Help with pronunciation - Richard Goss perhaps?

Richard Goss

Message 42179 · 17 Sep 2005 22:43:00 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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My first reaction was to agree with Mike´s "bah-tchay", except that the final "ay" would me more like "eh" as the "e" in "yet". Have since confirmed this with a local elementary school teacher, a Basque nationalist, and supports ETA, who we call a "basket" because she is from the Vascongades and is small. By default, the word means "garden" as enclosure for either trees, vege, or flowers, though in context it can mean either "garlic" or some flower for which I don´t know the English equivalent.

Euskera has some historical similarities with Gaelic in that both languages are/were...
1. minority languages (true in all cases and states today, in spite of government efforts to support them.
2. secret and/or forbidden languages - English-Gaelic & Castellano-Euskera
3. are shared by speakers in two different states (Scotland/Ireland - Spain/France).

Because of this history, these languages went through a long period of time without official dictionaries, academies, etc. During this time local dialects developed independently having no major center from which to evolve a standard. Aside, in the early 80´s when the John Paul II, was to say mass in Glasgow the Catholic chancery office contacted the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh (not hard as the SSS is numbers 1-2-3 on the same street where the chancery is 4-5, and their garden´s connect. It was recommended by SSS and accepted by the chancery that a particular prayer in Gaelic would be spoken by the pope. That was the easy part, the next question was how to put the prayer in IPA, which the pope could read. At the time, an entire gaelic speaking island was emmigrating to Glasgow for the mass, so it was decided to put it in their Gaelic. Researchers went there with tape recorders, and it still took a week to agree on the IPA, for a couple of reasons.
1. the majority of the clerical staff at Scottish studies are Catholic and native speakers of Gaelic, but not the same Gaelic as
2. the majority of the academic staff who also speak Gaelic to a varying degree ranging to having taken class to native speakers from different areas.
3. the tapes were ambiguous, depending on such horizontal variables as families, and vertical variables as age.
So there was a lot of negotiation to solve the language of 3 by people who had their own subconscious prejudices based on 1 & 2.

In the case of Euskera, the only thing the Basques agree on is the desire to be independant from both Madrid and Paris. Whereas the present state of education has formalized the teaching to different standards France and Spain, this is often undermined, as it is in Scotland and Ireland, when those city people (Bilbao, San Sebastian, Biarritz, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Cork, etc. ) disagree what a village concensus remembers. So, you are probably safe with Mike and I, but that does not mean some drunk Basque/Vasco won´t start
a fight with you.

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Previous message: "Catch the Wind" Dance (elissa h)
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