Catalonia is an autonomous community and region in Spain, the capital of which is the historic city of Barcelona. Though majority of the population of Spain speak the Spanish language, Catalan, or Valencian, is known as the official language of Catalonia, as well as in other regions such as in some parts of France, the city of L 'Alguer, Italy, and the country Andorra. Catalan is considered as a Romance language, with roots in Indo-European languages. As of 2001, there was an estimated 9.1 million speakers of Catalan all over the world, with about six to seven million of that number from Catalonia, Spain.
In 1979, Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy recognized Catalan as the official language of Catalonia, with Spanish and Castilian as accepted co-languages. In 1983, the Law of Linguistic Normalization of Catalonia paved the way for the standardization, development, and application of the Catalan language in the autonomous region. Because of the more widespread use of Catalan in mass media and in cultural settings during this time, the number of speakers of the language increased to up to 97% of the Catalonian population. At present, Catalan is integrated into the education system of the region, beginning from primary schooling and well into higher education.
Currently, the Catalan language standards are regulated by the Institute d Estudis Catalans. Because the region of Valencia, in Spain, also holds Catalan as its official language, there have been issues of using the language difference as a reason for disunity of Spain. The current reference used for the teaching of the Catalan language was a grammar book and manual written by Pompeu Fabra in the year 1918. A more recent grammar manual was published in 1995 by Antoni Badia Margarit. Up to the present, the language of Catalonia continues to thrive, along with the development of its region.