Which countries use Galician as their official language?

Which countries use Galician as their official language?

If you are curious about which countries recognize Galician as an official language, you have come to the right place. Galician, a Romance language closely related to Portuguese, is predominantly spoken in the autonomous community of Galicia in Spain. However, Galician is also recognized as an official language in some other regions and countries. In this article, we will explore the countries where Galician holds official status and delve into the rich linguistic heritage and cultural significance of this fascinating language.

History of Galician as an official language

Origins and evolution of Galician

Galician is a language with a rich history that can be traced back to the medieval Kingdom of Galicia. Its roots can be found in the Romance language spoken by the local population in the northwestern region of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the centuries, Galician has evolved through the influence of various linguistic and cultural factors.

The origins of Galician can be traced back to the 10th and 11th centuries when the Kingdom of Galicia was established. The language developed as a distinct variant of the Galician-Portuguese language, which was widely spoken in the region during that time. Galician thrived as a literary language during the Middle Ages, with the production of important literary works and troubadour poetry.

Throughout its evolution, Galician has been influenced by other languages, including Latin, Castilian Spanish, and Portuguese. These influences have shaped the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation of Galician, making it a unique and distinct language.

Recognition of Galician as an official language

The recognition of Galician as an official language has been a significant milestone in the preservation and promotion of its cultural heritage. The recognition process began in the 19th century during the Galician Renaissance, a period of cultural revival and nationalistic movements.

The first steps towards official recognition of Galician came in the early 20th century with the establishment of institutions such as the Royal Galician Academy and the Galician Language Day. These institutions aimed to standardize and promote the use of Galician in various domains, including education, literature, and administration.

The most significant recognition of Galician as an official language came in the aftermath of the Spanish transition to democracy in the late 1970s. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 granted official status to the languages spoken in the autonomous communities, including Galician. This recognition ensured the protection and promotion of Galician as a co-official language alongside Spanish in the region of Galicia.

Since then, Galician has gained further recognition and support through the implementation of language policies, the establishment of Galician language academies, and the inclusion of Galician language education in schools and universities. Today, Galician enjoys official status and is widely used in various domains, including government, media, education, and cultural activities.

In conclusion, the history of Galician as an official language reflects its deep cultural roots and the efforts made to ensure its preservation and promotion. Through its origins and evolution, as well as its recognition as an official language, Galician has become an integral part of the cultural identity of the regions where it is spoken.

Countries where Galician is an official language


Galician is one of the official languages of Spain. It is mainly spoken in the autonomous community of Galicia, located in the northwest region of the country. Galicia has a rich cultural heritage, and the Galician language plays a significant role in preserving and promoting this heritage. Alongside Spanish, Galician is widely used in official institutions, education, media, and daily life in Galicia. The recognition of Galician as an official language in Spain emphasizes the importance of linguistic diversity within the country.


Although Galician is not an official language in Portugal, it shares a close linguistic relationship with Portuguese. Galician and Portuguese are mutually intelligible to a significant extent, as both languages originated from Galician-Portuguese medieval literature. This shared linguistic heritage allows for a certain level of understanding and communication between speakers of Galician and Portuguese. In the bordering regions of Portugal and Galicia, there may be cultural and linguistic influences that bridge the gap between the two languages.

Galician, while primarily spoken in Spain, has historical and linguistic ties to Portugal. The presence of Galician as an official language in Spain, and its close relationship with Portuguese, contribute to the linguistic diversity and cultural richness of the Iberian Peninsula.

Galician dialects


Eonavian, also known as Eonaviego or Galician-Asturian, is a dialect of Galician spoken in the westernmost part of Asturias, Spain, and neighboring areas of Galicia. It is considered a transitional dialect between Galician and Asturian, sharing similarities with both languages. Eonavian has its own distinctive phonetic, morphological, and lexical characteristics that set it apart from standard Galician.


Fala, also referred to as Xalimego or A Fala, is a Galician-Portuguese dialect spoken primarily in the Val de Xálima region of Extremadura, Spain. This dialect has been influenced by both Galician and Portuguese, and it is recognized as a distinct linguistic variety with its own unique features. Fala has a rich oral tradition and is spoken by a relatively small number of people, making efforts to preserve and promote the dialect essential.

Other variations

Apart from Eonavian and Fala, there are various other regional variations of Galician dialects. These include dialects spoken in bordering areas of Portugal, such as Barranquenho and Cedillo, which have been influenced by Portuguese and Spanish. Additionally, Galician dialects are spoken in some parts of Zamora and León provinces in Spain, where they exhibit local peculiarities and have been shaped by the surrounding linguistic environment.

These diverse Galician dialects highlight the linguistic richness and complexity of the language, demonstrating the influence of historical, geographical, and cultural factors in shaping language variations across different regions.

The official language of Galician is primarily spoken in the autonomous community of Galicia, located in the northwest region of Spain. While it is not widely spoken outside of this region, Galician is recognized as an official language in Spain, alongside Spanish. This status affirms its cultural and linguistic significance within the region and underscores the efforts made to preserve and celebrate the Galician identity. Despite its limited use as an official language, Galician serves as a symbol of regional pride and heritage for the people of Galicia.

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