Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind

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Spain

Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties

SPAIN
SPAIN

For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

Table of Contents

Spain - Country information

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Local short name form

Official name

Area

Population

Capital

Currency

International telephone access code

34

ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code

E

Internet country code

ES (Note: CAT is used for the Catalan linguistic and cultural community)

GRC Country Code

SPA

Spain - Number format

   1.234,45

(where , indicates the decimal separator and . the thousands separator)

Spain - Date and time formats

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   dd/mm/yyyy

When written in Basque the format is:

   yyyy.mm.dd

The 24-hour clock notation is used.

Spain - Languages

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Castellano External (Castilian Spanish) is the official language for the whole of Spain, but several of Spain's autonomous regions have their own languages which are legally treated on a par with Castellano. Castellano is spoken by 70 per cent of the Spanish population. Català External (Catalan) is spoken by 21 per cent of the population, and has official status in the regions of Catalonia, Valencia (where it differs very slightly from Catalan and is called Valencian) and the Balearic Islands. Galego External (Galician) is spoken by 7 per cent of the population, and is recognized in Galicia. Euskera External (Basque) is spoken by 1 per cent of the population, and is recognized in the Basque region and Navarre. There are also some 11 000 speakers of Aragonese External; 100 000 speakers of Asturian External; 40 000 speakers of Caló External; 200 000 speakers of Extremaduran External; 10 500 speakers of Fala External; 3 814 speakers of Gascon External and about 750 speakers of Vlach Romani.

In Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish Enclaves on the Northern African Coast, Berber (Tamazight) is widely spoken. Ceuta is known as Sibta in Tamazight, and Melilla as Tamlit.

In Navarre, the official language is Castilian, but Basque is spoken and has legal protection. The province defines Basque as being the main language in the following municipalities:

   Abaurrea
   Alta
   Abaurrea Baja
   Alsasua
   Anue
   Araitz
   Arantza
   Arano
   Arakil
   Arbizu
   Areso
   Aria
   Aribe
   Arruazu
   Bakáiku
   Basaburua Mayor
   Baztan
   Bertizarana
   Betelu
   Burguete
   Donamaría
   Etxalar
   Etxarri-Aranatz
   Elgorriaga
   Erasun
   Ergoien
   Erro
   Esteribar
   Ezkurra
   Garaioa
   Garralda
   Goizueta
   Huarte-Arakil
   Igantzi
   Imotz
   Inañeta
   Ituren
   Iturmendi
   Labaien
   Lakuntza
   Lantz
   Larraun
   Leitza
   Lesaka
   Oitz
   Olazagutia
   Orbaitzeta
   Orbara
   Roncesvalles
   Saldias
   Santesteban
   Sunbilla
   Ultzama
   Urdax
   Urdiain
   Urrotz
   Valcarlos
   Vera de Bidasoa
   Villanueva
   Ziordia
   Zubieta y Zugarramurdi

Both Castilian and Basque are spoken in the following municipalities:

   Abárzuza
   Ansoain
   Aoiz
   Arce
   Atez
   Barañain
   Burgui
   Burlada
   Ciriza
   Cizur
   Echarri
   Echauri
   Egüés
   Escároz
   Esparza
   Estella
   Ezcabarte
   Garde
   Goñi
   Güesa
   Guesálaz
   Huarte
   Isaba
   Iza
   Izalzu
   Jaurrieta
   Juslapeña
   Lezaun
   Lizoain
   Ochagavía
   Odieta
   Oláibar
   Olza
   Ollo
   Oronz
   Oroz Betelu
   Pamplona
   Puente la Reina
   Roncal
   Salinas de Oro
   Sarriés
   Urzainqui
   Uztárroz
   Vidángoz
   Vidaurreta
   Villava
   Yerri y Zabalza

All other municipalities have Castilian as their main language.

Note that the above lists give the municipality names in Castilian. For the equivalent Basque names, please refer to the Place names section.

There are no clear-cut geographical boundaries between the speakers of the different dialects and languages spoken in Spain.

