Let’s Learn Euskara (Basque)

Part of the Harvey-Alan story came into being when I left a used book store with Primo Levi’s Auschwitz memoir and a Basque-English dictionary. Most likely the Basque people are the remnants of Neanderthals, who were, like the several kinds of Denisovians (other early humans) not at all crude or dumb but probably in some ways more spiritually adept. They were hunter-gatherers and were adapted to handle cold weather and less light. Red hair, longer ring fingers, flexibility with handedness and sexuality are all features, it seems, along with many so-called conditions like ADHD, Autism, Bipolar. Don’t let those Cro-Magnon farmers get us down with their patriarchal rising and falling agricultural gods!

For a professional linguist, Basque is up there with being one of most difficult languages to learn. Not related to anything else, it has its own way of doing things grammatically including infixes and the use of the ergative.

Thanks to Gorka Aulestia’s dictionary.

Aita dela egin dut. He seemed like a father to me.

Alan. In that manner. In that way.

Alanbear. Fate. Destiny.

Alanbearez. Casually. Accidentally.

Alanbere. However. Nevertheless.

Alanolango. Mediocre. Second-rate.

Aupa!   Exclamation used when lifting heavy weights.

Auziek gorrotoa dakarte. Legal actions cause hatred.

Edoskiarazi. To nurse a baby.

Esne mindua. Sour milk.

Eztiaz esnea gozatu dut.  I have sweetened the milk with honey.

Gosaldar. Breakfast guest. Breakfast companion.

Herriumea al zen? Was he a bastard?

Hertsturadun. Distressed, anxious, nervous, troubled.

Hexaedro. Hexahedron.

Indioilar. Turkey; Peacock.

Lagunurkoaren ondasunen harrapatzailea zen gizon hura.  That man was a robber of his fellow man’s property.

Milikaldi. Licking

Miz. Sound used to call a cat, Kitty, Kitty.

Negurako harrikatz pilo handi bat erosi dut. I have bought a large pile of coal for the winter.

Sagar hezeak zuhaitzean utzi genituen. We left the green apples on the tree.

Teoria hau egiaztatu behar dut aurrera jo baino lehen. I have to verify this theory before going on.