There’s no geographical difference between Majorca and Mallorca. The only difference between these words is the spelling and pronunciation, depending upon the language and dialect a person is speaking with.
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago off the eastern coast of Spain, with a total area of 3,640 sq. kilometers. It is an island filled with incredible opportunities and beautiful tourist attractions, so visiting is a must.
Read more in-depth on the size of this island compared to other places here: How Big is Mallorca?
You might be wondering, if Majorca and Mallorca are the same places, then why is there a difference in the spelling. Well, if that’s what you’re here to know, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’m going to talk about Mallorca vs. Majorca, the origin of both these names, and the difference between them. If you are worried about the correct pronunciation of this word, you will find out how it is pronounced and which pronunciation to use when you are visiting the island.
So, let’s just get started with this guide without wasting any time.
Majorca and Mallorca: Origin of the Names
The story of both names is quite an interesting one. It all started in the 13th century when King Jaume I from Catalonia and Aragon came and conquered the Balearic Islands and Arab Dominion of Mallorca. This happened in the year 1229, which was quite a while ago.
After the conquering of Mallorca, the King brought a vast population of Catalonians to the Island of Mallorca to populate the island. With the people came the Catalan language, and as time passed with little to no social contact with the outside world, the dialect on the island became Mallorquin.
The island has been pronounced Mallorca in Catalan and Spanish languages ever since. Fast forward hundreds of years, and in the 20th century, around the 1960s, the Island of Mallorca started to gain a lot of popularity among the European and mainly British people as world travel and communication became more accessible.
The natural beauty of the island and the tourist attractions brought many British visitors to the island every year and became a popular tourist destination. However, the pronunciation of the word Mallorca was quite difficult for the British people.
The correct pronunciation requires the “ll” to be pronounced as “y,” which wasn’t easy for the Brits. They instead pronounced Mallorca as Majorca, and the word caught on. So, Majorca is basically the Anglicized version of the Catalan word Mallorca, which is the valid name of the island.
No matter what you might pronounce the island when it comes to enjoying, you’re going to have a fantastic time no matter whether you’re in Mallorca or Majorca. The Island vibe, the aesthetic, the beauty, the visuals, the excitement, the tourism charm, the food, and everything in between is just unbelievably unique.
Is Majorca the Same as Mallorca?
Majorca and Mallorca are the same. Unfortunately, Mallorca Island is also called Majorca by tourists and English people who can’t pronounce the name Mallorca effectively.
Otherwise, most people around the world or ones who speak Spanish tend to call the Island Mallorca because of the Spanish nature of the name and the old origins of the island as well.
Majorca is also an accepted version of the name of the Mallorca Island because of the fact that Major means larger in Spanish. In contrast, Menor means smaller, pointing towards the fact that Majorca is the more oversized island in the Balearic Islands while Menorca is smaller than Mallorca.
Read more about the size of Menorca here: How Big is Menorca?
Why Are There Two Spellings for Majorca and Mallorca?
The reason for two different spellings of Majorca and Mallorca, despite the island being the same, is just the difficulty that British tourists (who came to the area in heaps) faced while saying the word Mallorca.
The “ll” sound wasn’t easy to make for English speakers, which is why, to make things easier for the people around the world to pronounce the island’s name, the “j” pronunciation, Majorca, was also accepted.
However, both the words are supposed to be pronounced the same. So, regardless of the spelling you use, when referring to it in speech, you will use the original Spanish pronunciation, which is “muh-yaw-kuh.”
Other than that, there’s no difference or big reason for the Majorca name variation of the Island of Mallorca. Just the fact that so many people from Great Britain came to the region that making it easy to recommend for them was a good option for the tourism of the Balearic Islands. Seeing the opportunity, the locals didn’t argue, and it caught on.
Majorca or Mallorca: Which is Correct?
The correct pronunciation of the island’s name is Mallorca. It is derived from the Mallorquin dialect of the Catalan language. It is the original name by which the island was referred for quite a long time before the tourism of the outside world even began on the island itself.
The people of Mallorca, Spanish, and around the world who can speak Spanish and Catalan well know the correct pronunciation and make sure that they pronounce the word correctly, which is Mallorca with the “y” sound for the double Ls.
However, the anglicized version of the island’s name, given in the 20th century, is Majorca. So, when someone is referring to the Island Majorca or Mallorca, they’re talking about the same place. The only difference is their pronunciation is different, and their accent, language, and dialect are different.
Read an in-depth article here What Language Do They Speak in Mallorca?
Majorca and Mallorca are two names of the same island. The only difference is in the way people pronounce its name. People from the United Kingdom and Britain usually tend to go with the former pronunciation. Mallorca, however, is the right way to say it in the Spanish language itself.
You should read this: Mallorca Weather – Everything you need to know
Majorca is considered the Anglicized form of the word Mallorca. However, the pronunciation of both the words is the same. Both the “ll” and “j” are pronounced as “y” to pronounce as “muh-yaw-kuh” regardless of the spelling you use.
PS: Did you know this: How is Ibiza Pronounced?