Euskara (berriro)

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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:26 pm

https://voca.ro/bfLPl2ihGRU

A short fragment of a conversation I recorded (no names and such so as to preserve their anonymity) at a bar in Munitibar. In Munitibar they speak a variety of the Lea-Artibai subdialect of Western Basque, related to Lekeitio dialect.

I played this audio to my friend, a native Basque speaker from Azkoitia in the neighbouring province of Gipuzkoa and she said she didn't understand anything.

I think it's because 1) the audio quality is not that great 2) the audio dumps you into the middle of a conversation with no clues as to what topic they're talking about. That's hard for any language.

Later I went and talked to the men, and they switched to a more Batua influenced version of their dialect (see my previous post) in order to talk to me.

I fully believe that my friend with her vast native speaker ability would understand their full-on, no- concessions-given dialect, so long as she stayed there for a few days.

It's my fervent credo that most of the famous intercomprehension between even the most far apart dialects is a problem of exposure.

The Lapurdi native speaker I talked about in the previous post told me he had travelled to Ondarroa not far from Munitibar where they speak a similar dialect. And he initially didn't understand anything. But after a couple of days staying in Ondarroa, he got over it. People in the north Basque Country rarely have occasion to hear Western Basque, and that was probably the main reason why it posed such a problem to him.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:40 pm

A interesting contrast between two public statements. One from the town hall of Lekeitio, saying that this year's town festival is cancelled. It is written in a standard Basque with no concessions for Western Basque, it could have been written in Gipuzkoa or Araba.

Image

In the second, this time written by the local branch of the political party EAJ-PNV (the conservative Basque nationalist party) for Lekeitio citizens. It uses a 'cleaned up' version of Lekeitio dialect, that is, it uses Lekeitio verb forms etc but does not seek to use an eye-dialect phonetic representation of all the ways people would speak.

Image

For example:

bat egiten dogu would in all likelihood be pronounced in real life bat eitten dou or bat eiñ dou.

momentu latzak bizitzen gagoz would be pronounced in quick speech momentu latzak bixitxen gos.

This form keeps the orthographical conventions of standard Basque and standard Western Basque, for example, using <z> even though in Western Basque, all sibilants have collapsed to /s/.

Where would you see a Spanish political party (or a French political party) use dialectical forms in their public announcements? Is that even conceivable in the mind of a Spanish or French speaker, educated into accepting that there's only one way to write their language in formal occasions?

I personally think this is a good orthographical compromise. And it seems to be the normal variety that's used in relaxed settings.

For example this tweet from a Lekeitio person. Below I put a version that maybe makes it more easier to understand for someone who only learned standard Basque.

Bai, andria. Ez daroiat sujetadorerik soinekuen azpitxik. Baña nire albotik surfeko tabliaz pasa dan mutillak neoprenua gerrijen azpitxik erun dau eta ez dotzazu beirakunarik bota, ez dotzazu albokuari señarik ein. #hastalastitiburus

Bai andrea. Ez daramat bularretadorik soinekoaren azpitik. Baina nire albotik surfeko tablarekin pasa den mutilak neoprenoa gerriaren azpitik eraman du, eta ez diozu begirakunik bota, ez diozu albokoari seinalerik egin. #hastalastitiburus


Sure lady, I'm not wearing a bra under my dress. But the guy next to me with a surfboard had his swimsuit hanging below his waist, and you didn't give him the evil eye, you didn't say anything to him...
#hastalastitiburus (I've had it up to my tits = I'm fed up).
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:26 pm

.


A documentary about the Basque sport of rock lifting, harri-jasotze.

Iñaki Perurena is one of the best rock lifters of all time. And a modern day Basque Renaissance man who runs his own museum dedicated to rock lifting in his home town of Leitza. He's also a bertsolari, a TV presenter, an author, a sculptor etc.

