An Indo-European language and a member of the Romance group of languages, spoken by approx. 10 million people mainly in the east of Spain (Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia), Andorra (where it is the official language), the south of France, as well as in the Sardinian city of Alguer. The closest linguistic affiliation is with Occitan.
By the 11th century the language existed in a form clearly distinguishable from Latin and the first documents written in Catalan date from the 12th century. Ramon Llull and Ausias March are the most prominent figures representing the Golden Age of Catalan literature (14th -15th c).
Today Catalan is spoken in two main mutually intelligible varieties: Western (mainly spoken in Valencia, the western part of Catalonia and the eastern fringe of Aragon) and Eastern (spoken in the rest of Catalonia, the Roussillon, the Balearic Islands and Alguer). The differences are minimal. It is spelt in the Roman alphabet.
CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European family, SCRIPT = Roman