Is it Mallorca or Majorca – Is Mallorca the Same as Majorca?
Let’s go straight to the answer: yes, Mallorca is the same as Majorca. It is the same place; it is the same island! While most of the people write always Mallorca, some English people write Majorca rather than Mallorca to refer to our island. Let us explain you now the reasons and some interesting facts.
Majorca and Mallorca in English language
In Mallorca we speak a dialect from the Catalan language, the Mallorquin. On the island, we have two official languages: Spanish and Catalan. In a few words, the reason for having a dialect goes back to 1229. In that year, King Jaume I from Catalonia and Aragon conquered the island and finished with the Arab domination in Mallorca. He then brought population over from Catalonia to populate the island. They brought with them their Catalan language that due to the isolation of the island has developed into the dialect we know today as Mallorquin.
Mallorca started to be a very popular tourist destination during the 1960s, and the British started to fly to Mallorca to come on holiday. For many British people it was difficult to pronounce the double l of the Spanish name (Mallorca) which is commonly pronounced ‘y’ as in the word ‘yes’, but sometimes also pronounced as the ‘lli’ in ‘million’. The ‘j’ was introduced as an acceptable and easily pronounced alternative. They’re the same place; the only difference is that Majorca is the Anglicised version of the Spanish spelling Mallorca.
We read an article that according to travel blogger Simpson, Majorca has its roots in Latin. Majorca stemmed from the Latin insula major, which translates into ‘larger island’ and then majorica, meaning the ‘larger one’ before becoming the term we refer to today. After all it is the largest of the Balearic Islands.
Do British people use Majorca or Mallorca
We have checked on Google trends, a free tool from Google that analyses the searches online for different terms. We have compared Mallorca and Majorca, on a year period. And here are the conclusions on this chart:
On the other hand if you do the same search in United states, it comes this:
Some interesting facts
- The local British newspaper, inaugurated in 1962, is called the Majorca Daily Bulletin and note they use Majorca rather than Mallorca.
- The poet and author Robert Graves (1895-1985) lived in Deià, Mallorca, from 1929 until his death. He is buried under a great cypress tree in the lovely churchyard next to the church. In all his books, he uses the word “Majorca”.
- A friend of ours told us he uses Mallorca most of the time when writing and Majorca when speaking…… The reason? when speaking to people he used to say Mallorca….but then got…”you mean Majorca” back at him from his British friends……and so he gave up!
- Another interesting theory is the spelling “Majorca” was invented by the British Empire when Menorca was part of it. Somehow it stuck.
Things to do in Mallorca
Still today if you search online about Mallorca, you find many articles including both terms: Mallorca / Majorca. We are one of them 😊 Even some big British tour operators do it too.
If you want to learn more about it, you can join us on one of our sightseeing trips while on holiday in Mallorca. Our guides love to tell you many interesting facts about the island and curiosities like this one. Find some great ideas for things to do in Mallorca here: