Duo goes to the Basque Country!
After spending all day at the top-secret Duolingo labs in Pittsburgh putting the finishing touches on the Turkish course, Duo decided it was time for a holiday. But... where to go?
The word gaztelugatxe comes from the Basque words gaztelu (castle) and aitz (rock, crag), literally "Crag of the castle". Gaztelugatxe is connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. There is a hermitage at the top of the island. Legend says that after climbing the 200+ steps you should ring the bell three times and make a wish. Duo, what do you wish for?
There are plenty of things to do in Bilbao, whether you're interested in the history of the Basque people (Euskal Museoa), want to visit some of the famous art museums (Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Art), feel like snapping some pictures of the ancient churches and cathedrals, some dating as far back as the 13th and 14th centuries (Santiago Cathedral, Church of San Antón, and Basilica of Begoña), want to visit the birthplace of Miguel de Unamuno, or just want to take a walk through the city's parks. There's also the big festival, Aste Nagusia (The Great Week, known as Semana Grande in Spanish), celebrated anually in the middle of August with lots of music, events, street theater, and fireworks.
Tradition puts the oldest "father" tree in the 14th century, possibly in 1334. The tree lived nearly 450 years until 1742. Since then three trees have replaced it, most recently in 2005, each grown from an acorn of its "father" tree. In 1937, Gernika was bombed by the German and Italian air forces. The Gernika Tree survived the attack and today remains a symbol of freedom and hope.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz is located in the Iparralde, the Northern ("French") part of the Basque Country.
Many supposed Basque witches met their demise under the Spanish inquisition's ruthless persecution of Basque witches.
So... Any final words, Duo?
If you'd like to see a Basque course here at Duolingo, please stop by our "Let's make Basque happen!" thread and show your support! And if you know anyone who might be interested in helping produce the course (most likely Basque-Spanish), please pass the word and have them get in touch with us.
Thanks for stopping by! Agur!
Technically, I should have used the past tense but I've forgotten it.
And even then, it was a lie; I lived in Béarn just a few miles from the border ... but I had requested to be placed in the Basque Country as my first choice and I studied Basque back then at l'université des Pays de l'Adour, Pau campus.
And I spent so many weekends at the Basque coast; my girlfriend at the time lived in Donostia. I miss the gorgeous Basque Country a lot ... and I have fallen mostly into passive understanding ...
Where I DO live now though has a strong Basque connection. I live five hours drive from the ferry to St.-Pierre-et-Miquelon (which has the Basque flag as part of its flag) and when we leave Newfoundland (Ternua) to go to the rest of Canada, we depart from Port-aux-Basques and in Red Bay, Labrador, there is an ancient Basque whaling station.
Sorry for lying; I got over-exuberant in my excitement.
The true sentence is "Ternua bisi naiz"
Heh, i'm excited, too, though for the moment we're at a bit of a standstill until we find others willing to volunteer for the course. I hope one day you'll get the chance to pick your Basque back up, maybe you'll even be able to kick it off here at Duolingo :)
I'm hoping to be able to visit the Basque Country this summer or perhaps this fall, still making plans.
I've made some decks at Memrise for Basque, i've started one for the Ikasten course (though it's Spanish-Basque) and another for The Basque Language: A Practical Introduction (which i'd say is much more than an "introduction"). Check out Ikasten.net's Basque course in particular, it's really comprehensive and free, it has lots of audio and reading to go along with it, too. It's sort of like a less modern (less flashy) parla.cat, if you've checked that site out for Catalan. I think there's an English and French version of it, too. I've seen two people who've gone through the entire Ikasten course with no other study materials, and i'd say their Basque is pretty good, though i'm of course in no position to really judge... not yet at least! The course claims to take you through to B2, i'm currently working through the B1 part.
Heh, i originally got the idea from xavi_fr and anebz, but you suggesting it was just another push to get around to actually putting it together. Now i'm trying to figure out what the next step should be, i've sent a couple e-mails out and made a few posts in forums online, but apparently not in the right places ;)
Todavía no hay noticias, hay gente que ha enviado una solicitud a la incubadora pero seguimos sin ninguna respuesta de Duolingo. Si te interesa aprenderlo, hay varios recursos en línea que te podrían interesar, no son tan divertidos como Duolingo pero también son gratis, como el curso de ikasten.net o el de Gorka.
