Learn Basque

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About Basque

The Basque language is seen by linguists as an unsolved mystery as it isn't related to any other language around it and its origins are unknown. It is thought to pre-date the arrival of Indo-European languages - such as Latin and Greek - into Europe. The language is spoken in the Basque Country, an area of the Pyrenees which spans the borders of France and Spain. The language is classified as vulnerable by UNESCO.

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Fun facts — Basque

  • The Basque language is so important to Basque people as a symbol of their identity that any other language besides Basque is simply referred to as 'Erdera'.
  • Basques love adding the suffix -txo to words to make them diminutive and cute. 'Herri' means 'town' but 'herritxo' means 'village'. A 'gazte' is a 'youth' but a 'gaztetxo' is a 'kid'.
  • If you're a girl, the word you use for your brother is 'neba', but if you're a boy, your brother is your 'anaia'.
  • The word 'aupegia', meaning 'face' in Basque literally translates as 'the bit that has eyes at the front of it'.

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