He's a native speaker of Basque, who grew up in a Basque speaking Navarran town. This accounts for the fact that he speaks Spanish...well, like a second language learner. Years of going to Spanish-only schooling could not change that.

But it's actually uncommon in the Basque Country to speak Spanish/French as 'badly' as Perurena here does. Personally I love it.

I'm not taking into account the characteristic accent and intonation that calls him out as Basque. Non-Basque speaking Basques may have the same or similar traits.

There are syntactic phenomena that may strike a non Basque Spanish speaker as weird, but are not outside of the realm of the possibilities of Spanish.

At 2:50, one rock lifter says "Izeta segundo me llaman" where you'd expect instead "me llaman Izeta segundo." Or at 23:50, "de todo un poco" instead of "un poco de todo".

But whilst these word orders are pragmatically marked but licit in Spanish, the following is ungrammatical for Spanish speakers. In 14:44, Perurena is confusing the genders.

"Estas piedras rectangulares, son piedras modernas estas. Entonces más facil de levantarlo. Que las piedras antiguos."

Native Spanish speakers sometimes do trip up on genders, but usually self correct. To do it twice within two phrases, I've never heard. This is probably a reflection of how Basque does not mark gender on nouns with the exception of some Western dialects that have borrowed it from Spanish.

Finally, if you look at 14:31, "aquellas ya se han rompido porque...", that rompido cannot be called a Basque influence because there are some native Spanish speakers who use rompido (a prescriptively condemned form) instead of the standard roto.

Rompido makes plenty of sense, from a language internal perspective. Just as haber->habido, you'd expect romper->rompido. It's just a morphological generalisation, and for this reason, kids who are acquiring Spanish, hit upon this form independently time and time again before they're taught not to.

Leitza is beautiful. It's a town of nearly 3000 people and the Basque speaking percentage is impressive: 91,75% of the townspeople are Basque speakers.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:48 am

I read a commentary from an American who had Basque exchange students in their university.

The Basque students explicitly said to him that they did not want to lose their Basque accent when speaking English (or any other language, Spanish, French etc) because having a Basque accent was a result of their native language being reflected through the foreign language.

Reivindicating Basque even in foreign languages.

Contrast with the sometimes obsessive emphasis by language learners (yours truly included) on acquiring a native accent.

Or native speakers trying to change how they speak in order to avoid the glottophobic attitudes of their society.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:17 pm

Talking with people outside of my echo-chamber of people super interested in languages, I was called an extremist.

I claimed that the idea that Italian is the only unifying language for Italians, the only language that enables communication between Italians, is 1) false 2) a lie used to this day by Italian language supremacists to maintain the dominant position of Italian in Italy. I posted a video of three speakers of Gallo-Italic languages having a conversation together in Lombard, Piedmontese and Venetian. We can demarcate Italy into various major language families and within those families, with exposure via radio, TV, books and formal education, you could create language corridors or language safe zones where there is no need for Italian to be the lingua franca. In essence, recreating or reinvigorating the dialectical chain.

I am a radical because my position is to change social model from the ground up. Exactly as the etymology of radical (<radix) suggests. But it's isolating to be an extremist in a society of moderates. Sometimes I think to myself, are all of the people who I admire and talk to, are they crazy? Could I actually be wrong?

Maybe Basque speakers really are imposing their language on defenseless Spanish speakers? Maybe it is natural and inevitable that Catalan will die so we should stop supporting it with money. Maybe Asturian, contrary to all linguistic fact, actually is just a badly spoken dialect of Spanish like the Spanish supremacists say. Maybe promoting Spanish languages is just a tool for domination, a way to get rich off the teat of taxpayer money, a way to format civil disturbance and division. Maybe the French really were doing a favour in abusing children in schools for speaking their languages?

I always come back to the conclusion that...nah. I just can't see a world in which they are right, and we are wrong. This is an instance where I personally believe that the only moral position is to be an extremist.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:41 am



HBO has released its new series Patria, accompanied by a intense publicity campaign. It's based off a book by Basque author Fernando Aramburu. It's important to note that the book is written in Spanish, not Basque.

