Euskara (berriro)

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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:28 pm

I can only applaud that mother's determination and I see nothing wrong and everything to gain from greater systemacity, consistency and coherency in teaching the language to the children.

However, not all parents have that courage and resourcefulness, and it's perverse that a parent has to go against the advice of 'educators' and child 'experts' to do so, when their role should be to encourage, inform and ensure that second language acquisition goes as smoothly as possible. Scaring parents into not speaking their languages to their children is horrific...
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:41 am


Every year an organisation brings together 120 or so Basque speaking teenagers between the ages of 16-17 from all over Euskal Herria and the world in the Basque diaspora.

This group of disparate youths from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different likes and dislikes, will walk across the length and breadth of the Basque Country, in order to know first hand its nature, its people, its history, its culture and its language.

The path that EuskarAbentura takes is from Maule in Zuberoa to Getxo in Bizkaia. They will have travelled by the end almost 800km following different parts of the Camino de Santiago. But it's not just about walking: activities, workshops, trips and talks are prepared throughout their entire journey with the help of volunteers, town halls, musicians, museums, farms, bertsolaris, schools...


The Basque organisers were inspired by a similar initiative that they themselves took part in as youth, the Quetzal trail. It was something I had no idea about and yet it looks like its positive effects on the participants were far reaching, decades afterwards.

It was apparently in Boise, Idaho (one of the centres of Basque diaspora in the Americas) , that the organisers of EuskarAbentura decided to create their initiative in 2018.

Here are their self proclamed goals:

Gazteen artean euskararen erabilera sustatu eta normalizatzea.
Gazte euskaldunen sare berri bat sortu eta elikatzea.
Euskal Herriko natura-ondasun eta ondasun historiko nahiz kulturalen transmisioa bermatzea.

To support and normalise the use of Basque among young people.
To create and feed a new network among young Basque speakers.
To strengthen the transmission of the natural and historical heritage of the Basque Country.

The second point is especially important because the hope is not to just have another 'summer camp' where you have fun and then go home. The problem is that youth, by virtue of growing up in their locality in a particular city or town, or even a particular neighbourhood, tend to get locked into a specific configuration of social networks. To put it simply, you have your friends from primary or high school and until you go to University, you're not likely to make new friends, certainly you might not get an opportunity to make new very different friends. And by the time you move out and branch out on your own, that's many crucial years where your language habits solidify.

This can be bad for Basque if the friends/neighbourhood/social circle that you're locked into while a teenager is a majority Spanish or French (or English) speaking one. If you're lucky to be born in a place where everyone speaks Basque, great, your social network reinforces your Basque. If you're unlucky to be born in a place where the dominant language is Spanish or French, how do you make a new Basque social network?

EuskarAbentura hopes to create lasting change in this regard. Where else could a Basque kid from Argentina meet a Basque kid from Iparralde and walk hand in hand, sleep, eat and laugh together for 800 Basque? Who knows where that friendship will take them and how many years it will last?

As for their first goal, to strengthen the use of Basque, they measure the results. The initiative acts as a giant sociolinguistic experiment, why not take advantage? In the 2019 expedition, it was observed that the language used in the conversations between the teens was an average of 83% in Basque.

As the expedition went on, the usage of Basque went up among the youth, that is to say the teens spoke more and more Basque to each other, and even after the initiative finished, six months later they found that in a follow up of the teens' language habits, their Basque usage remained higher.

You can't expect miracles. When the kids go back home, the sociopolitical context remains unchained and you have to plunge back into a world of Spanish and French. But there was a noticeable increase in the teens' use of Basque in social media and their consumption of Basque media and content (music, books etc), especially in the case of kids from the North Basque Country.

For more information on the sociolinguistic implications of the 2019 EuskarAbentura, see this article.

The point of EuskarAbentura is not to teach Basque, the presumption is that they all know Basque already. The point is to actually bring Basque out of them, to make it the primary tool for communication. Horizontal learning, horizontal transmission, instead of the hierarchical structure of a school.

Other benefits from this mixing?

If you listen or read the participants' after reports, they often say how it was a good experience (for some of them the first time) to meet speakers of so many different Basque dialects. Literally 120 teenagers from every point of the Basque Country stuck together, imagine the linguistic melting pot!

Another point is that Basque speakers from areas where Basque is not widely spoken get like a psychic shock, because it might very well be the first time they realise that there are youth like them who live in Basque - from birth to death, from sunrise to sundown, 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. Not only their Basque usage goes up, their unconscious or conscious conception of Basque changes too.

And don't imagine from the happy videos that all of the youth wanted to go. Many of the accounts from the teens say that their parents egged them on, or they were nervous or shy. Just ordinary kids. Not language activists. Watch the video and I dare you not to smile!