De momento he empezado con este de Memrise http://www.memrise.com/course/973360/duolingo-euskera-espanol/ pero si... lo guay de Duolingo es que no se te hace un rollazo aprender un idioma. En fin, habrá que esperar.
Thanks. Basque has a pretty steep learning curve, especially at the beginning, but considering how long it's been around it's really quite logical and for the most part regular. It's really different from any other language i've studied and everyone i've met who's studied it seriously has said it's their favorite language. If you were talking about the little comics, it just took a bit of time to put together, that's all :)
Just saw your post, it's very nice ! I know the French part better, so I was like "Where is Biarritz ? St Jean de Luz ? Bayonne ??" but then I saw that you showed a bit of St Jean de Luz at the end. But I don't know the spanish side that well, except the cities very close to the border like Hondarrabia (which has maybe more french tourists than locals), and Donostia. So it was a very interesting post. I'm just surprised you didn't show more of the ferias :)
The fact that catalan just got added to the incubator gives me hope for an upcoming basque course, even though I'm afraid it will be basque from spanish (and I don't speak spanish !). Did you have any news from Duo on an eventual basque course ?
No news so far from Duo, a couple Basque sites picked up on it, though (eg here).
I wanted to spend more time in the Iparralde, too, unfortunately i don't know that side as well (and by the time i got there i was afraid it'd already gotten too long).
I'm also excited the Catalan course has finally been added, hopefully that means there's still hope for the other regional languages of the area :)
Te has puesto en contacto con ellxs? Si no les enviaré un email cuando tenga tiempo para ver si estarían interesadxs o no. Ya he escrito a varias organizaciones, algunas se han mostrado interesadas y hasta han puesto algún anuncio en sus sitios web, pero hasta la fecha ninguna ha dicho que colaboraría con el proyecto directamente.
I would love to be able to learn Euskara via Duolingo. I hope this can become a reality, and considering the rising number of native speakers of Euskara, hopefully some will be willing to contribute material to make this happen. Listening to Hertzainak, Negu Gorriak or Kortatu albums isn't enough for me to pick up the language in the absence of local speakers...
Kreo tambien, ke el kurso sería mejor desde el linguaje español, solo por ke lxs ibéricxs hispanohablante tienen la opurtunidad para utilizarlo.
If you like hip-hop, some more recent artists are:
Norte Apache, with mostly political songs (about Basque/the Basque Country, immigrant rights, anti-TAV).
MAK (Musika Armatu Komando), another political group with a rather strong anarchist influence.
I also really like a lot of Urko's songs, in particular "Gure lagunei" (To our friends, dedicated to two young members of ETA Txiki and Otaegi who were two of the last people executed during Franco's dictatorship).
If you're interested in courses, there's a free course at Ikasten.net which covers a lot of material, the lessons go up to B2 level. There are a few good books available as well, if you're interested...
I have family in the States & in Spain who speak at least one of the iterations of the Basque language, although I've only heard them call it Euskara. I would love to be able to communicate with family abroad. I'm surprised more people from Idaho (Boise, specifically) aren't contributing to this, although the Basque people are notoriously private & tend to exclude outsiders. But, if I'm not mistaken, Boise has the second or third highest concentration of Basque outside of Spain. There is a whole Basque Avenue with restaurants & a museum. Most of my family were herders & ranchers, so when they got to the States, the northwest was the most sensible place to settle. They're dispersed throughout Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon & Northern California. My great-grandmother & her daughters all spoke Euskara & my eldest tia understands & speaks a bit because Tia Talbot (her tia) taught her, but I only know a few words. Anyway, I would love for Duo to take this on. Perhaps contacting some of the people at the Basque Historical Society (I believe that's what it's called) in Boise would help? Thanks for trying! Best wishes!