It has as its central argument the Basque armed conflict, two Basque families and a murder.

I've not read the book nor seen the series and I have no intention of reading or watching them. I decided not to read the book a few months ago after I read this study, El euskera en la novela "Patria" de Fernando Aramburu. It was published in the Revista de lenguas y literaturas catalana gallega y vasca, by Karlos Cid Abasolo.

It's not so much a literary review as a linguistic review of the role and nature of the Basque language in the novel. The whole text is available to read, just click on the link.

After reading the review, it's clear that Aramburu has used the Basque language for ideological purposes. It goes far beyond what authors do in sprinkling some phrases here and there to give an aesthetic flavour to their plot set in some place. Here, example after example helps the reader situate Basque as the language of the ETA terrorists, the language of Basque racism and intolerance, the language linked to political violence.

I'm not going to restate the whole review, please read it, it's well done.

I'd like to comment on one passage from the book that the reviewer himself pointed out.

Nerea, a character from the book, is a Basque speaker. She is trying to learn German and states that she is having difficulty with it because of its declinations.

Difícil idioma. No le entraba en la cabeza que a estas alturas de la Historia la gente, en la panadería, en el hospital, de ventana a ventana, se expresara con declinaciones, a la usanza de los antiguos romanos (p. 327)


Hard language. She couldn't understand how at this modern point in history people could still express themselves in declensions like the ancient Romans, at the bakery, at the hospital, speaking from window to window.

For a bit of context Aramburu has been living outside of the Basque Country and indeed Spain for the last thirty years, in Germany.

I'm assuming he's learned German. I'm sure he knows that Germans do use German in German bakeries, at the hospital, shouting from window to window...maybe he's learned to do all these things himself. Maybe he's remembering his own mental shock when first encountering a language that doesn't work like his own.

What the passage makes clear is that Aramburu is a Basque writer but he is not a Basque writer. He was born in the Basque Country but according to the sources I've found he is a monolingual Spanish speaker.

No Basque speaking author would put in the mouth of a Basque speaking character the words that Aramburu did. Basque itself is a language where the endings of the words change form depending on their function. The infamous Basque declensions are not quite like German, but certainly it would not be an alien concept to a Basque speaker like Nerea the character.

And what to say about the value judgement of 'at this point in history, she couldn't understand how people still spoke like Romans?'. For the Spanish monolingual reader who knows nothing about how Basque works, they'll probably apply this passage to German like the text says and think nothing more of it. But I suspect Aramburu - despite being monolingual in Spanish - knows how Basque basically works (agglutination).

I bet this because he has degree in Hispanic philology and so knows something about how languages work, even if it primarily his own (Spanish). I mean, he's not stupid.

The conclusion I draw is that Aramburu, if German is incomprehensibly out-of-time, pre-modern for him, than he surely was thinking the same thing about Basque at the same time as he was writing these lines.

To a German speaker who uses German to go to hospital, make love, do their work, watch TV, read a book in German this line would be bizarre if not offensive. But it wasn't meant to be read by Germans.

Similarly, the treatment of the Basque language in the novel says that Aramburu wrote this Spanish language book, about the Basque conflict, for other monolingual Spanish speakers, outside of the Basque Country.

Actually he puts a glossary at the back of the book, which the reviewer also examines word by word and finds inaccuracies. But to someone from the Basque Country, the short glossary is useless. Even a monolingual Spanish speaking Basque knows what words like 'ama' and 'aita' means.

Evidently the book is meant for Spaniards. Not Basques.

And so? Is that a problem?

Yes. First, because as the study shows, Basque is presented in the book in an ideological manner as the terrorist language. Outsiders are susceptible to this kind of linguistic ideology.

Second because the Basque conflict is a BIG DEAL that marked the political and social life of the Basque Country for decades, like the Troubles, and the Basque conflict as lived by Basques themselves is still extremely unknown to the majority of Spaniards.