I walked most of the Caminos that they used, although I was walking alone. Definitely something I would like to do if I was still 16-17! By the way the 2020 EuskarAbentura has been cancelled due to coronavirus.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:56 pm

I was getting tired of waiting for the Aranese language academy to release online their Aranese grammar, if they ever will. I hope they do, like the Catalans did.

They completed the grammar just a couple of months ago but I still can't find any hardcopies online to buy.

So I went and bought Aitor Carrera's grammar from 2006. It's quite comprehensive but it was released when Aranese standardisation was still young, so surely it's out of date compared to the 2020 version. I haven't been able to find a copy of Carrera's grammar in any library or even a page of it on Google Books, so buying it was my only option.

There are many things I like about it, but especially that it's written in Aranese. Monolingual grammars are so useful, and Carrera complains that it's not habitual for there to be monolingual grammars for Occitan (dialects). They're usually written in French or English etc.

That deprives Occitan of a useful metalanguage and the possibility of analising its own language as an independent system, language-internally. It's for the same reason that reading about Basque grammar in Basque is interesting. Of course it means that this information is locked away from learners, but that's okay.

Anyway, here's an Alidé Sans song. She offers translations of her songs on her website but I avoided using it. This song reminds me of the end of the book of Job: where were you when I created the world? I was never happy with the ending of that part of the Bible.

Here there's no sign of an overlord, no cosmic deity. Alidé Sans positions herself as part of nosati, us, humanity in general formed both by arrogant human beings who think they're the lords of all creation, and people like her who question whether we really know our place...which is as part of a nature which escapes us and is always greater than our ignorance.

E de nau aué se gèlen es flors qu’abiten nòste prat,
m’assegures que i aurà primauera enguan?
E s’aguest còp s’i neguèsse, ditz-me, qui la poderie jutjar?
Sabes qué li hè mau ath cèu que l’è entenut plorar encara?
Sabes quin ei eth sòn dolor e s’a bèth un que la consòle?

If today once again the flowers that live in our field freeze over
Can you assure me that there will be a springtime this year?
If spring says no this time, tell me, who could judge her?
Do you know what is hurting the sky, (so much so) that I heard him cry again?
Do you what what his pain is, and if he has someone to ease it?

Coma ua gota cre governar er ocean,
coma un audèth que cre governar eth vent,
Se coneishes qui a escuelhut es ores qu’a de lúder Lua era sua lutz,
se me jures qu’as era clau que daurís era pòrta de ben e mau.

Like a droplet that believes it governs the ocean
Like a bird that believes it governs the wind
If you know who chose the hours at which the Moon has to shine its light
If you swear to me that you have the key that opens the door of good and evil

Seguís dromint un sonni en qu’èm es senhors deth mon.
Ès convençut qu’as tot eth dret a exigir
que mos pòrten era ploja, qu’eth Solei non s’amòrte aué
e que non arribe era mòrt, que non auem agut temps.
Que mos pòrten mès aire ja, qu’es primaueres baishen deth cèu,
e que guarisquen es nòstes flors.

You still dream a dream in which we are the masters of the world
You're convinced that you have all the right in the world to demand
That they bring us rain, that the Sun not go down today
And that death not come, because we have not had time
That they bring us more air right now,
That there be many more springs
To come down from the sky
And heal our flowers
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:38 pm

A conversation between Marius Blénet who is a journalist/the host of a programme called Viure al País who speaks an eastern Lengadocian dialect from Montpelhèr and Alidé Sans who speaks an Aranese (Pyrenees Gascon) dialect.

She says that she is in Bausen which is a small town of 60 people very close to the border. And indeed she lives there currently. But she doesn't speak the Aranese dialect from there, as is evident by how she doesn't pronounce [h], which is pronounced in Bausen and Canejan, like the Gascon dialects just across the political border. I think she was born and raised in the capital Vielha.

The journalist uses vos with her, which is the genuine Occitan respectful treatment which in the Val d'Aran has been massively replaced by vosté/vostés, from Spanish influence which has also affected Catalan in this respect.

If you open up TV3 you'll note that they use vostè/vostès all the time. Personally when speaking Catalan I hardly ever say vostè/vostès, I use vós as this was how I learned to respectfully address people in Mallorca. At least outside of Palma this form is still alive and kicking.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:51 pm

Some truth spitting from Elixabet Etxandi (born in 2000), who won the interscolar bertsolaritza competition in the north Basque Country for two years. She is from the small town of Izura in Baxe Nafarroa.

