Euskara: Words in Spanish conversations

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by Roi Marphille, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    I'd like to point this phenomenon;
    Many people in Basque Country use some Basque (Euskera) words when speaking in Castilian. Some of them don't even speak Euskera. I don't mean words with Basque origin, I mean words in Euskera language uttered in conversations in Castilian. This phenomenon is similar to Spanglish or so-called Portuñol but I think is not that "important" in number of words. As readers may know, Euskera is older than Latin and it is completely different as any Romance language.

    As far as I know, there are:
    "aita" = father. Example: "te ha llamado tu aita" English:"your father phoned you".
    "agur" = hasta luego, adiós

    Would you list them? Sometimes I hear some that I don't know what they mean.
    Is this happen in the French side of Basque Country? I mean, do they use Euskera words in the middle of a conversation in French?

  2. Laia

    Laia Senior Member

    Catalan, Spanish
    just one question: which one is the correct word: euskera or euskara???
    i'm confused
  3. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    As you possibly know, "agur" was imported in Spanish. From tge RAE dictionary:

    (Del vasco agur, y este del lat. augurium).
    1. interj. U. para despedirse.
  4. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    I'm not sure but I think it depends on the context of the word. As long as I know, they apply characteristics of the word in terminations...
  5. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    wow, I didn't know...either that this is a Latinism! :eek:
    Many Latin words were transfered to Basque because of the "camino de Santiago" route..
    thanks for your contribution! :)
  6. Laia

    Laia Senior Member

    Catalan, Spanish
    The only basque names that are coming to my mind are people's names...
    Edurne, Aitor, etc
  7. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    As for Euskera or Euskara, I think it depends on the dialect. Some basque dialects say “euskera” and others say “euskara”... Anyway, I'm not very sure about it, perhaps an “euskaldun” could help us.

    Other basque words I have heard inside conversations in Castilian:

    Euskaldun: A basque-speaking person.
    Maketo: Foreigner (very derogatory)
    Batzoki: I think it is a headquarter of a nationalist party.
    Txakurra: Dog (it is used in a very derogatory way referring to the police).
    Herriko Taberna: People's Tavern.
    Abertzale: Basque nationalist.
    Kale Borroka: Street struggle.

    There are probably more...
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Euskadi: this one has even been making it to other languages.
  9. kontzo New Member


    I am new here!!
    In relation with the word Euskara or Euskera...if you are speaking basque you must say Euskara.
  10. haujavi Member

    Spain, spanish
    As for the Euskera/Euskara, the "oficial" one is Euskara, which is the one that Euskaltzaindia, the academy of basque language has established as the better word. However, I live in the Basque Country and Euskera/Euskara were both used in Spanish and Basque. In fact, one of the books I used in the school used the word "Euskera".

    I think Euskadi is a new word invented in the beginning of the twentieth century to define all the territories that are supposed to be the old basque speaking territories, which is more than Basque Country. However it's also used as a synonym for Pais Vasco/Basque Country.

    Just a pair of explanations.

    Batzoki is a kind of bar that PNV(Partido Nacionalista Vasco/Basque Nationalist Party) owns. It's not an exclusive bar, but if you go there many of the customers will be PNV followers. There are a few on each town, depending on the importance of the party in each town.

    Herriko Taberna is the same that a Batzoki but it owns to Batasuna/EH/HB(several acronyms for an pro-independence party).

    Maketo, you're right but it also implies that the foreigner doesn't speak Basque. The people who didn't know Basque and they've learnt it are called "euskaldunberri"(new euskaldun). As far as I know euskaldunberri doesn't have a pejorative meaning.

    As for the use of basque words in spanish conversations I think that it depends on the knoweldge of basque of the speakers but I've heard words like "larri"=(in need,sad) "buruhandi"=(stubborn) and others that I don't remember now. Normally they are adjectives.

    Well, now I don't remember anything more. I hope I'd have helped.
  11. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    great contribution haujavi!
    if you remember more words feel free to update them here.
  12. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano
    Kaixo (hello), Haujavi, and eskerrik asko (thanks a lot) for your explanations.