Spain - Company legal forms

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The following company types will be found in company names:

   CB (Comunidad de Bienes) (Jointly-owned company)
   Comerciante Individual
   Cooperativa (Co-operative)
   Empresario Individual (Sole trader)
   Fundacion (Foundation)
   SA (Sociedad Anónima)
   SAE (Sociedad Anónima Española)
   SAL (Sociedad Anónima Laboral)
   SC (Sociedad Comanditaria - General and Limited partnership)
   SCL (Sociedad Cooperative Limitada)
   SCCL (Sociedad Cooperative Catalana Limitada)
   SCP (Sociedad Civil Privada)
   SCVL (Sociedad Cooperative Valenciana Limitada)
   S.Coop. (Sociedad Cooperativa - co-operative)
   SGIIC (Sociedad Gestora de Instituciones de Inversión Colectiva)
   SL (Sociedad Limitada - Limited company). Catalan: Societat Limitada
   SLL (Sociedad Limitada Laboral - labour limited corporation)
   SLNE (Sociedad Limitada Nueva Empresa)
   SLP (Sociedad Limitada Profesional) 
   SLU (Sociedad Limitada Unipersonal) 
   SNC (Sociedad Colectiva (General Partnership)
   Sociedad Civil (non-profit entity)
   Sociedad de Cartera (Portfolio company)
   SrlSociedad Regular Colectiva

Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Spain - Personal names

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Spanish people have two family names, and members of the same family do not necessarily have the same family names. A person’s first family name is traditionally their father’s first family name, their second family name is traditionally their mother's first family name. For example:

   José Jimenez Perez 

marries

   Margarita Diaz Jimenez

their children, Manuel and Isabel, will be known as:

   Manuel Jimenez Diaz 

and

   Isabel Jimenez Diaz

A woman keeps her maiden name after marriage. The first surname is considered the most important, but the full set of names will appear on official documents.

Double-barrelled (compound) given names are usually separated by a space, rarely a hyphen. The surnames may also be separated with the conjunction “of” or “and” (de, y or e in Spanish, de or i in Catalan.)

Since 1999 a person may choose to change the order of the family names. Spanish law prohibits names which could expose a person to ridicule or do not clearly indicate gender. A new law is planned which would list the surnames of children in alphabetical order unless another preference is given by the parents.

Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

Spain - For the attention of

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This is written A la Atención del, or para a (p.a.) in Spanish. In Catalan it is A l’atenció de or A l’atenció del.

Spain - Addresses

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Addresses are written in the following format:

   Contact name
   {thoroughfare type[]}Thoroughfare name[, ]house number{[ -]floor/flat/staircase number etc.}
   postal code[ ]TOWN[ (]Province[)]

For example:

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image Calle, the Spanish word for street, is by far the most commonly occurring thoroughfare type and for this reason is rarely written. You would be more likely to find the example address given above written as:

   Alcalá, 142 - 2° D

The floor/flat/staircase number can be followed by a superscripted ‘o’ (a masculine word) or ‘a’ (a feminine word). They indicate an ordinal number (i.e. in Spanish is 2nd in English).

The ‘D’ in this example means derecha, right. An ‘I’, izquierda, would indicate left. The words for right and left in Catalan are dreta and esquerra respectively, dereita and esquerda in Galician and zuzen and ezkerkada in Basque.

Sub-building indicators on a bell push, Barcelona

Sub-building indicators on a bell push, Barcelona

The thoroughfare type, when included, is written before, and separately from, the thoroughfare name. It should be written with the first letter in lower case.

Spanish addresses may contain the kilometre number of a house or company on long or intercity routes.

The return address of the sender can be written either on the back of the envelope or in the top left-hand corner of the front of the envelope.

Where a region contains a single province (Asturias/Oviedo, Cantabria/Santander and Islas Baleares/Palma de Mallorca), it is usually the region name rather than the province name which is used in the address.

