Basque: one of the oldest languages in Europe

Every year, 60 million Sterling pounds are spent to promote and develop the Basque language. This is following a study carried out by Europe’s Language technology experts who warned that most European languages including Basque were in danger of extinction in the digital age. Much effort and resources have been put in place to help most minority language groups take advantage of technology. Basque is spoken by the Basque people who live in northeastern Spain and southwestern France.

Euskara Batua is the standardized form of the language. It was developed to make it easier for all Basque people to understand what was being said in formal situations such as in literature, education and mass media. This standardized language was developed by the Basque Light Academy in the 1960s. Apart from the standardized language, there are five other dialects that are normally used. Zuberoan and Navarrese-Lapurdian are used in France while Gipuzkoan, Bizkaian and Upper Navarrese are used in Spain. These names are primarily derived from the provinces where the dialects are spoken. Most Basques are bilingual. They can speak Basque in addition to their national language (French or Spanish).

Basque is considered to be a strange and exotic language. This is because it is a genetic language isolate. This means that it is not similar to any other Indo European language despite the fact that it has been in constant contact with other western European languages. Also, it has been spoken in its current geographical location longer than all other current European languages. Basque is also a modern language, as it is presently used in modern communication and media such as newspapers and other publications. It is also used in various social and cultural contexts. With time, the language picked up words from other languages such as Latin, French, Arabic and Celtic.

In Basque, the native name for the language is Esukara or Euskotarrak. In Spanish, it is known as la lengua vasca, el vasco or vascos. In French, it is known as basque or euskara. In Gascon, the language is known as Bascos. No language has been found to be linguistically similar to Basque. Therefore, it is thought that Basques are remnants of the early inhabitants of Western Europe who occupied Europe before the spread of other Indo European languages. About 660,000 people speak this language.

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