While someone can visit or even move to Mallorca without knowing any Catalan or Spanish and still more or less get by, knowing the local languages gives you a much richer experience. You can make local friends and it shows respect for the place you’re choosing to visit or move to, even if you only know a few phrases. It also makes dealing with anything involving paperwork and government much, much easier since those offices usually don’t have the option of speaking English.
Do They Speak Spanish on Mallorca?
In Mallorca, there are two main languages: Catalan and Spanish. While learning Catalan could go a long way in really immersing yourself in the island and is a great idea if you’re moving to Mallorca long term, Catalan isn’t the most accessible language to learn and there are fewer resources for native English speakers.
However, learning Spanish will go far in improving your experience in Mallorca. As one of the most spoken languages in the world, you can easily find resources to learn (or improve) Spanish that fit all budgets and schedules such as in-person classes, online tutors, apps, and language exchanges.
Language Academies on Mallorca
If you learn best by going to a class with an in-person teacher and other students (and have the time to commit), there are several different options in Mallorca with different price points.
The EOI is perhaps one of the most popular options for foreigners who have moved to Mallorca. The course only costs about 200€ and runs from October to June. The classes are twice a week and last two hours each.
You have to take a language placement exam (either in-person or online). Classes are offered from A1 to C2. Registration opens in September.
Please note that the process to register and get signed up can be complicated so give yourself time and patience. Those I know who are enrolled are very pleased with the courses, but they complain that the enrollment process is more stressful than it needs to be.
|Address||C/ de Felip II, 17, 2n, Palma|
C/ de Gregorio Marañon, s/n, Palma
|Phone Number||971 242 642|
971 244 976
If you are unable to sign up at the EOI, the ayuntamiento also offers affordable basic Spanish classes for residents. You can sign up in September for courses from October to December, in January for courses from February to May, and in June for courses from July to August. The courses are 38€ if you have an empadron in Mallorca and 80€ if you do not. If you have six unexcused absences, you are dropped from the course.
Another affordable option is going to one of the CEPAs (Centros de Educación de Adultos). Registration for these annual basic Spanish courses open in September and the cost is 30€ for the year. There are four locations: CEPA Camp Rodó, CEPA La Balanguera, CEPA Son Canals, and CEPA S’Arenal. They meet three hours a week.
The Universidad de las Islas Baleares also has Spanish courses for adults that can accommodate and teach from A1 to C2 and also emphasize teaching about culture. The course is in person and costs 425€ for 60 hours (including materials). There are also discounts available for Erasmus students. It runs from November to February and meets about three times a week for two hours each class.
|Address||C/ d’en Morei, 10, Palma|
|Phone Number||971 71 82 90|
Die Akademie is a private language academy that is more costly than the above options but has a wide variety of courses to fit different levels and schedules. They offer intensive classes, flexible courses that meet for a couple hours a couple times a week, private lessons, and classes for families. You can start your courses whenever you want. It is located near the Palma ayuntamiento.
|Address||Av. d’Alemanya, 3, Palma|
|Phone Number||971 72 06 43|
BCN Languages is another private academy located in Palma that offers extensive courses, intensive courses, and private lessons ranging in level from A1 to C2. They also have a campus in Barcelona.
Online Tutoring Platforms
While going to an academy and taking in-person classes are a great way to really focus on a language and improve your Spanish skills in a shorter period of time, it isn’t always possible to fit a regular class into your schedule. In that case, utilizing an online tutors platform can be a great (and affordable) option.
Lingoda is a popular online language platform that is known for the “Lingoda Language Sprint,” a one month-challenge for new subscribers where you can get 50% cashback if you complete the challenge and follow all the rules.
All the tutors are native Spanish speakers from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries and they have a set curriculum they follow. As with most Spanish courses (online or in-person), the more classes you book, the cheaper it is. If you buy five group classes, the cost is about 12.50€/class, but if you buy 20 group classes, the cost is about 8.50€ per class. They also offer individual sessions that are more expensive. There is a seven-day free trial to see how you like it.
iTalki is another online tutors platform with native Spanish speakers that offers a lot of flexibility and is more of a “choose your own adventure” experience. On iTalki, you scroll through a list of individual tutor profiles to find tutors who fit your needs and your budget. It can be a more affordable option than Lingoda, but the curriculum is not standardized and is up to the discretion of each tutor. There are also trial lessons to help you find the tutor who is the right fit for you.
