Basque and proud of it

We stay in Zarautz where you can find this colourful piece of art next to the city hall:


The text, Zarautzen ere harrotasunez euskaraz bizi, means ‘Also in Zarautz, we proudly live in Basque’. The Basque language, Euskara, is spoken by some 700,000 people and doesn’t have any known relationship to other languages. The use of it varies greatly between different parts of the Basque Country, from 100% in certain villages, to 0% in other places where Spanish or French is predominant. Read more at Eusko Guide, where you also can find a Basque-English glossary.

Between the pyramid and the polar bear, there are a few Chinese signs: 中国语言中国 zhōngguó yŭyán zhōngguó, which doesn’t make any sense grammatically but the meaning word by word is ‘China language China’ (many thanks to Fredrik Fällman at the University of Gothenburg for the translation!). This might be a failed paraphrase of the quite common slogan Euskal Herrian Euskaraz ‘in the Basque Country [one speaks] the Basque language’. In that case, the intention of the signs may have been ‘in China [one speaks] the Chinese language’, which is a bit strange since the situation of Euskara in the Basque Country and Chinese in China is far from similar.

If someone is able to decipher the Arabic or Persian(?) script in the middle, please leave a comment.


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