What will the average Spaniard learn or take away from reading this book?

At least for the Troubles we have a number of books, TV series, movies, memoires, documentaries, songs etc from both and all sides. Not just showing 'both sides' but actually produced by participants and victims and actors in that conflict.

This ties in with the HBO adaptation of Patria. From what I've heard, its presence of Basque is practically null. The producers explained that they didn't want to stereotype the Basque language as one of terrorists, and so they simply chose to not use it.

However I'm 99% sure they did it in order to not alienate their Spanish market. Spanish audiences do not like watching the original version of foreign movies in cinema or on TV. Given that they hardly like watching American movies or TV shows in English with Spanish subtitles, the idea of watching a series in Basque with Spanish subtitles would turn off many viewers (or so the thinking goes).

If the producers really wanted to avoid the stereotyping of Basque as the terrorist language, they could have had all the main characters, both victims and perpetrators speak Basque and Spanish.

You don't even have to make Basque the dominant language of the script, you could have the actors alternate between Spanish and Basque. The actors are all Basque and all have worked in Basque TV/cinema before, so they could do it.

Bilingualism would more accurately befit a small Basque town and reflect Basque-Spanish diglossia and code switching. The pure Spanish monolingualism of the series is not accurate. Also keep in mind that other HBO shows like the Game of Thrones had long segments in invented languages, and international viewers weren't turned off either.

For me it is a moral issue. The Basque conflict has never been represented in Spanish national media in the Basque language, presented by Basque storytellers. The narrative that is relentlessly pushed in Spanish language media is that the Basque conflict was between the bad terrorists and the good people that they murdered. And because the Spanish language media is enormously rich, powerful, well developed in comparison to the Basque one, even when the Basque industry does produce something, who's going to distribute it? Take the case of the just released movie Non dago Mikel? which talks about the use of torture by the Spanish state and the murder of Mikel Zabalza by police. How many Spaniards are going to watch it? How many even know of its existences?



HBO is a a foreign company coming into a very touchy issue, with the distributive and publicity ability to reach into millions of Spanish homes. This series is going to be a hit, it's going to create a lot of discussion in newspapers, on radio talk shows, TV platforms, around the couch. It's a rare opportunity to educate. Inform. Create dialogue. Reconciliation. So it's a damn shame that they're starting from the wrong place.

I'll also add that in the study, some of Aramburu's more explicit ideological statements outside of the book are studied, for example his outrageous claim that Basque literature doesn't really exist outside of subventions and payments by the government, and that this creates a culture of silence and censorship concerning the Basque conflict among Basque authors in order to not rock the boat.

A man who can't even read the works that he's talking about because he can't speak the language...in any case there are actual Basque language authors who criticised ETA and the terrorism, and the reviewer cites some of them, I suggest you buy their books and read their works instead.

But as an outsider, how would you know? You'd see the well made trailers, the well made posters, the fact that Patria is a best selling book with a lot of awards, gushing reviews from Spanish speaking press...how could you know that it's chock full of inaccuracies and half truths and ideological twisting of language?
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:25 am

Here's the trailer for a truly terrible 'comedy' movie from France, set in the Basque Country. With grenade launchers and automatic rifles. How original.



Made by French people, for French people to laugh at. With French actors. Can you hear the slightest hint of a Basque accent? No. Can you hear the slightest whisper of the Basque language? No. Do you think it ever crossed the minds of the producers for the shadow of a milisecond, to use Basque actors? No.

They don't care about the Basque Country. They. don't. care.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:08 pm

A story I found on Twitter, from a teenager from the town of Elorrio. Social media is one the best ways to find relaxed writings in Basque dialects.

The story shows a mix of her town's Bizkaian dialect and Spanish, what is sometimes called euskañol.

Elorrio's dialect is closely related to the Durango or the Amorebieta-Etxano dialect. I'll mark the Spanish in red.

