Most locals in the provinces of Valencia, Alicante and Castellon either speak or understand their regional language.
In fact, data by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) found that 35.2 percent of people in the Valencia region have Valenciano as their mother tongue and many more understand it even if they haven’t quite mastered it.
Although you can probably get by in Castellano, the Spanish language spoken across Spain, you will find locals really appreciate it if you at least attempt to learn some words in the regional language, valenciano.
So the Olive Press got some tips from Aprende Valenciano a group who encourage foreigners in the Valencia region to learn the local lingo.
Native valenciaparlants will be so unused to a foreigner speaking the local language that you’ll leave them boquioberts (dumbstruck).
And if you can throw in some of these phrases, they might even say that you speak de categoria! (like a pro)
Of course, you can start off xino-xano (little by little) just to get your feet wet with some simple things such as ordering food or a tallat (espresso with a dash of milk).
Don’t prendre-s’ho a la valenta (take it to heart) if the cambrera (waitress) detects your accent—remember you are already being brave enough to speak the language and this alone is impressive!
Keep practising like this and you might be taken for a nadiu (native) by next month…tant de bo (if only) I hear you say!
But remember not to fer vergonya (be embarrassed)—the only way is up, and en un tres i no res (in no time at all) you’ll be chatting like a local.
Other useful phrases that will surely impress:
If you get invited to eat paella or arròs al forn, make sure you never say em fa fàstic (ugh, that’s disgusting) or if you do, make sure you do it a cau d’orella (under your breath), regardless of what class of exotic meat it might contain; instead, lick your lips and say: “xé, que bó” (man, this is amazing!).
And if there are any children present, you can exclaim jokingly “a la taula i al llit, al primer crit”, which literally means “Don’t make me ask you a second time to come to the table or go to bed”.
The kids might give you dagger glares, but the adults will not fail to be impressed at your linguistic skills.
And of course, you cannot leave without nonchalantly throwing in “Au” (bye).
For more tips on learning Valenciano visit the facebook group Aprende Valenciano or check out their youtube channel to learn more vocab and grammar. Conversational classes and language courses for children and adolescents to help bring them to required level for schools also available. More information at the website HERE