Category Archives: Euskara

Basque Fact of the Week: Napoleon’s Nephew was a Linguist who Studied Basque

How does an aristocrat – a man born into privilege and titles, the nephew of one of the most powerful leaders of Europe – become one of the most important researchers of the Basque language? Louis Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon’s nephew, extensively studied the regional variations of Euskara, establishing a critical map of the dialects. While […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Euskalkiak, the Dialects of Basque

One of the challenges I had when I tried to learn Euskara in Donostia was that I was learning Batua but when I went to visit my dad’s family, they spoken the Bizkaian dialect and I had a hard time understanding them. When I told my dad about it, he nodded, saying he couldn’t understand […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Numbers and Counting in Basque

Counting is one of the most elementary human tasks, one of the first things we learn as children, rattling off numbers as we hold up our fingers to record our count. In most of the western world, we count by tens, a natural extension of our ten fingers (and thumbs). Basque is different, with a […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Possible Basque Origins for the Names of Several Native American Tribes

It is now well established that the Basques, if not the very first Europeans to set foot on the North American continent, were among the first. Of course, there were already a large number of thriving peoples living there when they arrived, and the Basques certainly interacted closely with them, even developing trading pidgins. None […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Days of the Week in Basque

When we think about what we call the days of the week, how many of us think about the fact that Monday is named after the moon, Wednesday is Odin’s day, and Thursday is dedicated to the Scandinavian god Thor? Where do these names even come from? They’re just names, and we’ve lost, for the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The First Translation of the New Testament into Basque

As compared to its neighbors, the Basque language was standardized only recently, in the 1970s. The challenges in standardizing the language so that all Basque speakers could communicate with one another was expressed by Joanes Leizarraga, one of the first to attempt the task. One of the first to refer to the Basque Country in […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Gaurko Hitza, Basque Word of the Day

In between my sophomore and junior year at the University of Idaho, I spent a year in Donostia with the goal of learning Euskara. When I told my dad that I wanted to learn Basque, he asked “Why? Why not Spanish? You can speak that everywhere.” I guess he was too pragmatic. Anyways, I did […]

The Linguistic Richness of the Feminine: An Interview with Begoña Echeverria

Professor Begoña Echeverria is no stranger to Buber’s Basque Page. Back in 2014, she wrote a guest column describing her use of song to teach elements of Euskara. However, that is only one of the myriad of activities she is leading to not only promote but also to understand Basque language and culture. Her play […]

Basque Fact of the Week: A New Poem Written in Euskara Discovered

One of the challenges with studying and understanding the origins and evolution of the Basque language is simply that it is only until relatively recently that it has been written down. Thus, whenever a new fragment of Euskara is discovered, it is a big deal. While the oldest known phrases in Euskara data back to […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basque Word ‘agur’

2020 has been a tough year for many. There is the stay-at-home, social distancing, mask wearing to protect us all from catching the coronavirus, but then there is all of the collateral effects that resulted: small businesses that struggled to stay afloat, kids attending classes virtually and missing out on all of the social aspects […]