Hilo zelan bukatuoten goizeko 5etan ikutzen sapo bat:

Gauzen rabe baten Sanjon ta etxera juten nebilela gogoratu neban enaukozela giltzak, baño enintzen preokupau naukozelako giltz batzuk estratejikamente eskutauta

Ordun jun nintzen giltzak hartzen (añadidu biot giltzen eskutalekua dala leku ilun ta umel bat) ta enebazen aurkitzen baño igertzen neban alo (algo, presumably) zozer biguna nere eskuetan, ta klaro OBVIAMENTE gauza bin hori ezan giltza

Bueno ba gauza bigun hori zan KRISTON SAPO BAT gañera zaukozen tipo berrugitak ta zan gigantia tioo, osa eske kriston naazkaa!!

Bueno nire atakean ostien deitu notzen nire ahiztiai, jarraitzen zauela juergan, aber alzan etorri ya etxera ta holan sartzen nintzen etxera. Baño klaro nahiak obviamente esaozte ke no, ke me joda ta jun bihe izen nintzen barriro Sanjora (zauela a tomar por kulo)

Ta ba hori jun nintzela Sanjora todo kabreada ta gero gañera baju biher izen nintzne bakrrik baze mahiak gura zauen geratu bost miñutu gehiau

Ta sinmas da txorrada bat baño izenda bizitzan pasau jaten gauza askerosuena, benetan


To be honest it's sometimes difficult to say what words and phrases she says in plain Spanish and which are actually Basquified, nativised loanwords.

Take this word 'gigantia', meaning as you can guess, gigantic or huge. I did not mark it in red because it shows a characteristic vowel change of this and many dialects, where /e/ is raised to [i] before the definite article. I take this to be a loanword and not her speaking Spanish.

Another example is preokupau, which you can guess from the similar Spanish participle preocupado/a. Again I didn't mark it because in Bizkaian dialects, Spanish 1st conjugation verbs are productively borrowed with this form -au.

Same for juerga, to which she slaps the Basque locative ending -n to create juergan 'at the party'.

Here's my translation:

Thread:

How I ended up touching a toad at 5 am in the morning:

It was night, at a rave in Sanjo (San Jose park in Elorrio) and while I was going home, I remembered that I didn't have my keys, but I wasn't worried because I had my keys hidden strategically.

So I went to take the keys (I need to say that the hiding spot for the keys was a dark and dank place) and I didn't find them but I felt something, something soft in my hands and CLEARLY that thing wasn't a key.

Well that soft thing was a FUCKING TOAD and it had warts and it was ginormous, duuuude, I mean how fucking disgusting!

Anyway after my heart attack, I called my sister, she was still at the party, let's see if she's come home yet and so I could come inside. But obviously Nahia told me "nope, screw you", and I had to go again to Sanjo (which was fucking far away).

And well I went to Sanjo, super pissed off and later
I had to go back all by myself because Nahia wanted to stay five minutes longer.

And that's it, just some nonsense but it was the most disgusting thing that ever happened to me in my life, really.


There is the obvious heavy presence of Spanish pragmatic markers (bueno, klaro etc) and the use of Spanish loanwords. The morphology is entirely Basque and dialectical Basque in addition.

Far be it for me to criticise who I presume is a native speaker, but what struck me was the syntactic influence of the all purpose Spanish subordinator 'que', which is used in circumstances in euskañol where it wouldn't be used in normative Basque.

jun bihe izen nintzen barriro Sanjora (zauela a tomar por kulo).

In Spanish:

Tuve que volver a Sanjo (que estaba a tomar por culo)

In normative Basque the subordinator -la simply doesn't work like that. It can't be used as a relative subordinator like que can. And when I say normative Basque I don't just mean standard Basque, I mean this teenager's parents and grandparents wouldn't speak like this either. It's a recent change caused by massive Spanish influence.

To 'fix' this sentence in an informal context, she could simply cut the sentence into two.