Of course, we've been going at it for nearly five years now. There's a petition signing going on as well as a letter writing campaign (with over a hundred letters/e-mails having been written, many from folks in high standing in the Basque community). You're more than welcome to help out and come up with new ways to promote a Basque course on Duolingo :)
Kaixo :) We need positive votes "^" and comments thank you;) https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7674974 Well in the first comment made by fellow Crush, the comment ends with "Come on, let's start now!": Below this comment there is a number "285" with a little triangle up "^" you must give it there and you will see that it becomes "286" for example. So you can do with each and every one of the comments you like. This is a positive vote "^" to more positive votes better to accept the course. To comment, say what you want, or "I support the course of Basque", that's worth it. Please, the collaboration is greatly appreciated :) Eskerrik asko
There were quite a few other places that i wanted to include, i even wrote stories and pulled pictures for a couple of them, but i figured it was probably already too long. I'm glad you enjoyed it, i hope Duo's wishes come true and we'll be able to see some more Basque around here soon :)
Wonderful! I got to visit the Basque Country for a bit a few years ago, and was surprised by the extend to which Basque was still dominant over French and Spanish in many places. I always felt bad speaking French or Spanish with the people there. Since then, I think Basque would be great to learn! Plus, I bet having ES>EU and FR>EU courses would help a lot of people in France and Spain who are interested, and raise awareness for Basque.
I agree that having Euskara courses for Spanish and French would be great and would help a lot in the promotion and preservation of the language. It's also a big plus that practically all native speakers of Basque are bilingual which will help with the creation of the courses. With the introduction of ikastolak and bilingual schools, the number of Basque speakers is on the rise, especially among young people.
The situation seems a bit more stable in the Hegoalde (Southern Basque Country) than in the Iparralde (Northern Basque Country), but there's a lot of activity to preserve the Basque language in the French side as well including some bilingual schools and private Ikastolak. Azais recently posted that there was a motion last year to make Basque the second official language (alongside French) in Ustaritz, challenging French as being the only official language of France.
Anyway, hopefully we'll be able to get Basque courses from a variety of different base languages!
Aizu, etorri nahi baduzu Iparralderat, nik Akizen bizi naiz, beraz ez hain urrun. Uste dut ungi dakit bertako hizkerak, kultura eta bizitzia. Bertako gazteak ez dute Hegoaldeko "euskara batua" ikasten "eskuara nafar-lapurtarra" baino gehienetan. Hau da barnekaldian, kostaldian eskuaraz oso gutti badakitea. Ta frantsesa naiz!
I haven't heard any news, there have been a few posts in Basque media over the past couple months about Duolingo and the push for a Basque course, but as far as i know Duo hasn't said anything recently concerning Basque. Though seeing some of the other languages added recently i don't think it's out of the question, it's just a matter of time i suppose. Thanks for stopping by :)
EDIT: Yesterday, a Basque professor/philologist offered to help create the course, hopefully this will give Duolingo a bit of motivation to open up a Basque course!
Hey crush thanks for keeping strong and advocating for something. I thought the other day about mentioning a few more key reasons to have a basque course. Of course I would be stoked for an English basque course, but for those Spanish speakers, the more I'm here in northern Spain and I hear about a lot of people working to get jobs in the public sector in the Basque Country, I come to find out that they often are required to score a certain level in Basque. Not only that, but tied to that point, one of the more economically prosperous regions of Spain by far is the Basque Country. So if people want to argue it's not useful, well there are quite a few jobs out there that could be filled by individuals able to pass exams, with the aid of duolingo. Not to mention the university of pais vasco is one of the better universities in all of Europe, with duolingo as another resource, maybe it could pave the way for individuals to move there and attend some programs in euskara.
Merci pour ton intérêt, fumerolle! Il y a déjà un cours de catalan pour les hispanophones si tu t'y intéresses, peut-être on aura plus tard des cours avec d'autres langues de base aussi. Mais pour le moment j'attends impatiemment l'annonce du cours de cette langue ancienne et mystérieuse, le basque!
Verdaderamente un caso poco común. Seguro que ha trabajado mucho antes de venir para examinarse. Es un examen muy complicado y, ciertamente, tiene un mérito enorme. Egia esateko, oso kasu berezia da honako hau, inolaz ere egunerokoa. Ziur nago, azterketa egitera etorri baino lehenago lan itzela egin zuela. EGA oso azterketa zaila da eta, ezbairik gabe, meritu ikaragarria dauka. Zorionak!