AR

BE

BG

BN

BS

CA

CS

DE

EL

EM

EN

EO

ES

ET

FA

FI

FR

HE

HR

HU

ID

IT

JA

KA

KN

KO

LT

LV

MR

NL

NN

PA

PL

PT

PX

RO

RU

SK

SR

SV

UK

VI

ZH

The Basque language

There are four recognized languages in Spain. They are Spanish, Catalonian, Galician and Basque. The Basque language is the only one without Romanesque roots. It is spoken in the Spanish-French border area. Around 800,000 people speak Basque. Basque is considered the oldest language in Europe. But the origin of this language is still unknown. Therefore, Basque remains a riddle for linguists today. Basque is also the only isolated language in Europe. That is to say, it isn't genetically related to any other language. Its geographical situation could be the reason for this. The Basque people have always lived in isolation due to the mountains and coasts. In this way, the language survived even after the invasion of the Indo-Europeans. The term Basques goes back to the Latin vascones. The Basques call themselves Euskaldunak, or speakers of Basque. That shows how much they identify with their language Euskara. Euskara has been passed down primarily orally for centuries. Therefore, there are only a few written sources. The language is still not completely standardized. Most Basques are bi- or multi-lingual. But they also maintain the Basque language. Because the Basque region is an autonomous region. That facilitates language policy processes and cultural programs. Children can choose between a Basque or a Spanish education. There are also various typically Basque types of sports. So the culture and language of the Basques appears to have a future. Incidentally, the whole world knows one Basque word. It is the last name of "El Che" – … yes, that's right, Guevara!

text before next text

© Copyright Goethe Verlag GmbH 2018. All rights reserved.