Rosalía is a queen among music stars, a fashion icon, a talisman for Barça football club and an emblem of Catalonia around the world. But in linguistic matters, in fact, we can also consider her as an enthusiastic teacher of Catalan. Her student is from Puerto Rico, he is her romantic partner and also a star in the musical firmament, Rauw Alejandro. Since the two began seeing each other in 2021, his progress has been evident, spurred on by his partner and in particular by her obvious enthusiasm. Where there's a will, there's way - everything is easier, everything is possible.
When Rauw came into the life of our beloved star, there were many who doubted the future of the relationship. They said that she "isn't right for him". How bad that absurd mantra has aged. Alejandro shows every day that he loves Rosalía, that he has her in mind, that he wants to spend as much time as possible with her. And that, my friends, also means integrating into your partner's customs. As with the language: in the house of the family Vila Tobella, in the Baix Llobregat, just out of Barcelona city, they speak Catalan.
Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro's interview with Ibai Llanos with Catalan on the table
It is a point, this one, that surprises some non-Catalan speakers. Yes, you can be a global music megastar and still speak your native language. Not everything has to be English or Spanish, and at least, it doesn't have to be exclusive. And you don't stop chatting in your native tongue at home. In fact, bringing newcomers into your home - and your heart - means warmly bringing them into your language as well. And this language topic came up in the interview that Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro have just given to streamer Ibai Llanos, days before Rosalía and Rauw, as RR, are releasing three songs together. And the most fascinating part of the chat was when their linguistic reality was put on the table. Interviewer Ibai is part of the multi-lingual game too, and a Catalan resident for three years, but perhaps he plays at a disadvantage because he doesn't have Rosalía as his live-in Catalan teacher.
A slice of linguistic reality from the Vila Tobella household
In the video (below) interviewer Ibai begins, asking Rosalía in Spanish about her home in "San Esteban", but perhaps unconsciously, he puts a Spanish touch on what is a Catalan place name, Sant Esteve Sesrovires. The singer responds that it is a town in the Baix Llobregat county, but when Ibai invents a Spanish version of that name too, "Valles del Llobregat", Rosalía gives a laugh but eggs him on: "You can speak Catalan, right? Parles molt bé. You speak very well". From there Rosalía the teacher succeeds in getting both Ibai and Rauw to practice a little Catalan (In the TikTok video, the subtitles written in italics are the words that they say in Catalan)
@elnacionalcat 🤯🎤 Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro spoke to Ibai Llanos about the three songs that they are releasing together this Friday. The highlight of the conversation, though, was the moment when all three of them spoke Catalan. Rauw says he is learning to speak Rosalía's language because her family speaks it all the time and he doesn't want to miss out on conversations. ⚠️ The subtitled words in italics are the Catalan parts of their mainly-Spanish conversation 🔗 More information on Rosalía and Catalan culture on ElNacional.cat #elnacionalcat #english #catalan #rosalia #ibai #rauwalejandro ♬ sonido original - El Nacional.cat
So although, at first, Ibai holds back ("No, I have an accent. But no, no, no"), he then reaches for the Catalan words he does know: "Una miqueta" - "A little." This is where Rauw comes into play, modestly confessing that he can also speak "a little". At this point his xicota - his girl - reminds him that "You do know how to say 'let's go'". He hesitates, yes, but the answer is correct: "Som-hi!" This is a level too high for Ibai: "Show me?" he asks, thinking that it's in English, before taking the cue to return to the interview, and ask about the linguistic situation that his guests are describing: "Let's see, Rosalía, in theory you and Rauw speak Catalan." The answer: "In the family, yes". Ibai: "And he told me that he's learnt based on that, in case you were criticizing him..." Rosalía: "He had to work out what the family were saying." Rauw: "Imagine a conversation with the mother-in-law, the grandmother and everyone, all speaking in Catalan and I am sitting on the sofa..." Well, yes: that's also part of integrating into the place you live. Any reason is good to learn the language.
Som-hi, Rauw, you're doing well. And som-hi, Ibai, you can do it!!