Euskara

10

What comes to mind when you think of Spain? The cities of Barcelona and Madrid? Running of the bulls or tomato throwing (La Tomatina) festivals?

If you look at a map, Spain itself is quite extensive; it’s the second largest country in Europe. In saying that, you can imagine that there is just so much to see in such a large country.

Today, I’m going to share some photos of an area of North-Western Spain called the “Basque country” (Pays Basque / Pais Vasco [FR/ES]).

The history of the Basque country is so old, that the language itself cannot be traced back or connected to any modern day or any dormant/extinct languages; thus, the Basque language (Euskara) is considered an isolated language, leaving linguistic researchers baffled and confused. Some research has revealed the the roots of the language have been around for as long as 20,000 years and almost 1 million people still speak it until this day.

A majority of the Basque population has type O- blood and their genes have been heavily linked to the Neanderthals.

The Basque country is divided into seven provinces or more formerly known as “administrative districts”. Four of them are in Spain and the other three are in South-Western France, bordering Spain.

I’m proud to have strong family roots to this mystical land and hope to soon explore more of the gems it has to offer!

Hi friends, I’m a new language and linguistics blog. I don’t have many posts at the minute but hope to soon. I would like lots of new language-y things to follow and language-y people to talk to, so please like this if you are interested in these things and maybe give it a reblog to give me a hand :-)

Summer Daily 1-10: Day 28 Basque!

Basque (Euskara) is an isolate language spoken by about 700,000 people in the Basque country, located on the Atlantic coast of Northern Spain and Southwestern France. Only about 27% of ethnic Basques still speak the language as many people stopped speaking Basque during the oppressive regime of fascist leader Francisco Franco. However, now this ancient, non-Indo-European language isolate is flourishing, and to help it  recover from the brink of language death, below are the numbers 1-10 in Basque.

A map of the Basque Country:

Basque (Euskara):

1: bat /bat/

2: bi /bi/

3: hiru /’hi.ɾu/*

4: lau /lau/

5: bost /bost/

6: sei /sei/

7: zazpi /’s̻a.s̻pi/

8: zortzi /’s̻oɾ.ts̻i/

9: bederatzi /be.ðe.’ɾa.ts̻i/

10: hamar /ham’aɾ/*

Note*: The initial /h/ is often not spoken in Southern dialects

youtube

Hey y’all! This is the first video in my new vlog series called PopLangauge. In this first video I’m taking a look at Basque.

anya [ˈɑɲɑ] – ama – mother
béke [ˈbeːkɛ] – bake; báke – peace
bogyó [ˈboɟoː] – baia – berry
enyém [ˈɛɲeːm] – ene – my
nekem [ˈnɛkem] – enegana – to me
halni [ˈhɑlni] – hil –to die
jég [ˈjeːg] – jela – ice
jönni [ˈjønːi] – jin – to come
kör [ˈkør] – korru – ring; circle
szimat [ˈsimɑt] – suma – sense of smell
zug [zug] – zoko – corner; nook

Based on the books:::
The common Mesopotamian substrate of Hungarian and Basque BY PROF. DR. ALFRÉD TÓTH (Mikes International, The Hague, 2007)
Etymological Dictionary of Basque by R. L. Trask (University of Sussex, 2008)

Scientists Believe they Have Found the Origins of the Unique Basque Culture

The people of Basque Country, located between Spain and France, have been an enigma to anthropologists for years. With a unique language, traditions, and customs, the Basque origins have long been a mystery. Today, researchers believe they have finally pinpointed the beginnings of this special group of people - from the results of a study of eight ancient skeletons found in a cave in northern Spain.

Read More…

Spain's Linguistic Diversity

If you think that Spanish or Castilian is the language of Spain, you’re only partially right.

