Tag: pello salaburu

BBC Travel reports on Basque language

If you haven’t already read it, check out a report by the BBC Travel website on Euskara, the Basque language. One of the interviewees in the piece, Karmele Errekatxo, offers a profound perspective on Euskara: “Language is the identity of a place … If you take language from a place, it dies.” Also interviewed is a good friend of the Center, Pello Salaburu, author of Writing Words: The Unique Case of the Standardization of Basque, and coeditor (with Xabier Alberdi) of The Challenge of a Bilingual Society in the Basque Country.

Check out the full BBC article here.

The Center has published a number of books on the topic of the Basque language.

Basque Sociolinguistics: Language, Society, and Culture, by Estibaliz Amorrortu, is a great introduction to the social dimension of Basque. This book is available free to download here. See, too, Koldo Zuazo’s fascinating study The Dialects of Basque.

And these works are complimented by the handy and instructive CBS-Morris English-Basque/Basque-English Dictionary-Hiztegia.

* Image: Inkscape 0.91 screenshot in Basque (Fedora 22) by Assar, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Agur, Joan Errea

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Joan Errea with family. From left to right, standing: Pete Paris, Mike Errea, John Paris, Mary Ann Hammond, Martin Iroz, Stephanie Swan, Lianne Iroz, Scott Swan, Lisa Cassinelli, Kelley Paris, Jack Paris, Katie Cassinelli. Seated: John Paris and Joan Errea. From My Mama Marie.

The Center has lost a beloved author and friend in Joan Errea. The Center published My Mama Marie by Joan, a recounting of her life with her mother, Marie, and her father, Arnaud. Read a bit more about the book in this post from our blog from 2015. It will always be a book that is very dear to your Basque Books Editor’s heart and sets a standard for Basque memoirs. Also, Joan was one my favorite authors to work with, and the day I spent with her signing copies of My Mama Marie at the Winnemucca Basque Festival will always be one of my most treasured memories as your Basque Books Editor. She put so much care and love into every one of the books she signed, talking at length with her readers and friends, many of whom related in many different ways to her story. It was such a testament to the power of writing and words to make a difference in people’s lives.

In addition, the celebration in verse of her father’s life A Man Called Aita won second prize in our literary contest and we hope to publish it as well. Its Basque version, Aita deitzen zen gizona, which Joan translated into Basque herself, appeared this past year, introduced by Pello Salaburu.

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From Joan’s obituary in the Reno Gazette Journal:

Joan Paris Errea was born July 23, 1934 in Ely, Nevada to Arnaud Paris and Marie Jeanne Goyhenetche Paris. Joan, together with her 4 brothers, were raised in sheep camps and ranches in White Pine and Pershing Counties . She and her two younger brothers attended school in Winnemucca after the private teacher at the ranch passed away. Joan graduated from Humboldt County High School in 1952. In 1955, she met and married Louis Errea from Baigorry, France. Joan was a storyteller, poet and the author of several books.”

Funeral services will be held at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Winnemucca on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm.

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Goian bego.

A Man Called Aita debuts in the Basque Country

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Joan Errea, the author of My Mama Marie is making a major splash in the Basque Country. Her manuscript A Man Called Aita has recently been published as Aita deitzen zen gizona by Pamiela in Basque to widespread acclaim! Good friend of the Center Pello Salaburu has been instrumental in its being published in Basque and has provided the introduction for it. The book was presented in April in Baigorri, in the Basque Country, and Josephine, Joan’s sister, who lives in Erraztu, was able to attend the event!

The book tells the story of Joan’s family and especially her beloved father Arnaud Paris, but also many of the other characters with whom the author grew up in the Nevada countryside. The stories are written in rhyming verse and the books was presented to Pello translated into Basque by the author herself, in the dialect from Nafarroa Beherea, in a story full of emotion and respect for the experiences lived by this family of Basque immigrants.

