Andorra, a landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, is the only country in the world to have Catalan as the sole official language. Spanish, French, and Portuguese are the other popular languages spoken in Andorra.
The Official Language Of Andorra
Catalan, a Romance language, is the official language of Andorra. It is also the most spoken language of the country. 38.8% of the Andorran population speak Catalan as their main language. All people of Andorran nationality speak this language. Also, 25% of the Spanish immigrants to the country who constitute 43% of the total population also speak Catalan as their first language. Catalan is the language in use by the government and media of Andorra. Street signs and other public and private signs in the country are mostly only in Catalan. The government of the country further wishes to boost the use of the language by enforcing the learning of the language by the country’s immigrant workforce. Free classes are thus arranged to encourage the immigrants to learn Catalan.
Foreign Languages Spoken In Andorra
Over 70% of the Spanish immigrants in Andorra speak Spanish as their main language. Spanish became popular in the country after the arrival of these immigrants between 1955 and 1955. Today, about 35.4% of the population of Andorra speak Spanish. Spanish can be a medium of instruction in schools if parents select the language for the education of their child. Also, Spanish and not Catalan is more widely spoken between people of different linguistic backgrounds in the country. To avoid this, the government of the country has made efforts to promote the use of Catalan among the immigrant populations.
About 15% of the population of Andorra speak the Portuguese language. The language became popular in the country after the large-scale influx of the Portuguese people from Northern Portugal between 1960 and 1980. 11% of the country’s population is of Portuguese origin and speak the language in the country. A small Brazilian population in Andorra also speak the language.
About 7% of the population of Andorra are French nationals, mainly immigrants from Francophone Africa. These people speak the French language in the country. French can also be taught at schools if parents so choose. The Pas de la Casa town on Andorra’s border with France has French as the dominant language spoken in the town.