1. Fatima deitzen naiz eta berriz
joan nahi dut Marokora.
Baina garbitzaile lanen menpe
pasa behar dut denbora.
«Eguzkia atera aurretik
esnatu, joan kanpora
Hola mundu zure esku da»
erraten dute gustora.
Goizeko bostetan esnatzen naiz
deuseztatuz metafora:
Mundua ez dago nire esku
eta eguzkia lo da.

My name is Fatima
And I want to go back to Morocco
But I must spend time
As a cleaner
"Get up before the Sun does,
Go outside
And you'll have the world in your fingers"
They like to say
I wake up at five in the morning
Disproving the metaphor:
The world is not between my fingers
And the Sun is sleeping still

Bost haurrak utzi ditut etxean
alaba da zaintzalea.
Nagiz bete zait ene bihotza
baina hutsa da kalea.
Garbitu behar lehen gunea
auzo jatetxe noblea.
Ostalaritza mundua baita
etekin orojalea,
nola deskongelatuz kroketak
lortze da posiblea,
egiten dudan lanaren erdiz
ene soldata doblea?

I have left five children at home
My daughter looks after them.
My heart is full of tiredness
But the street is empty.
The first place I must clean
Is the ground floor of the neighbourhood restaurant
For the world of hospitality is a voracious omnivore
How is it possible for someone to get double my salary
Doing half the work
Just by defreezing croquetas?

Karmen De la Cruz-en txaletera
noa ondotik korrika,
nehoiz izango ez naizen horri
egiten diot bisita.
Neurologo famatua baita,
pribilegioz josita,
lan indarra saldu behar diot
txeke batek erosita.
Komuna garbitzen nagoela
ikusi dezaket ti-ta
I am feminist kamiseta bat
labadoran itzulika.

I run next to the chalet of Karmen De La Cruz
I make a visit to she who I will never be
For she is a famous neurologist
Sewn into privilege
I must sell her my labour
Which has been bought by a check
While I am cleaning the toilet
I see very briefly
A shirt saying I am a feminist
Tumbling around in the washer

Bere etxean bakar bakarrik
aspaldi bizi da Benat.
Laurogei urte ospatu ditu
lehen erakasle zenak.
Bere zaintza lana ene gain da
lasaitzen dizkiot penak,
«Nik ere bost haur baditut nonbait
bisitatzen ez nautenak».
Txatarra aldatu diot eta
xuxurlatu dit barrenak:
«Herentzia jinen den unean
itzuliko dira denak».

Benat has been living on his lonesome
For some time now
He has celebrated his 80th birthday
He was a teacher once
Looking after him is my responsibility
I aleviate his pains
"I too have five kids somewhere
Who don't visit me"
I changed his filth and
His spirit whispered to me
"When it is time for the inheritance
They will all come back"

Berez Basetxe jaunarekilan
egin behar dut segida,
bere etxe guztia garbituz
ganerretik atarira.
Baina gaur itxoiten nau atea
eta esan dit: «Begira,
lana kentzen duzu bertakoei
injustua da, argi da».
Arrazismoak itzala badu,
kaleratzeak dirdira:
ene larrua bezain ilunak
diren usteak badira.

I must work right away at Mr. Basetxe's
Cleaning his entire house from the attic to the doorsill
But today he closes the door on me
And told me "Look
You're taking work from the natives
It's unfair, clearly"
If racism has a shadow
Then kicking someone out has a shine:
There are beliefs that are as dark
As my skin

itxoiten nau - this looks like the infamous solécisme de la côte, but this time in Baxe Nafarroa. With standard Basque object marking, this would be itxoiten dit.

Lana amaitu egin dut baina
amaitu denik ez uste.
Etxean bost haur ditut ene zain
ongi zaindu nahi nituzke.
Baina lana da indar saltzea
baina lana indar huste,
burgesentzako ederra dena
enetzat baita itsuste.
Ator txurien atzean preso
diharduten lau ilustre,
deus egin gabe nik baino esku
zikinagoak dituzte.

I've finished work but
Don't think it's over
I have five kids waiting for me at home
I need to take care of them.
But work means selling my strength
Work means the emptying of strength
What is beautiful for the bourgeoisie
Is ugly for me.
The four esteemed people
Who are held captive behind their white shirts
Without doing anything at all
Have dirtier hands than mine
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:48 am

An interesting interview in Radio País with Antton Curutcharry, vice president for the department of Languages and Cultures in the Euskal Hirigune Elkargoa/Comunautat d'Aglomeracion deu País Basco.