A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

Thoroughfare types

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Below is a list of the most commonly occurring thoroughfare types, with the abbreviated form(s) which you are most likely to find in address databases:

Castilian Abbreviation Catalan Galician Basque
avenida av. avinguda avenida, ample, alameda, chea bidezabal, bidehandi, bidenausi
bajada   baixada baixada  
calle c/ carrer rúa bide, autobide, zidor
callejón cj.   ruela, viela kaletarte, karrika, zeharkale
callejuela     ruela, viela  
camino cm. camí camiño  
carretera ctra., cr., cte carretera estrada autobidezebal, autopista
cuesta   pujada costa, encosta  
glorieta g.   glorieta  
paseo p.o, p.o passeig paseo  
plaza p. plaça praza plaza, enparantza
plazuela   placeta praciña  
rambla rbla. rambla rambla  
ronda rd. ronda ronda  
rotonda     rotunda  
rúa     rúa kale, karrika
sendero   drecera sendeiro basabide, bidexka, bidetxo, bidezidor, Zaldibide, bideska
subida   pujada subida, costa, suba  
travesía   travessera travesía bidegurutze, bidebieta, karrikagurutze, gurutzagune
vía   via vía pasabide, pasagune, iraganleku, pasaleku, pasatoki, pasarte

Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External/

Other elements commonly found in address databases

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Castilian

NB: Prepositions retain a lower case first letter when used in a mixed-case field. The following abbreviations are used: (m) = masculine; (f) = feminine; (s) = singular; (pl) = plural.

Castilian English
el (m s) / la (f s) / los (m pl) / las (f pl) / lo the
un (m) / una (f) a, an
y (before a word beginning with i- or hi-, this becomes ‘e’) and
hasta till, up to, until
para for
de of
a to, towards
en in
cerca de near
junta a near, next to
enfrente de opposite
detrás de behind
entre between
debajo de under
al lado de next to
encima de on (top of)
con with
nuevo (m)/nueva (f) new
viejo (m)/vieja (f) old
corto (m)/corta (f) short
largo (m)/larga (f) long
gran (before the noun to which it refers), grande (after the noun to which it refers) large
pequeño (m)/perqueña (f) small
norte north
este east
oeste west
sur south
San (m) / Santa (f) Saint

Adjectives referring to plural nouns add an ‘s’ on the end.

Catalan

Catalan English
al(m s)/la (f s)/els (m pl)/les (f pl) / l’ (masculine and feminine singular before vowel or ‘h’+vowel, except before unstressed ‘i’, ‘u’, ‘hi’ and ‘hu’) / las / na the
un (m)/una (f) a, an
i (before a word beginning with i- or hi-, this becomes ‘e’) and
fins till, up to, until
per for
de of
a to, towards
en/a/amb/en in
prop de near
al constat de near, next to
davant de opposite
darrera de behind
entre between
sota under
al costat de next to
sobre/damunt on (top of )
amb with
nou (m)/nova (f ) new
vell (m)/vella (f ) old
curt (m)/curta (f ) short
llarg (m)/llarga (f ) long
gran large
petit (m)/petita (f ) small
nort north
est east
oest west
sud south
Sant (m)/Santa (f ) Saint

Galician

Galician English
o, lo, a, la, os, los, as, las the
un, unha a, an
y, e and
ata till, up to, until
para for
de, del, dela, deles, delas of
en, nel, nela, neles, nelas in
a to, towards
cerca de near
xunto a near, next to
defronte de, enfronte de opposite
detrás de behind
entre between
debaixo de, so under
al lado de next to
encima de, enriba de on (top of)
con with
nove, novo new
vello, vella old
curto, curta short
largo, large, longo, longa long
gran large
pequeno small
norte north
este, leste east
oeste west
sur south
San, Santa Saint

Basque

Basque is a tremendously complex language with a large number of declensions which make recognition of certain words for a non-speaker very difficult. The definite article, for example, is suffixed to another word and can take one of four forms (-a, -ak, -ek and -ok) depending on whether the word is singular, plural, transitive or denoting a group. Many prepositions and adjectives form prefixes or suffixes to other words, and change their form according to their context. As their form and case are dependent on their context, no list of prepositions or adjectives is given here.

Spain - Post office box

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This is written as Apartado (abbreviated to Apto.) or Apartado de Correos in Castilian and Galician, Apartat or Apartat de Correus in Catalan and Posta Kutxatila in Basque.