    By the way, two more basque words I have heard inside conversations in Castilan.

  13. kontzo New Member


    I am Basque and I speak Euskera since I was a child. I can tell you some useful word and phrases in Euskera. And if you decide yo visit the Basque Country, you will be able to have a conversation....a short conversation but...

    Kaixo (Hello)
    Zer moduz zaude? (Who are you?)
    Ni ondo eta zu (I am ok and you?)
    Zenbat urte dituzu? (How old are you?)
    Nongoa zara? ( Where are you from?)
    Zer ordu da? (What time is it?)
    Maite zaitut ( I love you)
  14. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    Kaixo Basque friend,
    thanks for the bunch of useful phrases!
    anyway, do you reckon some other words you may use in conversations in Castilian?
  15. kontzo New Member


    Do you mean words like.....pelotari, bertsolari, ikurriña, ikastola, herri batasuna, lehendakari, abertzale, ETA, erdera, kuadrilla, zurito, zulo, txapela, txiki, potxolo,iparralde, gasteiz, donosti, iruña, bilbo, euskaltegi, lauburu, aberri eguna, aurresku, dantzari, sokatira, txalaparta....
  16. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    English, Hodgepodge
    Yes, though I don't know how often. I heard several such mixed conversations today. I heard "arratsalde on," and "mila esker," and the other words I could not understand, as I don't speak any Euskara.

    I was wondering (and it seems logical to keep Basque queries in the same thread)--does Euskara spoken by people on the French side sound different from Euskara spoken by people living in the Spanish Basque regions? In particular I am wondering about the "r," because when I heard "mila esker," it resembled the French "r" more.


  17. DaleC Senior Member

    Basque does differ between Spain and France, but also within these countries. Since France and Spain are divided by a high mountain range, inevitably sizable dialect differences arose between the two sides of the Pyrenees.

    But historically, Basque has three dialects in France and at least four in Spain. The French Basque dialects have acquired a French accent, and mutatis mutandis for the Spanish Basque dialects. But beyond that, it's not necessarily true that either of the two geographical groups, the French or the Spanish, form a linguistic branch in the evolution of Basque.

    France has only about 80,000 speakers. Spain has about 580,000. See
  18. betulina Senior Member

    al bressol del basquetbol
    català - Catalunya

    I was in Euskadi just a few weeks ago and stayed with a Basque friend. She is euskaldun but she speaks Castilian to her parents and I could notice some words in Euskera, although her parents are not Basque speakers. Most of them refered to relatives: aita (father), ama (mother), iseba (aunt), and others were common words, such as goxokis (sweets). I was amazed at that -I mean words like goxokis- because it follows the Spanish grammar. I mean: the noun (singular) is goxoki (or goxokia) and the plural should be goxokiak, but speaking in Spanish they used the Spanish plural form: goxokis. I found that funny! :p

    Another word Basque people say even though they don't know Basque is aspaldiko! ( Spanish, ¡cuánto tiempo!), when it's a long time they haven't seen somebody, for example. And they change its original pronunciation, as far as I know. They say aspaldíko, while a Basque speaker would say aspaldiko!

    (Euskaldunak, feel free to correct me! :))

  19. fmbyz Senior Member

    What about "KALIMOTXO"?
    Gora Athletic!!!
    Musu bat = a kiss
  20. Residente Calle 13 Senior Member

    New York City
    I've been thinking about this for a few days. In the Dominican Republic, it would be very common to hear:

    Te llamó tu taita
    (padre). and ¡Abur! (ciao)

    I suspect abur is related to the Basque agur but does anybody know if aita and taita are related?
  21. fmbyz Senior Member

    "Abur" is like "Agur", but I don't think "taita" has any sense...
    "Aita"= Aitatxu, aitá, áita... = Father

  22. Residente Calle 13 Senior Member

    New York City
    Hi, fmbyz.

