Tag Archives: Euskara

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Originally Didn’t Have Separate Words for Blue, Grey and Green

In modern Basque, there are words for blue, grey and green. However, only one of these, urdin, that is native to the language. While today urdin means blue, originally it also encompassed the colors grey and green. Urdin, meaning grey, can be found in several phrases. For example, grey hair and beards are still often […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque was only Standardized in the 1970s

The Basque language — Euskara — became standardized in the 1970s. The Basque Language Academy (the Euskaltzaindia) felt that a standard was needed to give the language a better chance of survival against the pressures of languages like French and Spanish. This unified Basque, Euskara Batua, was based on a dialect of Basque from Gipuzkoa. […]

Buber’s Basque Flashback: Larry Trask’s Introduction to Basque

Larry Trask, who died in 2004, was a professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex. He published prolifically, with numerous books to his credit. In particular, he was an internationally recognized authority on Euskara, both its grammar and history. He almost fell into his studies accidentally, starting off as a chemist, only going into […]

Euskara in the Age of Globalization

The age of Globalism offers an interesting dichotomy for minority languages such as Euskara. On the one hand, as the world becomes more homogeneous, with Starbucks and Ikea in every corner, languages such as English become even more universal, a modern lengua franca that makes communication between random people easier. At the same time, however, […]

This Strange and Powerful Language by Iban Zaldua

Basque literature is a relative newcomer to the world literature scene and every Basque writer is faced with a number of critical decisions as he or she embarks on their journey. Iban Zaldua explores the history and modern context of Basque literature through these decisions in his book This Strange and Powerful Language. By examining the […]

Vince J. Juaristi: Intertwined: A Basque-American Fairytale

As part of the buildup to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrating the Basque culture, Vince Juaristi is writing a series of articles highlighting the connections between the Basques and Americans. He has graciously allowed me to repost those articles as they appear on Buber’s Basque Page. Sprawled between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian hosts the […]

Check out Alan King’s Website!

Alan King has been busy, posting some great Basque content on his website. He has added new stories to his Basque Story collection. The first, The Begging Siren, collects three different stories from Iparraldea, the Northern Basque Country, about the lamiak, mythological creatures that lured humans with their beauty. The second story, Kidnapped by the […]

Basque language film: Loreak (Flowers)

Loreak (Flowers in English) is the first Basque language film to be nominated for the Goya Award and the first Basque language film to be considered for an Oscar (in the Best Foreign Language film category). It was Spain’s selection for that Oscar, though it was, in the end, not nominated. However, these accolades highlight the […]

Learning Euskara Online

Jaialdi is starting! Maybe, as you wander the streets, Kalimotxo in hand, you will hear an old timer (he might be my dad) speaking with his buddies in Euskara. Or you might hear some of those visiting musicians or even the Lehendakari himself, also speaking in Euskara. Or, even, some of those preschoolers who attend […]