Spain - Postal codes

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Postal codes (Código Postal) in Spain were established on 9th August 1982 and consist of a block of 5 digits which should be placed before the town name on the last line of the address.

The first two digits of the postal code, ranging from 01 to 52, indicate the province. The third digit indicates a place within the province. If this digit is 0, the address is in the capital of the province, if it is 1 it is in the vicinity of the capital, and so on. The higher this number, the further the address is from the region’s capital. The last two digits are split into three ranges of numbers to indicate:

   - Post office boxes
   - Delivery addresses
   - Large users

More than one municipality can share the same postal code, whilst in larger cities the postal codes refer to groups of streets.

Certain codes are fixed:

   nn080: for private post office boxes
   nn071: for official (governmental) postal address/post office boxes
   nn070: for Post Office boxes

Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

Spain - Postal code format graphic

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Spain - Postal code format

Spain - Postal code specifics

Spain - Postal code regular expression

\A((0)[1-9]\d{3,3}|[1-4]\d{4,4}|(5)[0-2]\d{3,3})\Z

Spain - Postal code level of coverage

3

Spain - Postal code map

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51=Ceuta 52=Melilla

Place names in Spain

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Refer to Exonyms in Spain for full lists of place names in Spain in other languages.

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Bilingual (place name) sign

Source: Wikipedia

Alternate place name forms/postal code tables can be acquired at http://www.grcdi.nl/settlements.htm External

Other language place name data can be acquired at http://www.grcdi.nl/otherlanguageplace.htm External

Spain - Administrative districts

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Administrative districts graphic

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The name of the province in which an address is situated should be written in full between brackets after the name of the town. Where a region contains a single province (Asturias/Oviedo, Cantabria/Santander and Islas Baleares/Palma de Mallorca), it is usually the region name rather than the province name which is used in the address.

Spain has 17 regions (automomous communities External, comunidades autónomas, singular - comunidad autónoma) split into 52 provinces External; and 2 autonomous cities (show in the list below with an asterisk). The names of the provinces are usually the same as those of their capital cities. Exceptions have been specified in the table below.

Region Province First 2 digits of postal code
Andalucía External Almería External 04
  Cádiz External 11
  Córdoba External 14
  Granada External 18
  Huelva External 21
  Jaén External 23
  Málaga External 29
  Sevilla External 41
Aragón External Huesca External 22
  Teruel External 44
  Zaragoza External 50
Asturias External Oviedo External 33
Canarias External Las Palmas External 35
  Santa Cruz de Tenerifé External 38
Cantabria External Santander External 39
Castilla - La Mancha External Albacete External 02
  Ciudad Real External 13
  Cuenca External 16
  Guadalajara External 19
  Toledo External 45
Castilla y León External Ávila External 05
  Burgos External 09
  León External 24
  Palencia External 34
  Salamanca External 37
  Segovia External 40
  Soria External 42
  Valladolid External 47
  Zamora External 49
Cataluña (Catalonia) External Barcelona External 08
  Gerona External 17
  Lérida External 25
  Tarragona External 43
Ceuta External * Ceuta 51
Comunidad Valenciana External Alicante External 03
  Castellón External 12
  Valencia External 46
Extremadura External Badajoz External 06
  Cáceres External 10
Galicia External La Coruña External 15
  Lugo External 27
  Orense External 32
  Pontevedra External 36
Islas Baleares / Illes Balears| External Palma de Mallorca External 07
La Rioja External La Rioja External 26 (Capital: Logroño)
Madrid External Madrid External 28
Melilla External * Melilla 52
Murcia External Murcia External 30
Navarra External Navarra External 31 (Capital: Pamplona)
País Vasco External Araba/Álava External 01 (Capital: Vitoria/Gastéiz)
  Gipuzkoa/Guipúzcoa External 20 (Capital: San Sebastián/Donostia)
  Bizkaia/Vizcaya External 48 (Capital: Bilbao/Bilbo)

This regions/postal code data can be acquired as a data file External

Telephone numbers in Spain

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Spanish telephone numbers have no area codes, and all numbers have a length of 9 digits when called from abroad. Mobile numbers commence with a 6 or 71-74.

Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/telephone.htm External


Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2017. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.