The islanders are bi-lingual and speak Spanish (castellan) and their own local language that is called Menorquì, which is a variety of Catalan.
Catalan was introduced into the Minorcan society with the conquering of the island by Alfonso III of Aragón, who encouraged his Catalonians to migrate to the island.
Apart from the different dialects, the Minorcan lexicon includes some words and phrases inherited by the British and French dominions of the past. A clear example is the use of words such as "gin" to refer to the spirit, introduced by the British during the 18th century. Other words in use are "xoc" (chalk in English and tiza in Spanish), "marvels" as for marbles or "bòtil": a clear reference to the English bottle.
With the law of linguistic standardization (1986), Catalan was promoted into the school curriculum. Catalan is used in the majority of the island's signs; therefore please note “platja" (beach), "port" (port/harbour) or "camí" (way/road).