    I might just be a coincidence, I don't really know. The word taita is used in several parts of the Americas. Here's what the RAE says:

    (Del lat. tata, padre).
    1. m. Voz infantil con que se designa al padre.
  23. fmbyz Senior Member

    Residente, I´ve just said "taita" is not an "Euskara-Word".

    Sorry but my English is not the best....I´m learning step by step....T try to...:(
  24. Residente Calle 13 Senior Member

    New York City
    Thanks! Your English is still pretty good.

    Hmmm. Thanks for confirming that. I thought that perhaps "aita" might have been a form of "taita" or used in some parts of Eusakadi or that perhaps in Euskara sometimes you drop the initial t. These are alll guesses on my part because my Euskara is not only not the best, it's zero! :)

    I guess I'm just speculating because aita and taita are so similar, mean the same thing, and come from languages from Spain.

    So aita is short for aitatxu which means father? Is that pronounced aitachu?
  25. fmbyz Senior Member

    You´re right! "Aitatxu" = Daddy is pronnunced "Aitachu"
    Would you like to visit Euskadi?Your euskera is brillant!;)
  26. kaixox Member

    Basque/Spanish, Spain

    I have found a mistake:
    Zer moduz zaude? (HOW are you?)
    Nor/zein zara? (WHO are you?)
  27. xruiz18 Member

    Basque Country (Spain), basque and spanish
    So aita is short for aitatxu which means father? Is that pronounced aitachu?[/quote]

    Aita and ama are the neutral forms for 'father' and 'mather'. Aitatxo/aitatxu and amatxo/amatxu are hypocoristic forms, like dad/daddy and mum/mammy in english.

    Some other examples of basque words used when speaking castillian:

    muxu: 'kiss'
    txoko: 'nook, corner', 'gastronomic society' (this word comes from zoko, borrowed from arabic)
    larri: 'distressed'
    farra(s): 'laugh', 'party'
    erdera: in euskara means 'foreign language', but it is used for 'spanish' in the south and for 'french' in the north.
    ikastola: 'school'
    txiki: 'small', 'kid'
    zulo: 'hole'
    gaupasa: ‘all-nighter’


    and many more!

  28. Orreaga

    Orreaga Senior Member

    New Mexico
    USA; English
    Ongi etorri, xruiz18!

    I might add, a book of short stories by Fernando Aramburu, Los peces de la amargura (Tusquets, 2006), takes place in Euskadi and includes a large glossary of Euskara words used by Spanish speakers in the book.
  29. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)

    Euskera and euskara are dialectal variants.

    Another words used in conversations in Spanish between Basque people:

    sagutxu (little mouse), maittia (dear), bihotza (sweetheart), karramarro (crab)
    (pet names used by the adult people to talk to the children).
    Ama, amatxo: mother, mom
    Aitona, aititxe: grandfather
    Amona, amoma; grandmother

    When I was young, there were a lot of old people (baserritarras) that only spoke Basque and when they tried to speak Spanish, it sounded as a euskera créole or euskañol: it was beauty and funny. More characteristic that the mix of Basque and Spanish words was the pronuntiation and the form of compose the phrases, applying the Basque grammar, very different to the Spanish: " Ene ba... ¿Mañana, al centrrro tú irrrassshhh? "

    Agur ta bero
  30. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    The seven or eight words that you can hear when an Ikastola father that don't speak Euskara talks to their children in Spanish:

    kontuz = be careful
    mesedez = please
    barkatu = sorry
    oso ondo, oso ongi (dialectacl variatons) = very good
    aundia = big
    txikia = little
    etorri ona = come here
    orain = now
    eskerrik asko = thank you very much
    a lolo = go to sleep
  31. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Can anyone comment on if these words have crept into the French of the French Basque Country?
  32. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    It's an interesting question. I use to go to the Côte Basque (the coastal zone of Iparralde (French Basque Country)) and sometimes I've heard people speaking French and saying things as "aitatxo" or "amatxo", or people speaking at the same time French and Basque, but that zone is an important turistic resort where lives a mixture of French people no-Basque, Spanish-origin Basques, etc. The autenthic French-Basque is diluted in that mixture. The zone where remains the euskara is in the mountain (St.Jean-Pied-de-Port, Mauleon, etc.) and I don't know that zone. It would be interesting if anyone that knows the Haut Lapurdi, Xuberoa and the Haute Navarre can speak us about this.