True, Spanish is the national language and the only language you can use if you want to be understood almost everywhere. But Spain also has three other officially recognized languages, and language use continues to be a hot political issue in parts of the country. In fact, about a fourth of the country’s residents use a tongue other than Spanish as their first language. Here is a brief look at those languages:

Euskara: Euskara is easily the most unusual language of Spain — and an unusual language for Europe as well, since it doesn’t fit in the Indo-European family of languages that includes Spanish as well as French, English and the other Romance and Germanic languages.

Euskara is the language spoken by the Basque people, an ethnic group in both Spain and France that has its own identity as well as separatist sentiments on both sides of the Franco-Spanish border. 

What makes Euskara linguistically interesting is that it has not been shown conclusively to be related to any other language. Some of its characteristics include three classes of quantity (single, plural and indefinite), numerous declinations, positional nouns, regular spelling, a relative lack of irregular verbs, no gender, and pluri-personal verbs. The fact that Euskara is an ergative language (a linguistic term involving cases of nouns and their relations to verbs) has caused some linguists to think that Euskara my have come from the Caucasus region, although the relationship with languages of that area hasn’t been demonstrated. In any case, it is likely that Euskara, or least the language it developed from, has been in the area for thousands of years, and at one time it was spoken in a much larger region.

The most common English word that comes from Euskara is “silhouette,” the French spelling of a Basque surname. The rare English word “bilbo,” a type of sword, is the Euskara word for Bilbao, a city on the western edge of Basque Country. And “chaparral” came to English by way of Spanish, which modified the Euskara word txapar, a thicket. The most common Spanish word that came from Euskara is izquierda, “left.”

Euskara uses the Roman alphabet, including most letters that other European languages use, and the ñ. Most of the letters are pronounced roughly like they would be in Spanish.

Catalan: Catalan is spoken not only in Spain, but also in parts of Andorra (where it is the national language), France and Sardinia in Italy.

Catalan looks something like a cross between Spanish and French, although it is a major language in its own right and, some say, may be more similar to Italian than it is to Spanish. Its alphabet is similar to that of English, although it also includes a Ç. Vowels can take both grave and acute accents (as inà and á, respectively). Conjugation is quite similar to Spanish’s.

Galician: Galician has strong similarities to Portuguese, especially in vocabulary and syntax. It developed along with Portuguese until the 14th century, when a split developed, largely for political reasons. For the native Galician speaker, Portuguese is about 85 percent intelligible.

Sample vocabularies

Euskara: kaixo (hello), eskerrik asko (thank you), bai (yes), ez (no), etxe (house), esnea (milk), bat (one), jatetxea (restaurant)

Catalan:  (yes), si us plau (please), què tal? (how are you?), cantar (to sing), cotxe (car),l'home (the man), llengua, llengo (language), mitjanit (midnight)

Galician: polo (chicken), día (day), ovo (egg), amar (love), si (yes), nom (no), ola (hello),amigo/amiga (friend), cuarto de baño, baño (bathroom), comida (food)

NOTE TO MYSELF:

1. If my Spanish friend who speaks Galician brings something delicious to eat, to never say “nom nom”.

2. When I get back home to my husban who might speak Catalan, to never say “I’m home honey”. This would be awkward.

SOURCE: http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishlanguageculture/a/spainlanguages.htm

opishposh.com
10 Hardest Languages To Learn For English Speakers

1. Basque

A study by the British Foreign Office found that Basque was the hardest language to learn for English speakers. A dialect of the Basque people in Spain, the Basque language carries no syntactic parallels to English – despite having evolved in a region surrounded by Romance languages like Spanish and French.

As with many of the languages on this list, the Basque language is agglutinative. This means that words are formed, then altered with prefixes and suffixes. For example, the word “lege” means law in Basque, but the sentence “according to the law” wouldn’t be 4 distinct words, but instead would be “legearen arabera.”

Basque also uses case endings in order to indicate relationships between words. For example, the Basque word for “mountain” is “mendi”, but the phrase “to the mountain” is simply “mendira”. Although Basque is extremely challenging for English learners syntactically, it shares the Roman alphabet, and the pronunciation is relatively easy for English speakers.