Frequently Asked Questions


1. In what language are under-graduate classes held at University of Barcelona (UB)?

2. In what language are post-graduate and doctorate classes held at UB?

3. In what language shall examinations be written?

4. Is there any relation between the language of classes and the hours when they are held?

5. How can I learn Catalan?

6. How can I learn Catalan outside Catalonia?

 
Other FAQ about  Catalan or about its use at the Catalan universities (Link to the UPC)

 


Answers

1. In what language are under-graduate classes held at Barcelona (UB)?

In accordance with University of Barcelona's Bylaws and the Linguistic Policy Act of the Parliament of Catalonia, Catalan is the normal vehicle of expression in institutional and administrative practices and in the teaching activity of the University. The Act also provides that students and teachers have the right to express themselves, orally or in writing, in whichever official language they prefer. This means, in particular, that teachers may use Catalan or Spanish in their classes, and that their choice shall be respected.

Consequently, a variable percentage of classes at the University of Barcelona is held in Spanish or Catalan, depending on the teachers' choice of the language they wish to use. Likewise for this reason, the percentage of classes in the two languages differs at each centre (faculty): http://www.ub.es/slc/en/angdades.htm

Whatever the individual choice of each teacher may be, you should bear in mind that it is not especially difficult for a student who speaks Spanish to understand teachers who use Catalan in their classes. This is because Catalan and Spanish belong to the same family (Romance languages) and therefore have many similarities. Moreover, the scientific idiom that is used in class is based on the terminology of a specific area of knowledge, so it is much easier to understand than, for example, a conversation in the street.

Furthermore, in the classes that are held in Catalan, exchange students are never requested to make active use of this language. Consequently, when speaking in class (asking questions, etc.), taking notes, writing reports, taking examinations, etc., students may use Spanish as a matter of course since all the teachers at UB know this language. In short, over 2,000 exchange students come to UB each year; and those who attend classes held in Catalan usually have no difficulty following them.
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2. In what language are post-graduate and doctorate classes held at UB?

In accordance with University of Barcelona's Bylaws and the Linguistic Policy Act of the Parliament of Catalonia, Catalan is the normal vehicle of expression in institutional and administrative practices and in the teaching activity of the University. The Act also provides that students and teachers have the right to express themselves, orally or in writing, in whichever official language they prefer. This means, in particular, that teachers may use Catalan or Spanish in their classes, and that their choice shall be respected.

Consequently, a variable percentage of classes at the University of Barcelona is held in Spanish or Catalan, depending on the teachers' choice of the language they wish to use. Likewise for this reason, the percentage of classes in the two languages differs at each post-graduate or doctorate programme: http://www.ub.es/slc/socio/doctorat/program/proga.htm

Since the third-cycle programmes (master's, post-graduate and doctorate programmes) usually have a smaller total number of students and a larger proportion of foreign students than the first- and second-cycle courses:

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3. In what language shall examinations be written?

Examinations, reports, notes, etc. may be written in either of University of Barcelona's two official languages (Catalan or Spanish), regardless of the language in which the teachers hold their respective classes.
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4. Is there any relation between the language of classes and the hours when they are held?

The language of the various class groups does not depend on the hour when they are held but solely on the choice of each teacher. Consequently, there is no relation between the language in which classes are held and the time bands in which class groups are programmed.
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6. How can I learn Catalan outside Catalonia?

Learning Catalan:

There are various ways to learn Catalan in your home country: on the one hand you can use the resources available on the Internet, and on the other it may be possible for you to attend Catalan courses in your area.

On the web page of UB's Catalan Language Service, you can find information on different possibilities of learning Catalan (http://www.ub.es/slc/en/angaut2.htm). Specifically, on the page (http://www.ub.es/slc/en/angslink.htm) there are self-access learning resources in Catalan that are available on the Internet.

Among the Catalan self-access resources listed on this page, we recommend above all Speakcat (Intercat): Survival Course in Catalan. This beginner's course has been conceived for on-line study by exchange students, so it may be very appropriate for you. The URL of this course is: http://www.intercat.gencat.es/spcat/benvinguda.html

Another very useful resource is a University Phrase Book. This guide contains the basic vocabulary and the most common phrases in typical communication situations that arise when you travel to another country and in the situations commonly encountered by exchange students at a foreign university.
The address is: http://www.intercat.gencat.es/guia/index.html (the guide includes audio files that allow you to hear how the phrases and words are pronounced).

Other interesting ressources for learning Catalan basic vocabulary: http://www6.gencat.net/llengcat/publicacions/comencem/index.htm, http://www6.gencat.net/llengcat/publicacions/viure/index.htm.

Also quite interesting is the web page of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) on the possibilities of learning Catalan: http://www6.gencat.net/llengcat/aprencat/index.htm

This page presents various options for learning Catalan. For example, you can download computer programs by clicking on: "Autoformació en llengua catalana" (Self-Access Catalan): http://www6.gencat.net/llengcat/aprencat/recursos.htm.

You can also obtain bibliographic references by clicking on: "Bibliografia per aprendre català" (Bibliography for Learning Catalan): http://www6.gencat.net/llengcat/aprencat/biblio.htm

Perhaps the most commonly used manual on the initial levels is the one entitled Digui, digui… Curs de català (not available on the Internet).

You can purchase books on-line at the following addresses:

http://www.books-world.com/
http://www.crisol.es
http://www.ub.es/edicions/comandae.htm
http://www.grec.net/llivirt/mp.pgm?F=HALL
http://webrepublic.net/amazon/
http://www.neu-e.com/

Catalan courses:

On the web page of UB's Catalan Language Service, you can find information on Catalan courses given outside Catalonia. These are mainly university courses. http://www.ub.es/slc/en/anglec.htm.

You can also access this information on the web page of the Institut Ramon Llull: http://www.llull.com/llull/estatic/eng/quisom/lectorats-llista.shtm.

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Remarks: dcasals@ub.edu
Last updated: 17.06.2004