EUSKERA Euskera (or Basque) is one of the official languages spoken in Spain. It is spoken by about one million people in the northern Spanish region of Euskadi (the Basque Country), in the neighboring province of Navarra, and in the Basque region of France. Its origin is unknown as it is not an Indo-European language. For decades euskera was either banned or officially unrecognized, and as a consequence it was mainly spoken only in rural areas. However, it is now being promoted as the official language for use in education and public administration and a growing number of schoolchildren can now speak the language.
Basque; the Basque language
euskera batua standard Basque
Spoken by over half a million people in the Western Pyrenees, Basque, which is a non-Indo-European language, has been one of Spain's lenguas cooficiales (along with catalán and gallego) since 1982. Originally spoken also in Burgos and the Eastern Pyrenees, it began to lose ground to Castilian from the 13th century onwards. Under Franco its use was prohibited in the media, but it began to experience a revival in the 1950s through semi-clandestine Basque-language schools called ikastolas. In 1968 the Academy of the Basque Language created a standardized form called euskera batua, an attempt to homogenize several divergent dialects. Nowadays there is Basque-language radio and television, and under the autonomous government the teaching of the language has become a cornerstone of educational policy.
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