https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovanniGi9755

Any interest in the Basque language?

This is a very fascinating language and was curious if any one else as the same interest in learning this mystical language!

Egizu beti on, ez jakinarren non!

September 4, 2019

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaericaS

Once my friend and I were talking about learning another language so we can secretly communicate in Taxi. See, most people here in my country already know English and lots of third language learners choose German, so we needed a very unknown language to our countrymen.

We were going through the languages listed in google translate, and we knew where all those languages were spoken, all but Basque.

We googled Basque, and a few hours later, we found ourselves researching the culture, the sports, the food, everything Basque-related. It wasn't about secretly speaking in public anymore, we were absolutely amazed by the language and people!

Anyway, I told you this story of my-geek-self and my friend to tell you, hell yeah! Very interested! :)

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovanniGi9755

This is so amazing to hear! I am very lucky actually to have a fellow metalhead muscian from the Basque country, so maybe I can pass on what he will teach me!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Li.Va.

Wow, that's a great idea!

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarrollBos

I am interested. Of course, I am also learning Irish, so obviously the practicality of the language is of no importance to me.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

But again, it's not that Basque is "impractical". It's just that it's not spoken by half of the world... The Basque Country (País Vasco/Euskadi) is really beautiful too.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bea707

I’ve been in two threads of messages that are somewhere here for a few years now asking the same thing. Yes, I would love to see Basque (Euskera) at least in a Beta version. I saw that the incubator has Yiddish from English. I don’t mean to offend anyone but Basque is being spoken right now in the Basque Country (or if you prefer parts or North of Spain and France or in each side of the Pyrennes). Don’t downvote a valid question, if you are not interested don’t read these messages.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Byarvin

Bea, I don't get what you're saying. Yiddish is spoken pretty widely in the big American cities. Indeed, I hear it every now and then in this small Pennsylvania town. Duolingo for both languages makes sense.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

Yeah it's not as if the people capable of making a Yiddish course must also be capable of making a Basque course.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

I'm sure plenty of people would want to learn it if it was on Duolingo, but I can't see it being added any time soon. Best bet might be a course for Spanish speakers?

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel356333

No I really don’t think anyone would bother. Would you?

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

Could make the same argument for Irish, yet plenty learning it

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel356333

No, more people speak Irish.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

Not as a first language

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

Not a Duolingo course, sure, but some ressources here, in case you find them interesting

https://www.lexilogos.com/english/basque_dictionary.htm

Don't trust the page title, there are far more than dictionaries there!

By the way, this site is always worth a look, especially for rarer languages.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/womble773

I am interested! I'm fascinated by this unusual language... and would love to visit their beautiful country one day!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoNeko77

Yes, if I could bring one language of my choosing to Duolingo it would probably be Basque. There's a lot of interest in it ^_^

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bea707

Here is one of the threads I was talking about (you can see that it was first posted 4 years ago)

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7674974

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovanniGi9755

Thanks for sharing this!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foblin

As a Spaniard, I'd like to have more knowledge of Basque. I only know a few rudiments: some basic vocabulary and some grammatical knowledge but not much altogether. I'd certainly welcome a Basque course in DL.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_.ha_n_n_ah._

definitely!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Li.Va.

That would be great, I would definitely learn it!!!

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Errortonin

I really want to learn it, it seems to have atleast some relation to latin, but they say it doesn't, what if its left over from when alantis got abducted from aliens?

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scarcerer

In what way would you say it is related to Latin? The vocabulary (as far as my very beginner understanding goes) doesn't resemble Latin at all. I mean, you have some more modern words that are similar to Spanish but usually a better indication are the basic words like pronouns, question words, numbers etc. and those are not really similar:

  • pronouns: ni, hi/zu, hau/bera, gu, zuek, hauek/berak...
  • questions: nor, zer, zein, non, noiz, nola...
  • 1-10: bat, bi, hiru, lau, bost, sei, zazpi, zortzi, bederatzi, hamar

Same with grammar. Both Latin and Basque have cases, but that's where the similarities end:

  • The main word order is SOV (He an egg eats) instead of SVO (He eats an egg).
  • There are 17 cases instead of seven
  • Basque is an ergative-absolutive language, unlike Latin and almost every other Indo-European language. In other words, the subject of an intransitive verb (no object) behaves like an object of a transitive verb (Him walks. instead of He walks.) and perhaps most importantly:
  • Basque is an agglutinative language (houseinher or something similar instead of in her house).
September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Errortonin

the only reason i say is because it has the word non.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

That's not enough to say anything for certain. German has the word "nein", which is close enough; does that make German related to Latin? No.

Now, if (a lot) more of the vocabulary and grammar were similar, I'd say maybe. But one word is not enough to go by.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Errortonin

intesting, i actually think latin is related to german, they have even more similarities than basque does to latin. how do you explain that?

