Galician 101

Galician is spoken by more than 3 million people, including most of the people in Galicia, as well as among the many Galician immigrants in the rest of Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Biscay), elsewhere in Europe (Andorra, Geneva, London), and Ibero-America (Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Havana, Caracas, Mexico City, São Paulo, Guadalajara, Veracruz City and Panama City).

Controversy exists regarding the inclusion of Eonavian dialects spoken in Asturias into the Galician language, with those defending Eonavian as a dialect continuum of transition to the Asturian language on the one hand, and those defending it as clearly Galician on the other.

Because of its historical status as a non-official language, for some authors the situation of language domination in Galicia could be called "diglossia," with Galician in the lower part of the continuum, and Spanish at the top; while for others, the conditions for diglossia established by Ferguson are not met.

Official status

Spain has recognized Galician as one of Spain's four "official languages" (lenguas españolas), the others being Castilian (also called Spanish), Catalan (or Valencian), and Basque. Galician is taught at primary and secondary school and used at the universities in Galicia. Further, it has been accepted orally as Portuguese in the European Union Parliament and used as such by, among others, the Galician representatives José Posada, Camilo Nogueira and Xosé Manuel Beiras.

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