For the first half of the radio interview he speaks in Gascon, which he learned a bit of, and in the rest he switches to French. Here are some selected quotes from the interview:

Ma formation de prof d'Histoire, surtout je suis médiéviste, mes études sur le Moyen-Âge font que j'ai croisé le gascon. Je sais que les fueros, les textes écrits de la Basse-Navarre par exemple, sont écrits en gascon .

Donc, au coeur du Pays basque [...] on ne va pas faire revivre des choses qui sont terminées si elles ne sont pas portées socialement mais je suis très conscient du fait que le gascon a été une langue vivante au cœur du Pays Basque, c'est à dire à St Jean Pied de Port, à St Palais. Vous prenez le quartier Gros à St Sebastien, c'est une grande famille gasconne qui a donné son nom à ce quartier là. Vous avez le quartier des gascons à Pampelune.

Le gascon a été présent, très vivant, on a écrit en gascon. J'ai des recueils de textes du XIIIème et XIVème siècles sur la Navarre et la Basse-Navarre en gascon donc c'est tout un passé, pas que du territoire actuel mais ça a été une langue qui a été parlée partout et écrite.

Je ne veux pas essayer de dire que l'ensemble du Pays Basque doit reparler gascon mais il est bon de savoir que notre passé était beaucoup plus pluriel que ce que l'on pense.

Curutcharry says that he doesn't mean to say that all of the Basque Country should speak Gascon again. But he shows a sympathy that is worth talking about.

See the article Gure laugarren hizkuntza 'Our fourth language' in the southern Basque newspaper El Diario Vasco. It ends with this plea to Basque readers:

Salba dezagun, maite dezagun, egigun berba. Hitz solte batzuk ez badira ere

Let's save Gascon, let's love it, let's speak it. Even if it's only a few words.

It's not hard to find politically conscious Gascons or Basques who advocate for Gascon becoming an official language alongside Basque in an independent Basque Country, kicking the colonial languages out:

Dens lo parcan de la gran Vasconia lo basco e lo gascon que son lengas deu pais e lo frances e castelhan la lengas colonialas. Lo gascon qu'era la lenga de los fors de Baisha Navarra e deu bascoat de bise.

Un cosin propri e academician basca, Jean-Louis Davant, qu’à tostem escivut que Lo Gascon que déver estar la seconde lenga nacionale deu Bascoat

I've quoted Jean Louis Davant copiously throughout my log and I had never read such a statement before. I'll see if he ever wrote it in writing.

Gascon also chipped away at Basque's language domain over the millenia, and the relationship between Gascons and Basques has sometimes been conflictual. But even if you were to consider Gascon yet another foreign language, it's undeniable that Gascon has been around longer than French in the Basque consciousness, so at least it's a known enemy.

So paradoxically Gascon is less of a foreign language to Basques than French. I say paradoxically because by this point very few Basques speak Gascon, and most Basques in the south probably don't even know of its existence, whereas to most northern Basques, Gascon has simply become irrelevant to their lives.

A Gascon speaker sardonically commented to me that he had the impression that Basques pay more attention to the Gascon language than the Gascons themselves do. It's hard to argue against the fact that most Gascons completely ignore their language, if they think of it as their language at all.

In a separate interview with a Basque newspaper, Curutcharry states that he is a Basque nationalist. He again expresses his preoccupation with the situation of Gascon in the Basque Country, which he is also charged with managing and protecting. He also talks about the French state refusing to continue with the experimental bilingual model, which threatens the entire foundation of Basque language survival in the north Basque Country. He complains that it is not in the 'genetics' of France to have language cofficiality like exists in the rest of the Basque Country.

It makes me glad to see Basque nationalists in charge. In the following quote, he says it more or less explicitly, that his town of Baigorri belongs in that big space, Nafarroa. Not the Low Navarra separated from Upper Navarra by a border that the two states imposed when they disemembered the Navarran Kingdom.

Nafartar gisara definitu duzu zeure burua, eta Baigorrin Nafarroaren Eguna antolatzen duzue urtero. Zertan da Nafarroa Garaiarekin duzuen harremana?


Baigorrin sortzen ari da zentro txiki bat, kontatzen duena Baigorri herriaren kokapena Nafarroan, Nafarroa Beherean. Nafarroako erresuma konkistatu eta gero, independentzia galdu zuela azaltzen da. Erran nahi du, zinez, guk kokatzen dugula gure herria Nafarroako esparru handi horretan.

You defined yourself as a Navarran and in Baigorri (Low Navarra) you organise every year the Day of Navarra. What does the link with Upper Navarra consist of?

