Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 7 years ago

Any ideas why the Basque language is unrelated to any other language?

It's this overactive brain of mine. Always thinking.


Dani, I have it on good authority that Basque is not related to any Indo-European language, nor to any other known language family. Encyclopaedia Britannica (online edition).

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    The Basque language most certainly doesn't have its origins in "some ancient German language" as Dani claims, if that's supposed to mean that it's related to the Germanic languages. The real answer is almost certainly that their language is the sole remnant of languages spoken in Western Europe before the Indo-European languages took over. In that respect it's no coincidence that it's spoken in the far west of Europe, in relatively hilly (and therefore *relatively* inaccessible in ancient times). Elsewhere, such as in South Asia, many other languages survived being swamped by Indo-European tongues, but the Basques had their backs to the Atlantic, and it just happens that their language is the one that survived.

    Short answer: All its relatives died out in the face of Indo-European languages.

    Source(s): I have a PhD in linguistics.
  • 7 years ago

    After reading that... try of answer, I have to say that Basque people are not enigmatic and they didn't live in isolation for a long time. The Roman Empire invaded all Spain, even Basque Country, but later, they were invaded by a German tribe. So, Basque language probably has its origins in some ancient German language, because it has nothing to do with any of the languages that we speak in Spain (Castilian, Catalan, Galician,etc...)

    Source(s): I'm from Madrid, Spain
  • 7 years ago

    The Basques are an enigmatic people who lived in isolation for a long time, and I believe this is why their language is so unique.

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