    Moreover, French diallects of Basque are different and I don't know the influence of the batua. For example, kalea (street) is karrika in Hendaye, and euskalduna is eskualduna.
  33. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    I think that words in this thread correspond to 3 different things :

    - Basque words used by Basque native speakers when they speak Spanish.
    - Basque words traditionally used in the Spanish dialects of Alava and Western Vizcaya.
    - Basque words introduced by Spanish native speakers in their Spanish so as to "sound more Basque".

    It would be interesting to pinpoint which is which.
  34. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    What are the Spanish dialects of Alava and Western Vizcaya????? The zone with a more specific Spanish dialect is South Navarra (la Ribera del Ebro) and I think the influence of euskara in all that zones can be similar. Spanish language in Alava and surrounding area is traditionally very pure.

    Probably the extincted romance navarro speaked in the South of Navarra had some influences from euskara because the comunication was traditionally strong in some zones (Roncalese sheperds crossing the Bardenas to the valley of Ebro with their flocks) and this is perceptible in the surnames but I don't have etimologic studies about it.

    I think the group of words used in Spanish by Basque and Spanish native speakers is similar (naturally the Basque-speaker has more fluency and a better diction), and as betulina pointed the great difference is the diction and pronuntiation. A Basque-speaker knows quickly if you are a Basque-speaker. At the same, an euskaldunzarra (all-the-life Basque-speaker) knows quickly an euskaldunberri (new speaker, usually speaking batua).
  35. 0stsee Banned

    This is off topic, but this makes me wonder: How is it possible that the Basque friend is Euskaldun even though her parents don't speak Basque?? :confused:
  36. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Euskaldun= Speaker of euskara.

    It's usual. If your parents came from Spain (There were an important emigration in the 50's-60's from another zones of Spain to the Basque Country) they obviously don't speak Basque. But if you learn the language, you are an euskaldun (Basque speaker). This kind of speakers is called euskaldunberri (new speaker). People that has euskara as mother language are euskaldunzarras (old speakers).

    In the different zones of Euskalherria you have some organisms promoting the learning of the Basque language.
  37. 0stsee Banned

    I see. So she must've learned it from her friends.

    Thank you, DickHavana!
  38. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    It could be, but more probably she could learn it at school (Basque language is official since the 80's) or in an adults academy. Basque language is very difficult to learn because vocabulary and grammar are no related with another European languages. An Spanish speaker can learn easily languages as Catalán or Gallego (all they comes from Latin and are related), but euskera is another world and requires an special effort.

    See you
  39. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Another words that you can hear when Basque-speakers speak in Spanish.

    Txoriburu = scatterbrain? = the Spanish cabeza de chorlito
    Jatorra = a good guy, an authentic, pure guy. (the prototype of a good Basque)

    Curiously, jatorra (pure, authentic) remember words as jatordu (time to eat), jatetxea (restaurant), jatuna (big eater, glutton)... It's curious because to eat is one of the most important things for a Basque. If you're Basque you can be a bad lover, but never a bad eater.

    Related with the world of cuisine, there are some words that are known in all Spain:
    (refering a kind of mushroom, black coloured) (beltza is black)

    Some years ago, I remember a debate with my wife's parents (they live in Murcia, south of Spain) because they say "chirimiri" to define a kind of fine rain. When I said them that is "sirimiri" and it's a Basque-origin word, they didn't believe it. I had to look for a dictionary to demonstrate it.
  40. Orreaga