In Baigorri a small centre is being created that situates the location of the town of Baigorri in Navarra, Low Navarra. After the conquest of the Kingdom of Navarra, it explains that it lost its independence. It means, simply, that we place our town in that big space of Navarra.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:44 pm

I was talking today to the worker at the tourism office of Lekeitio and mentioned that she spoke very good English and her words more or less were:

bai, ze Lekitton ingelesa inportantea dala dakigu, ia euskara beste

Yeah because we in Lekeitio know that English is important, almost as important as Basque.

*Chef's kiss*
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby crush » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:08 pm

nooj wrote:EuskarAbentura
I walked most of the Caminos that they used, although I was walking alone. Definitely something I would like to do if I was still 16-17! By the way the 2020 EuskarAbentura has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

A ze polita! Ez nuen ezagutzen EuskarAbentura, neuri ere gustatuko zitzaidan txikitan halako ekintzaren batean parte hartzea. Eskerrik asko partekatzeagatik!

Zure esperientzan ez dakit nolakoa izan den, baina nirean oro har euskaldunek erdaldunek baino askoz hobeto ingelesez hitz egiten dute, agian elebidunak izateagatik? Ez dakit.
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:07 pm

crush wrote:Zure esperientzan ez dakit nolakoa izan den, baina nirean oro har euskaldunek erdaldunek baino askoz hobeto ingelesez hitz egiten dute, agian elebidunak izateagatik? Ez dakit.

Ba ez dakit zehatz mehatz zein den arrazoia baina baliteke zuk aipatutakoa izatea eh? Espainian egindako inkesten arabera, ingelesezko ezagutza altuena/gehiena duten 6 autonomietatik, bostek beste hizkuntza ofizial bat daukate. Behintzat hala irakurri dut nonbait. Salbuespen nabarmena da Madrilakoa, baina datu horrek azalpena erraza du, hots, atzerritarrez beteta baitago, besteak beste...
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Re: Euskara (berriro)

Postby nooj » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:53 pm

A short video from Basque actresses Itziar Ituño as part of the Euskaraldia initiative for this year. Itziar has a long career working in Basque television, on Basque series but she acquired fame on the show Casa de Papel, which I've never watched but has a global audience. In fact if you look up her songs (she is the singer in a band and collaborates in other songs), it is majoritarily Brazilians and other foreigners who leave comments, even though they don't know what she is saying or even what language it is. Some ask 'is that Spanish?'.

She has single handedly spread news of the Basque language to millions of people who would otherwise never know what Basque sounds or looks like. For example her Instagram page has 4.9 million followers and she writes all her entries in Basque first, then below in other languages. She's possibly the greatest exporter of the Basque language in history... although the Aldapan Gora song of Huntza has nearly 13 million views. Aside from Huntza then, I can't think of any other Basque musician, author, actor etc who could come close to these figures.

Here she talks about what the town of Ondarroa means for her. Itziar Ituño speaks excellent Basque but she is not a native speaker. She learned it as an adult, basically, by following the path of so many other Basques who want to learn Basque by entering into an euskaltegi. An euskaltegi is a school to learn Basque, but aimed for adults.

For her it was a personal journey to acquire an identity that she felt was missing. She was born and raised in Basauri, close to Bilbao with a low level of Basque speakers and even lower usage. Also, she went through the A model of education in the Basque Country, meaning her entire education was through Spanish, not Basque. So she really started from zero.She started at the euskaltegi there unable to say even one phrase. Later for her intensive/immersion studies she went to an immersion school, a barnategi, in Ondarroa.

In this video, among other things, she explains how one of their homework tasks was to go out into the streets of Ondarroa and interview people. So she found a fisherman and prepared carefully a question in standard Basque to ask him: how many times do you usually go out fishing? She had her pencil ready to write down the answer.

Then he opened his mouth, he spoke in the dialect of Ondarria and she didn't understand anything. She and her classmates looked at each other in shock. The group went back to the barnategi dejected: what Basque are we learning anyway? There's no way to understand the locals!

But the longer they stayed, the more they understood, and she says that this was very beautiful.

It was also the period of the town festival, and in other videos she explains how she and her fellow students partied like gods in Basque, because in Ondarroa you get smashed in Basque, not Spanish. And this is important because it is an excellent way to learn Basque.

In this video she speaks a Bizkaian kind of Basque. Even though she never learned any type of Basque at home, and she learned the standard dialect first, she evidently acquired some form of Bizkaian later.

Itziar Ituño is one of the clearest examples for me of how important neolocutors (in Basque euskaldun berriak) are for the language. In fact a recent study came out showing that more than half of the youth of the Basque Country are neolocutors, meaning they did not grow up speaking Basque at home but learned it in school or elsewhere. There is no Basque speaker community without the considerable number of Basques who have learned the Basque language as their second language.
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