Catalan Language





The Catalan language is the historic language of Menorca but under Franco's rule from 1936 to 1975 the language was banned.

After his death Catalan was gradually reintroduced. Catalan is an ancient form of Spanish with traces of French, although it does not really sound like either Spanish nor French. In Menorca the locals use a distinctive dialect of Catalan called Menorquí.

Even everyday greeting and questions are different in Menorquí.

For example:-

EnglishSpanishMenorquín
Good day or Good Morning Buenos dias (bwoo nas deeas)Bon dia
Good afternoon Buenos tardes (bwoo nas tar des)Bona tarda
Good night or Good evening Buenos noches (bwoo nas no ches)Bona nit



Menorquí is a variant of Catalan which is widely spoken in the Barcelona region of northern Spain. However the local dialect also contains traces of romance languages as used in Italy. Quite a few variants can be traced to Sardinian origins like the use of "su" rather than "le" and "sa" in place of "la". These forms definate article were used in the Costa Brava area as well.

Another major influence on Menorqui words came from the British occupation The bow windows so typical of British architecture in the Georgian period are to this day called "boinder" and other ornate windows are referred to as "winders".

The local sandals or Abarcas are made by the "Xumaquer" (shoemaker as the X is pronounced as a cross between and H and a J). "Beguer" comes from beggar, "bifi" comes from beef and "chel" comes from Shell. "sarge" is used for a bully with its origins in the military who used were feared figures in Georgian times.

In the homes of Menorcans you will find a "saydbor" which is Menorqui for the elaborate sideboards which adorn many homes. The family will have "grevi" with their meal and children will still play with "xoc".

Just in case you are struggling in the last sentence I was mentioning Gravy and Chalk.

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