This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Today, at 7am, while our readers were getting their daily email with the blog updates, the BBC published an amazing and detailed article about Basque on their website.
Anna Bitong wrote this fantastic article, which was curiously placed in the “Travel”, not “Culture” section. Still, it’s an extraordinary article that will help so many readers all around the world get interested and perhaps even a bit fond for this language and its people, who have been able to preserve this piece of cultural world heritage through the centuries.
When we read the descriptions of the changes that happen upon arrival in the Basque Country that can be found at the beginning of the article, we couldn’t help but remember the description John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the US, and its second president, gave on his trip through the Land of the Basques via Orduña on his eventful trip from the Revolutionary War being fought in the New World to the French court in 1779.
Basque, as the article states, is quite probably the direct heir to the language that was spoken by the cavemen who lived in the Basque-Cantabrian refuge during the last ice age, and by the first colonizers of Europe at the end of that ice age. What is scientifically proven is that there is a direct relationship between those men and today’s Basques. For those who’d like to know more, there’s a ton of information throughout our blog.
We can’t fault anything about this magnificent article. All we can do is thank the author for showing such care and interest in telling the world about the language from this tiny corner of the world.
Of course, there are things we wish were different, especially the relationship between the language and the ETA, or violence in general. Unfortunately, things are the way they are and we’ll have to live for many more years with the baggage that relates everything Basque, sooner or later, with terrorism.
Still, many thanks to Anna Bitong for her excellent work, and we hope that she’ll come often to our nation, the Land of the Basques, because she has many things to discover and tell.
BBC – 24/7/2017 – Gran Bretaña
The mysterious origins of Europe’s oldest language
From my car window, I watched Spain transform. From Madrid in the country’s centre to the coastal north, empty land and grazing cows turned to misty green mountains and a shimmering harbour full of boats. I had driven north before, but this was the first time I’d stopped in Getaria, a medieval fishing village with beaches, vineyards and the 15th-Century baptismal church of native son Juan Sebastian Elcano, the first person to sail around the world.