Pello has written about the genesis of the book’s Basque edition in our 2015 newsletter, which I quote here:

When I read My Mama Marie I was so impressed that on my next trip to Nevada I decided to rent a car and spend a few days in the inhospitable places described in the book. Today there are only mountain lions and rattlesnakes there. Hard to imagine the 18 year old girl with nowhere to go, a suitcase in hand at the Currie train station, after an endless journey that had started in the village of Banka in the Northern Basque Country. Hard to imagine her working at the Currie Hotel or at the Eureka Hotel, or fighting with her mother in the kitchen of their Forest Ranch and tinkering with an old car whose ruins still remain today. The solitude of those places is impressive, first abandoned by the hand of God and now abandoned by the hand of man. But that place was a few decades ago a lively place. My trip to the sites referred to in the pages of his book ended in Winnemucca. There I met Joan Errea, as well as John and Lianne Iroz, Joan’s son-in-law and daughter. I spent a very pleasant time at their home, while Joan, full of energy, showed photos in her computer and talked to me of Louis, from Baigorri, who had passed away some years ago. When I was saying goodbye to her she told me that she had a present for me. And, among other things, she gave me a manuscript with the title A Man Called Aita. I told her I would read it on the plane back home. So I did. The first thing that surprised me was the introduction: it was in English, but also in Basque, in the dialect of Baigorri. Then came the pictures: the family members, cowboys, bears, coyotes, bulls, the ranch, the train, the old car, ants, holidays, Christmas, the adventures of children, etc. All this was in English. In view of the introduction I got in touch with her daughter Lianne and suggested her that she should encourage her mother to put everything in Basque. Lianne answered quickly: my mother and I did so a few years ago. And she sent me the manuscript in Basque. When I read those pages I was astonished. It was a beautiful text, written in a very close and moving style. And, most surprising, it was written in verse.

Here are 2 videos from the Baigorri event and another from the book’s formal presentation in Sara in March, posted on YouTube:

 

 

 

2015 Books Round-up IV: Major studies of the Basque language

On this day, Euskararen Nazioarteko Eguna or the international day of Basque, we are particular proud to present two major studies of the language available in English for the first time.

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Antonio Tovar, Mythology and Ideology of the Basque Language. With an Introduction by Joaquín Gorrochategui.

Antonio Tovar was one of twentieth-century Spain’s most distinguished linguists and intellectuals, and wrote this acclaimed book on the nature and origin of the Basque language. It is a highly erudite essay, even if the motivation for its composition was ultimately political. Politically a Falangist who supported Franco’s regime, Tovar would devote himself to the study of Basque as a path to study Iberian. But beyond its utility as a hermeneutic tool for the study of Celtiberian and Indo-European linguistic remains, he had a true appreciation for Euskara per se and he became immersed in its linguistic structure, its history, and its literature, producing works such as La lengua vasca  and El euskera y sus parientes. Tovar’s aim in this book is to offer a survey with commentary of the ideas about the origin of the Basque language that circulated from the first Medieval and Renaissance opinions up to the early twentieth century. But he does so by discussing along the way the linguistic roots of the entire Iberian Peninsula, contextualizing a long-lasting polemic as to their interaction, in the hope that real knowledge of history would help resolve some of the opposing views.

 

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Pello Salaburu, Writing Words: The Unique Case of the Standardization of Basque

Until the late 1960s there were several spoken and written dialects of Euskara but no standard canon for the language as a whole. Salaburu’s essay describes step by step the fascinating process by which the Batua or Unified Basque was created by providing coherent standards. Thus a unified model was provided for use in educational systems, the media, the arts and sciences, government, business, and so on. The book narrates how the process involving unification was embraced by the Basques in a relatively short period of time. What is historically remarkable is that such a standardization took place in a stateless country divided along different political and administrative lines. Salaburu discusses the key figures involved in the process, the main linguistic issues debated, as well as the efforts to implement these decisions. This chapter on the unification of Euskara is essential for understanding the recovery and current status of the Basque language.