However, some government officials do speak French, although this is very rare. Spanish is widely spoken and many government officials are fluent in Spanish. If you have questions and you do not speak Catalan, you can communicate in Spanish. However, the documents will have to be filled out in Catalan.

Spanish: a very common language in Andorra

In Andorra, Spanish is the second most spoken language after Catalan. It is very common. It should also be noted that in Andorran schools, the learning of Spanish is integrated into the curriculum just like French.

French: an important language in Andorra

If you have decided to leave France to live in Andorra, French is also spoken there. As there are French schools in this country, French is taught in establishments with a French education system. It is also a teaching system that the French prefer.

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Other languages spoken in Andorra

Apart from these three languages commonly spoken in the Principality of Andorra, others are also added to the list, which gives Andorra the status of a cosmopolitan country. It is therefore not surprising that a foreigner would quickly find it appealing, not to mention the other advantages that one could enjoy here and the extraordinary setting that it offers.

Portuguese: a large Portuguese community in Andorra

In Andorra, people also communicate in Portuguese, although this is rare in certain areas, such as tourist activities and economic transactions. The language is mainly used in everyday life due to the presence of a fairly large network of expatriates from Portugal.

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English: a common language in tourist areas

Keep in mind that in Andorra you can send your children to a private school that speaks English fluently. It may be easier for you to communicate in Andorra with this language. English is also often used in the tourist industry.

However, depending on the communities present, you may encounter other languages spoken in Andorra. In terms of education, the diversity of languages is not limited to Catalan.

Tips for learning languages spoken in Andorra

To make expatriation easier and to quickly enjoy all that there is to see and do in Andorra, learning Catalan is recommended, or at least Spanish. How can I do this as an adult with no knowledge of these languages?

Take language classes

Learning Catalan on your own can be difficult. If you look online for Catalan courses, you won’t find any platforms that will help you learn this language remotely. The quickest and most effective way to learn Catalan is to take classes offered by the Andorran government. The biggest advantage is that they are free of charge and offer programs for all levels. You can choose between online and face-to-face courses, depending on your preferences.

The online course is more practical because it allows you to better manage your time. You will benefit from oral and written lessons with exercises every Monday and Thursday. You will also have a tutorial, different modules and tests to take at the end of each of them. As for Spanish and Portuguese, you will be able to easily find courses on the Web and applications to learn faster.

Language immersion option

The best way to quickly master the local languages in Andorra is to immerse yourself in the daily life of Andorrans. If you really want to know how to immerse yourself in the Andorran language and culture, there is only one best option: practice with the locals and communicate with them.

Learn the local languages in Andorra for a better expatriation experience

Andorra is one of the most attractive countries in the world. In this small sovereign state in the heart of the Pyrenees, communication is generally in Catalan, but Spanish is also widely spoken, as are French and Portuguese. English is also spoken, although rarely. What is important to remember is that the Principality is also made up of many expatriates from around the world.

Andorrans, who speak fluent Catalan or Spanish, generally work for the government and major Andorran institutions. However, the professionals you will meet on a daily basis, such as cashiers, sales consultants and doctors, are not usually Andorrans, but often Spanish or Argentine expatriates, some of whom speak very good French or English.

Being fluent in Catalan or Spanish will make your life in Andorra much easier.


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