By Sumeet Khosa
Basque_Country_location.png
Although it is Spain's least spoken and fastest dying language, Basque, or Euskara as its known by the people of Spain, still holds a lot of history within the nation. Its origins are a bit unknown, but the language has had scriptures that have dated back to the third century. Even through Roman conquests, the language broke barriers that many other Iberian languages never could and remained existent, even adopting Romantic words into their own vocabulary. Through centuries the language maintained its cult status, being used by many current day French and Spanish residents. During the World War II and General Francisco Franco's regime, Basque was the only non-Castillian language allowed to be spoken in Spain. With it being a completely different language from Castellano unlike Catalan or Galicia which feature many common features. In the regions of current day La Rioje and Navarre, many citizens continue to speak a form of the basque language. This is in dying number though, as there about 500,000 native speakers, and only three million people in between Spain and France who have any experience speaking the language. A majority of those speakers like in rural areas and many times are poor farmers.

One way to see the difference between Basque and Castellano, it features some similarities that have crossed over between the two languages. There are many common characteristic due to both languages crossing each others paths and being in a relative similar geographic zone, which have influenced one another over time.

Table of consonant phonemes of Standard Basque

Labial ||~ Lamino-dental ||~alveolar ||~ Palatal ||~ Velar ||
Nasal
m
/m/

n
/n/
ñ, -in-
/ɲ/


Stop
Voiceless
p
/p/
t
/t/

tt, -it-
/c/
k
/k/
Voiced
b
/b/
d
/d/

dd, -id-
/ɟ/
g
/ɡ/

Affricate
Voiceless

tz
/ts̻/
ts
/ts̺/
tx
/tʃ/


Fricative
Voiceless
f
/f/
z
/s̻/
s
/s̺/
x
/ʃ/


(Mostly)1 Voiced



j
/ʝ~x/


Table of Spanish consonants ||~ ||~ Bilabial ||~ Labio-dental ||~ Dental ||~ Alveolar ||~ Palatal ||~ Velar ||
Nasal
m


n
ɲ

Stop
p b

t̪ d̪
t͡ʃ ɟ͡ʝ
k ɡ
Fricative
(β̞)
f (v)
*θ (ð̞)
s (z)
(ʝ)
x (ɣ˕)
Lateral



l




Bibliography
Euskera. WIkipedia. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euskera#History_and_classification>

Photo Source
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Basque_Country_location_map.png