The Geographic Distribution

From the 9th century to the present day, Galician is the language spoken in the territory of the present Autonomous Community of Galicia and the most western areas of Asturias, Leon and Zamora. It is still today the common language used by the 90 per cent of the inhabitants of the Ellas Valley, in north-western Extremadura.

  • Map of Galician Standard and Local Varieties

    Map of Galician Standard and Local Varieties

Map of Galician Standard and Local Varieties

Due to the special historical circumstances of the Galician emigration around the word, there are some regions and cities (Barcelona, Zurich, Montevideo or Buenos Aires) with a strong presence of people of Galician origin. This population preserved it language as communication vehicle, not only for private but also for public use: in journals, literary reviews or even in the radio.

Galician Standard and Local Varieties

The Linguistic Normalization Law (1983), in its additional provision, provides the Royal Galician Academy with the authority to establish the standard of the language. The previous year, in 1982, this institution had published, together with ILG (Galician Language Institute), the first edition of the Galician language normative. This text had two modifications: in 1995, with minor changes, that filled some identifiable gaps, and in 2003. This latter modification is the normative text currently in force.

As with all the world’s living languages, Galician has different local varieties. However, Galician is a quite homogeneous language with regard to its local varieties. This is the reason why the specialists prefer not to refer to them as dialects but as local varieties. For that reason, in an attempt to classify these varieties, they were placed in three groups of linguistic phenomena, and, within these groups, in different areas. In order to undertake this work of characterization and classification, it was, basically, taken into account phonetic and morphological features and to a much lesser extent, syntactical or lexical aspects.