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Alghero, the language

Sounds and voices of Catalonia

The centuries of Aragonese domination gave Alghero its own Catalan language, which has remained alive to the present day. This is very much a one-off case in Italy.
The Algherese dialect, still widely used, is a linguistic variant of Catalan, which makes Alghero very much a pais català. The dialect is awash with echoes and sounds of Catalonia, and can easily be heard by listening to the tales being reeled off by the old people of the town as they sit at the door of their houses.

While the phonetics may have drifted quite some way from the mother tongue, the lexicon remains that of old Catalan, with a limited number of Castillian, Sardinian and Italian elements thrown into the mix, reflecting the various powers that have asserted themselves here over the centuries.

With a view to keeping the Catalan dialect a vital part of life in Alghero, the City Council has, over recent years, implemented numerous measures geared towards reintroducing the dialect in formal documents and towards using it in various communicative contexts.