Catalonia's linguistic wealth is the result of its history. Before Catalan and the other Romance languages became established, Christians wrote in Latin, Muslims in Arabic and Jews in Hebrew.
Catalan evolved from Latin between the eighth and tenth centuries, as did Spanish, French, Italian and other Romance languages.
A total of 93.8% of the inhabitants of Catalonia understand Catalan, the official language, together with Spanish and Occitan. As well as Catalonia, Catalan is also spoken in other areas, including Valencia (where it is referred to as Valencian), the Balearics, Andorra, the south of France, L'Alguer in Sardinia, and part of Aragon (the Franja de Ponent). Overall, it is calculated that a total of nine million people speak Catalan and eleven million understand it.
Spanish is understood by practically the whole population (98.9%) and is spoken by 96.4%