How Basque speakers saved their language

How did Basque survive Spain’s military dictatorship under Francisco Franco when speaking, writing and reading it were illegal? With more than six dialects, how did its speakers agree on a standard way of writing the language? And how has Basque thrived in the decades since Franco died? Nina Porzucki tells the story of Europe’s most mysterious language and its tenacious speakers— a story that includes immigration to the American West, decades of exile in South America, translations of Shakespeare’s plays and an epic struggle over the letter H.

Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions, Josef Falkensköld, and Trabant 33.Photo of participants in a relay ‘marathon’ in support of the Basque language by Tintxarri via Wikimedia Commons. Info about Nina Porzucki here.

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