Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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Many Latin Americans who emigrate to Spain arrive in Barcelona, where they encounter Catalan for the first time. Many find jobs in bars shortly after arriving, where they have to deal with not understanding Catalan-speaking customers. In this article, I present selected data from interviews from a four-year qualitative, ethnographic study of the languages, migration, and identities of Latin American immigrants in Barcelona, in which participants describe their first and early encounters with Catalan. One theme that recurred in interviews was that of bar workers not understanding orders for a tallat, an espresso coffee with a shot of warm milk, known as a ‘cortado’ in Spanish. I also bring in data from a government media campaign promoting Catalan use with immigrants and a comedic sketch that parodies the same campaign using the ordering of a tallat as an example. Together, the data illustrate the multilayered, discursive construction of the story of the tallat.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Catalan; discourse; language planning; Latin Americans; service encounters; Spanish
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