Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Ten years ago, I found that English was not especially widely spoken in Barcelona (or Madrid, either). I guess that was a legacy of fascism more than anything else. Spain didn't join modern Europe until 35 years after everyone else. (And I felt that in Barcelona everybody was too busy being bilingual in a Spanish/Catalan sense to be concerned about English). It was really noticeable that if you went over the border into France then you could get by in English with much less difficulty.

But this has changed. Most young people here now seem to speak English reasonably well and there doesn't seem a big difference from France in this regard. (Spain seems a more fast moving, happening country in most respects though). I guess ten years of being a major destination and of being perceived as a really hip and interesting place will do that for you. And of course there is the general globalisation that has gone on in that time. And just the fact that the Spanish economy has gone gung-ho forwards, and the Catalan economy probably even more so than that of Spain in general.

Anyway, enough blogging. There is a gherkin in the skyline I want to investigate.

No comments:

Blog Archive