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Official languages in Valencia

The two official languages spoken in the city are Spanish and Valencian, a dialect of Catalan. Due to political and demographic pressure in the past, the predominant language is Spanish, as opposed to areas surrounding the metropolitan area in the province of Valencia. The local government makes sure it emphasizes the use of the local language. For instance, all signs and announcements in the Metro are in Valencian, with Spanish translations underneath in smaller type. In relation to street naming policy, new street signs when erected are always given the Valencian name for street (Carrer) however the older street names bearing the Spanish names are only replaced when necessary. This results in a situation where in longer streets both languages can often be seen on street signs.

This is a handicap for tourists: Valencian is used for toponyms and place names such as streets and squares and they may appear either with their Castilian name or the Valencian (or both). So tourists might get lost or they mightn't find a place.

These are some common differences between Castilian and Valencian:

Square - Plaza - Plaça
Street - Calle - Carrer
Avenue - Avenida - Avinguda
Market - Mercado - Mercat
City - Ciudad - Ciutat
City Hall - Ayuntamiento - Ajuntament
Embassy - Embajada - Ambaixada
Consulate - Consulado - Consulat
Police Station - Comisaría de policía - Comissaria de policia
Chemist's, drugstore - Farmacia - Farmàcia
Shop, store - Tienda - tenda
Go shopping - Ir de compras - Anar de compres
Bakery - Horno, pastelería - Forn, pastisseria
Fishmonger - Pescadería - Peixcateria
Delicatessen - Ultramarinos, charcutería - ultramarins, xarcuteria
Hairdresser's - Peluquería - Perruqueria
Bookstore - Librería - Llibreria
Library - Biblioteca - Biblioteca
Ice-cream parlor - Heladería, horchatería - Gelateria, Orxateria
Restroom, toilet - Servicios, aseo - Servici, servei.
Exit - Salida - Eixida
Warning!, Caution! - Atención!, Peligro! - Atenció!, Perill!
Beach - Playa - Platja (plur. platges)
Bridge - Puente - Pont
River - Río - Riu
Palace - Palacio - Palau
Castle - Castillo - Castell
Fireworks - (Castillo de) fuegos artificiales - (Castell de) focs artificials
Parade - Procesión, pasacalle - Provessó, processó, passacarrer
Good morning - Buenos días - Bon dia
Good Afternoon/Evening - Buenas tardes - Bona Vesprada (vesprà)
Good Evening/Night - Buenas Noches - Bona Nit
Thank you - Gracias - Gràcies
Bye - Adiós - Adéu

As you can check, the important differences appear in some cases, but in toponyms the differences are not significative, so if you don't find on the map the location name you're searching for, look up if there's a similar name (usually where the other should appear), and it surely will be the place you want to go.

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