Mallorca - Castilian vs. Catalan
Castilian Spanish is the language of the Spanish Government in Madrid and the Spanish you learn if you take a Spanish course abroad. However many regions have their own individual languages and dialects. Mallorca is no exception.
The official languages of Mallorca are Spanish and Catalan. And the local dialect of Catalan is known as Mallorquí. Interestingly the dialect can be slightly different in each village! Valencia and Alicante also speak Catalan dialects called Valenciano and Alicantino. Road signs use the Catalan place names e.g. Pollensa becomes Pollença.
Although we use the Castilian Spanish names in all of our maps and texts, we have added the Catalan name where appropriate in brackets to help you when out and about in Mallorca. But as you can see most Catalan names are similar to the Castilian ones so you won't have any problems.
Church sign in Catalan
The name Mallorca is derived from the Latin insula maior, translated as 'the large island', later insula maiorica for 'larger island' - contrary to insula minor for the “small” island Menorca.
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