Jun bihe izen nintzen barriro Sanjora, zauen a tomar por kulo!
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:17 pm

Is this normal? I asked French people about their experiences with transmitting languages and some people replied saying how they had to deal with 'educators' and I use that term lightly telling them to stop speaking their languages to their children and speak French instead. In 2020.

I can't be bothered to translate it into English but here it is:

Ma fille est née en France, et j'ai parlé ma langue maternelle (le russe) avec elle depuis sa naissance. On a eu beaucoup d'incompréhension de la part des specialistes de la petite enfance/enseignants, parce que les enfants polyglottes se mettent fréquemment à parler plus tard (mais en général se lancent directement dans les deux/trois/etc langues). Au délà de la littérature, j'en avais déjà fait l'expérience avec mes frères et soeurs, donc je n'étais pas inquiète, mais quand un pédiatre dit qu'il y a un retard de développement comme ça... ça peut être grande source de stress pour de jeunes parents. Les enseignants à l'école maternelle me disaient tout simplement d'arrêter de lui parler ma langue maternelle pour accélerer l'apprentissage du français... Deséspérant.


On a dit la même chose à une amie Mexicaine qui parle français et espagnol à sa fille. Ils ont réussi à faire paniquer la maman et lui faire imaginer qu'elle perturbait le développement de son enfant... La petite a 7 ans maintenant et parle les deux langues, et n'a aucun problème à l'école. Je suis assez choquée de voir que c'est une réaction courante des spécialistes.


Next, here's something that popped up in my Twitter feed. Now I know, Twitter is a hive of racist scum and far right nonsense so what did I expect. I will translate this one cause it's short. It's from a mother:

Hier soir ma fille en 5ème, me racontait, que, même en cours,des élèves maghrébins parlaient tout le temps en arabe entre eux.

Comment est-ce possible, autorisé ?

Communautarisme ou mauvaise intégration ?



Last night my daughter in 5th grade told me that even during class, the North African students talk all the time in Arabic between themselves.
How is this possible, authorised?
'Communautarisme' or bad integration?


What these people mean when they say integration is assimilation. There's not a shadow of a doubt about it. The only good Arab is an Arab that has gotten rid of everything Arab about them. Communautarisme is a funny word that I left untranslated because I don't think it's a concept that exists in any other country. It certainly doesn't exist in Spain as such. The way I understand it from reading French media and politicians is that they mean to say that citizens identify themselves as forming a part of a community 'over' their French Republican citizenship, including things like racial identity, religion, language and even sexuality. In practice, anyone who thinks that identities can be shared, is accused of the big bad scary word of communatuarisme. Especially the defenders of French languages which are universally called regional languages by the media who don't seem to understand that these languages could also be just as French as French is.

Notice how the mother refers to the children as 'maghrebins', which is pure hypocrisy because even according to French Republican ideology, these children would not be 'maghrebin' but simply French.

And now Macron comes out with his bold plan to beat 'Islamic separatism', and I have no doubt that an indirect/direct consequence of fear mongering like that is going to fall on innocent young kids who speak Arabic and Berber because it's their mother language.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby vonPeterhof » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:52 pm

nooj wrote:Is this normal? I asked French people about their experiences with transmitting languages and some people replied saying how they had to deal with 'educators' and I use that term lightly telling them to stop speaking their languages to their children and speak French instead. In 2020.

That particular talk doesn't seem to be up on YouTube yet, but one of the speakers at last year's Polyglot Conference in Fukuoka mentioned this exact thing being told to his Japanese mother when he was growing up in France, most likely in the 1990s. Apparently in his case that only resulted in her doubling down and adopting a more systematic approach to making sure that her son grows up to be fully proficient in her native language. He noted that her being a trained teacher herself certainly helped her achieve that, while also unfortunately making sure that the only Japanese he ever acquired was Standard Japanese instead of the Tottori dialect of most of their relatives.
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