BASIC DATA ON GALICIAN LANGUAGE
Competence and use
Galician language is one of the best positioned tongues within the framework of European minority languages taking into account its number of speakers.
Almost three quarters of the population in Galicia speaks Galician to a greater or lesser extent. According to the 2013 Survey on Household Living Conditions, performed by the Galician Institute of Statistics, almost three quarters of the population in Galicia speaks Galician to a greater or lesser extent. This means that more than two million of speakers use the native language of Galicia in their everyday life.
However, we carry out a comparative analysis on the surveys; we can note a drop in the percentage of people who usually speak Galician language in their everyday life.
|More Galician than Castilian||18,22%||26,44%||20,06%|
|More Castilian than Galician||18,73 %||22,45 %||22,00%|
|Always in Castilian||19,56 %||20,05%||25,95%|
|Other cases||0,50 %||1,10 %||1,15%|
|Total||100,00 %||100,00 %||100,00%|
|Galician speakers to a greater or lesser extent||79,93 %||78,85 %||72,9%|
IGE Survey on Household Living Conditions.
Note: Data are referred to the population aged 5 or older.
In view of the data, it seems evident the drop of Galician speakers, particularly among the younger. The best reason to explain this fact is the existence of a problem of intergenerational language transmission. It is not only a problem of Galicia but also a problem of societies as Basque and Catalan ones.
But it cannot be denied that there are in Galician relevant strengths when making an objective analysis:
- Three quarters of the population in Galicia speaks Galician to a greater or lesser extent, an unusual fact in minority language communities
- The largest decreases of Galician speakers are found among those people who had not the benefit of an appropriate schooling in Galician (those born before 1973)
- It increased considerably the number of bilingual people (Galician-Castilian) and their bilingual uses.
- The use of the language grew at school during the last ten years; in the relationship among pupils, between pupils and teachers and these latter and their parents.
|Only one language||51,77%||37,51%||26,27%|
Source: IGE. Survey on Household Living Conditions.
Note: Data is referred to the population aged 5 or older; people who study in Galicia nowadays and usually speak with their teachers.
Since the last Survey on Household Living Conditions (2008), it has grown the number of persons with a high knowledge of Galician, both oral and written. It is a particularly important recovery if we take into account that the previous trend indicated a decrease, according to the comparison between 2003 and 2008 data. The improvement of the knowledge of Galician is confirmed in four skills (oral comprehension, written comprehension, speaking and writing).
|People who can speak Galician||People who can write Galician|
|A high level||67,94%||54,13%||57,31%||28,08%||25,25%||29,40%|
Source: IGE. Survey on Household Living Conditions 2013
Family continues to be the main vehicle for the Galician language acquisition. 82, 17% of Galician people learned to speak Galician within this environment. However, we have to take into account that school surpasses family as a means of learning among people under 30 years old. Even though, 67, 56% of young people point out that family is one of their learning spaces.