Why not try and learn one of the world's most fascinating languages!
Generously sponsored by the Basque Instituto Etxepare, UCC is offering Basque for Beginners.
Euskera or Basque is a language spoken by around 850,000 people on both sides of the western Pyrenees in Spain and France. In Spain, it is spoken in the Basque Autonomous Community, made up of Araba (Álava), Bizkaia (Vizcaya) and Gipuzkoa (Guipúzcoa), and in Navarre. In France it is spoken in the provinces of Lapurdi (Labourd), Behe-Nafarroa (Lower Navarre) and Zuberoa (Soule). These seven provinces are called Euskal Herrria or Vasconia (both meaning the Basque Country or Basqueland).
Genetically, Euskera is considered a language isolate because it does not belong to any language family; nor are its origins very clear. The first written texts in Euskera date from the sixteenth century, although Basque songs, expressions and words appear in texts in other languages dating from the tenth century onwards. The very first book in Euskera was Linguae Vasconum Primitiae, published in 1545 by Bernard Dechepare. Then, in 1571, Joannes Leiçarraga brought out his translation of the New Testament in Euskera. Recently, another sixteenth-century text has been discovered which contains tales and verses by Juan Pérez de Lazarraga. Since this time, there has been an uninterrupted literary tradition in the Basque language in the several variants of Euskera. Furthermore, with the establishment of the foundations for Euskera Batua (Unified or Standard Basque) by Euskaltzaindia (the Academy of the Basque Language) in 1968, Basque literary production has been gone from strength to strength. Indeed, Euskera Batua is widely used today in public administration, the educational system, media and literature in general.
The biggest mystery surrounding the language is not its origins, but its survival to the present day. This is sometimes explained by the fact that the Basques did not confront the Romans, but instead established alliances with them. Moreover, the differences between Euskera and Latin were so great that Latin did not appropriate the Basque language and thus push it into oblivion.
Today, Basque continues to thrive - why not take this opportunity to try and learn it.
Beginners I - Tuesdays - 6 - 8 p.m.
Beginners II - Wednesdays 6 - 8 pm
Commencing week of Tuesday, 24th January - Finishing week of 4th April, 2017
Please note there will be a one-week mid-term break week of 21st February
Price 30 euro for 10 weeks!