Catalan is a Romance language spoken by about 7.2 million people. It is the official language of Andorra and an official language, along with Spanish, in Catalonia (Catalunya), Valencia (Comunitat Valenciana), the Balearic Islands and the Sardinian city of Alghero (l'Alguer). It is also spoken in parts of Aragon and Murcia, Rousillon (Rosselló) in southern France, though has no official status.
During the first 30 years of the 20th century, Catalonia went through a period of political fervour, culminating in the recovery of a degree of political power in the Generalitat (the Government of Catalonia) during the 1930s. During the Second Republic (1931-1939), Catalan was restored to its official language status, which it had lost in the 18th century. However, this promising future was checked by the Civil War and its consequences. The use of Catalan in public was forbidden and the language retreated into the home.
Ever since the restoration of democratic institutions, there has been a process to re-establish the use of Catalan. It is now a co-official language, along with Spanish, in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and is widely used an everyday language throughout Catalonia, Valencia, Andorrra and the Balearic Islands. Catalan is used as a medium of instruction in many schools, it is also used extensively in the media and in government.