Online Platforms and Apps
If you have a hectic schedule and need even more flexibility, or if you’re looking for a nice Spanish learning supplement, online platforms and apps are a great resource.
Rosetta Stone is also another online platform that has been synonymous with language learning for years and years. There is no free option (besides a three-day free trial), but it is affordable at $11.99/month for three months and $9.99/month for 12 months. Lessons are self-paced drills based on images and audio. Its most notable feature is its emphasis on speaking with top-notch voice recognition software.
However, common complaints are that Rosetta Stone doesn’t really teach grammar or offer too many English translations/explanations and that it also can be a bit repetitive. It can be good for visual learners. Additionally, it does have the option for live classes and coaching at an additional cost, but that cost is more pricey than other platforms.
Babbel is another popular online language learning platform. It also focuses on drills much like Rosetta Stone, but it uses English directions and translations. Also, where Rosetta Stone has an emphasis on speaking, Babbel has less speaking elements but emphasizes grammar.
Babbel has bite-sized, shorter lessons of 10 to 20 minutes that you can fit in anywhere, selecting the categories you want to learn about. Users say that there is more variety in the drills and exercises than Rosetta and it isn’t as likely to feel boring. Additionally, Babbel is slightly cheaper per month.
It is impossible to think of a language learning app and not think of Duolingo. Duolingo has a great free version of the app as well as a paid version. It is the app that I personally have the most experience with. Spanish is one of my degrees, so I learned the language in a university setting, but I like to use Duolingo to review grammar structures and vocabulary that I might not use as much in my day-to-day life.
It’s a quick way to get some extra practice when you’re on a bus or waiting in line instead of scrolling on social media. However, I also recently began using Duolingo to learn a new language (Italian) from scratch and I do feel like I have learned basic things like greetings and forming a few simple, basic sentences.
However, I don’t recommend learning Spanish from scratch on Duolingo, especially if you’re wanting to improve quickly. I do highly recommend it as a free, quick supplement though since the app is free, easy to use, and fun and interactive.
Language Exchanges and Meetups in Mallorca
No matter what you decide your primary way of learning Spanish will be, practicing is an essential part of improving your speaking and listening skills as well as overall fluency. And while practicing Spanish by talking to yourself is one way to do it, it’s best to do so with others, especially native speakers who can help guide you. It gives you more real world application than a book or course will. When you’re trying to hold a conversation about your hobbies, weekend, job, or anything you talk about frequently and you’re lacking vocabulary, you know that’s an area to work on. And besides improving your language skills, language exchanges and meetups are a fun way to meet others and make friends.
Besides finding official language exchanges, any meetup or activity with native Spanish speakers is going to accomplish the same thing. You can join a yoga group, a dance class, a hiking group, or anything you’re interested in. If it has Spanish speakers you can speak with, that’s practice. Additionally, try to find Spanish speaking friends who want to learn your language to be intentional about practicing each others’ language with.
In Palma, the Connect Lingus international group sometimes offers language exchanges, but it also offers other activities like dance classes, hiking, and meetups. There are people from all over, including Mallorca, mainland Spain, and Latin America, as well as other parts of Europe, the U.S., and Australia. You can connect with the group @connectlingus on Instagram.
The Meetup app is another way to search for language exchanges, groups, and activities with either a mix of people or primarily Spanish speakers.
Tips for Learning Spanish in Mallorca
1. Listen to as much Spanish as possible! Podcasts, movies, tv shows, music . . . these are all great ways to improve your listening comprehension.
2. Use Spanish in your daily life. Even if you are a beginner, you can start small with basic greetings and speaking Spanish at the grocery store, a restaurant, or while shopping.
3. Start following Spanish accounts on your social media platforms to train the algorithm. And I don’t just mean accounts about learning Spanish. Find comedians, fashion tips, cooking videos… anything you’re interested in.
4. Accept that you will make mistakes and be okay with it. It’s part of the process. Do you judge people learning English for their mistakes? Hopefully not! The conversation moves on anyways. Communication is the most important part.
5. Have fun! Learning a new language opens up a whole new world.