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

Latin really isn't related to German. Granted, yes they are both Indo-European languages, but from totally different branches - German is Germanic; Latin is Italic.

Having one or two similar words doesn't mean two languages are in any way similar - let alone related. After all, one language could simply adopt a word from another language into its lexicon, and presto! Grammar and structure are much more reliable in terms of indicating whether two languages are related (and a lot of similarities, at that). On that note, German and Latin, despite sharing the same three genders, are very, very different (example: German is SVO word order and relatively strict about where things go; Latin is primarily SOV and comparatively free). I could go on, but I'll leave it at this for now.

Basque, however, is a totally different kettle of fish. It's not even an Indo-European language. If you look over the items listed by scarcerer, you'll see that, grammar-wise, it's a far cry from Spanish or French, or even their ancestor, Latin - which is a pretty good indication that the two languages are not related. That said, there might be some words and whatnot that do bear some resemblance to Spanish or French, but this is more likely appropriated from those languages rather than naturally occurring as an independent feature.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marcelientje

I can imagine myself that I want to learn a basic knowledge of basqe when I travel there. It is so very nice in contact with the people there to show your interest in their language and culture and they will show you nice things and will be extra helpfull. I expect that the instruction language is spanish. Now for me no problem.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel356333

Well seeing how only 0.000102 percent of the world speaks it, and it is not politically important or even useful, I would say basically nobody wants to learn it. Unfortunately for you, duo will never add that language.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

Duo added Navajo, Scottish Gaelic, Klingon, High Valyrian, Esperanto and Latin - all languages with less native speakers than Basque -, so "not politically important or even useful" is not a valid argument in the first place. Every single language, no matter how unknown it may be to other people, has value for someone. The Basque language in particular is culturally very important in the region and has a very long history, so there definitely is some interest! Never say never.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovanniGi9755

Esattamente! Grazie, Davide! While I really love many languages, there is such a charming appeal for the Basque language!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

Well put

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wyqtor
  • 1712

What make Basque interesting is the fact that it's the only non-Indo-European language spoken in Western Europe.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

Does Maltese not count as a Western European language?

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wyqtor
  • 1712

Yes, it does count. Let me add the crucial bit of information here: What makes Basque interesting is the fact that it's the only remnant non-Indo-European language spoken in Western Europe, spoken even before the Indo-European populations came.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Errortonin

where is scottish gaelic coarse i can't find it.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike111251

Still in the incubator. It's one I'm particularly looking forward to

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel356333

I would say Scottish Gaelic, Klingon, high Valyrian are also the same thing. Esperanto and Navajo are worth it in my opinion, but they don’t apply to what I said. You listed several languages that are not valid to what I said. Like have you ever even heard of basque? Exactly.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

Of course I have. And of course I would love to see it on Duolingo. I would also certainly give it a try. Now who are you to tell me what I would or wouldn't have interest in learning?

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

Any real language enthusiast has or will at some point hear about the Basque language. It's a really special language (one of the only languages in Europe with no latin influence, although there might be some words borrowed from Spanish), and I think many people would like to learn it.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

Borrowing words is influence. What you mean is it's not related to Latin. Has nobody ever influenced you who was not one of your relatives?

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

Yes, I know, but that influence did not come directly from the Latin speakers (the romans). Historically, the romans starting conquering the Iberian peninsula from the south, and all the native populations (what we now call basques were a native population, theoretically) were obliged to go north and seek safety; and the basques, established themselves in what is now the Basque Country.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foblin

SuperLearner. You can find some Latin influence in Basque nowadays mainly in vocabulary... not to mention the alphabet itself. Most of the influence might be directly from Spanish but Latin itself also left some direct imprint in it.

The opposite is also true, as Spanish has quite a bunch of phonetic and lexical features common with Basque (the vocalic system, the lack of difference between B and V, the lost of initial Fs, words like izquierda, mochila, aquelarre, etc).

I mean, it is difficult for languages not to influence each other when they are in close contact.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foblin

Like have you ever even heard of basque? Exactly.


Most population in Spain (about ~45 milliom people) have heard of Basque. Many in South America are aware of it (and no few people have surnames of Basque origin such as Ochoa, Gabilondo, Goicoechea, etc). In South-Eastern US there are Basque-speaking communities...

Look, if I mention, say, Wu or Tamil, a big chunk of Spaniards (most of them, I'd say) will reply: "What's that?" even though each Wu and Tamil are spoken by more people than Italian...

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nyagret

I would learn Basque if it were offered on DL. Basque has more importance to me than Castilian Spanish.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoNeko77

LOL a lot of people want to learn it. 100s of posts over duolingos timeline, and less spoken languages have been put on the incubator.

September 7, 2019
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