    Orreaga Senior Member

    New Mexico
    USA; English
    I was waiting for more culinary terms from Basque, thanks Dick! :) Can you translate the above terms? When I was in Navarre I had txistorra, is this a specific kind of sausage, or just a general word for it? Of course there is the famous pintxo (appetizer/tapa), and I think beltza also can refer to red wine, right?
  41. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    zurito - a short glass of beer (zuri is white)
    txikito - a short glass of wine
    txakoli - a kind of white Basque wine
    txangurro - the Spanish centollo: spider crab
    purrusalda - leeks stew
    marmitako - from the marmita: a disk based in thun

    baserri - caserío, country house
    baserritarra - country man
    arrantzale - fisherman
    aizkolari - woodcutter (it's a traditional sport, too)
    harri-jasotzaile - a man that lift heavy stones (it's another traditional sport)
    soka-tira - another sport (two groups of people pulling from a rope) (sorry my bad English)
    txapeldun - champion
    pelotari - a player of the most known Basque sport (the Euskal pilota or pelota vasca). In the touristic resorts of the French-Basque Country is common to see advertisements refering an special modality of the Euskal pilota, but now I don't remember the name.
  42. ezinsinistu Member

    Basque Country
    spanish, basque
    xistera? it's the same as zesta-punta

    another basque word among spanish speakers:
    don't know the proper word in english
  43. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)

    Another words:
    Jai-alai - The sport of euskal-pilota and the place where you can practice it. I think that in the USA this sport is known with that name.
    Txapela - The Basque beret (la boina vasca). Really I don't know the differences between the boina and the txapela, but I suppose the txapela is for bigger heads. :D
    Gero arte
  44. cookieboy Member

    spain spanish

    All this stuff is not %100 correct. "Zer moduz zaude?" means " How are you?" Not "who are you?" if you want to say "who are you?" you should say "nor zara?". Everything else is ok. Gora Osasuna!
  45. jonquiliser

    jonquiliser Senior Member

    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    Kalimotxo :D
  46. Laztana

    Laztana Senior Member

    Aachen y a ratitos Bilbao
    Spain, Spanish and Basque
    great discussion!, most of the common words have already been pointed out in previous threads but I would like to add "laztana" (my nickname) which literally means "stroke or caress" but which is often used as a loving word such as "dear, sweetheart etc" and "di-da or ti-ta" which I don't know how to translate exactly but it means something like "very fast or drastic".
    gero arte :)
  47. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Really there are a beauty collection of words here. :)

    Some more:
    : (literally: little mouse): It's used as a loving word with the children.
    mokordo: (great mucus, great snot): derogatory insult used between children.
    kakanarro: (spanish pequeñajo): little boy, this word can be as the same time derogatory or a loving word. One of my aunties said me "kakanarro" when I was a child.

    And following with the vocabulary of ikastola Spanish-speaker fathers when they talk to their children:
    uasen: come on
    poliki: slowly

    gero arte
  48. Laztana

    Laztana Senior Member

    Aachen y a ratitos Bilbao
    Spain, Spanish and Basque
    I've just recalled another one: potolo which means "fat"
    gero arte :)
  49. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    And potxolo, that means the same (fatty, chubby). In Spanish, pocholo takes the meaning of pretty, healthy.

    Ttipi-ttapa: to walk with short and quick steps
    Txotxolo: Stupid. It can be a loving word the Spanish tontito)

    Pil-pil is the onomatopoeia of the sound of the beating of the heart. And it's too the onomatopoeia of the sound when the cooking is boiling. One of the most famous Basque cooking recipes is the Bacalao al pil-pil.

    : A sort of trovadour, a man that improvise verses in Basque language.
    Txistulari: The man that plays the txistu, a kind of Basque flute.
    Trikitixa: Acordeón
    Txalaparta: Typical instrument Basque of music (percussion, very rudimentary, with a very rithmic sound). It's this.
    Zorionak: Congratulations
    Ongi etorri: Welcome. This word appears writed in a lot of mats (Spanish felpudos) that you can meet in front of the home door, to clean your shoes. Still, there are people that think that ongi etorri means felpudo (mat).:D

    Gero arte (and excuse my poor English):)
  50. Maiteh Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    ZORIONAK!!!!!!!! - congratulation
    Ondo pasa - Have a good time
    Bai/Ez - yes/no
    Baina - but
    polita - nice, beautiful
    txiki - small/little

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