Speaking Basque: Part Two (Food & Beverage)


Coming to Basque Country? Don't speak Basque? Makes sense. In this edition of learning the Basque language we will be focusing on some common food and beverage words. Enjoy!

The Basque language is unique and fascinating. Unlike English which is Germanic or Spanish which is Latin, Basque is a language unto its own. It is the oldest living language in Europe and is spoken by fewer than a million people worldwide. Although you do not need to be able to communicate in Basque to enjoy yourself in Basque Country, as 98% of people speak either Spanish or French the locals do appreciate you giving it a go. Plus it's fun!

If you haven't read Speaking Basque: Part One. it focus on common social words and phrases.  

Taberna - a bar: The T-A-B is said like the tab on your internet browser. The E-R is said like "air" and the N-A is like when you're asked if you want to do something and you respond "nah". It's said "tab-air-nah."

Pintxo - a style of Basque cusine:  The P-I-N is pronounced like the English word "pin" The C-H-O is like the end the the chip "nacho." drop the n-a at the front. It's said "pin-cho."

Ogia - bread: The O is pronounced like saying the letter "o." The G-I sounds like the "gee" in geese, while the "A" is pronounced as "a" like when you say there is "a" loaf of bread. It's pronounced "o-gee-a."

Zurito - a small beer: The Z-U is said as like the word "sue" The action taken with a lawyer. The R-I is said as "re" like in the word "reply." The T-O sounds like "toe" but with a soft ending. Don't make the full O sounds at the end. Say "sue-re-toe."

Txakoli - a type of white wine: T-X-A-K sounds like "chuck." Think Chuck Norris. The O-L sounds like "all." The I sounds like saying the letter E. place emphasis on the E. It's "chuck-all-E."

Kalimotxo - a type of beverage that is half red wine and half cola: The K-A-L-I is said like "Cali" in California. The M-O-T is pronounced like a "motte" around a castle. While the X-O is like when you say "chop" without the "p". "Cali-motte-cho".

Sagardoa - Basque natural cider: The S-A is a sound like the word "sat" if you dropped the "a-t." The G-A-R sounds like the ending of the word "cigar." Drop the "c-i" and focus on the "g-a-r." The D-O sounds like "dough". Like when you are making cookies. The A makes an "a" sound like when you say "would you like 'a' drink?" It's "ss-gar-dough-a."

Jatetxe - Restaurant: The J-A sounds like "ya", while the T-E sounds like "tea." The T-X-E makes a "cha" sound like when you say "change" but never get to the "nge." It sounds like "ya-tea-cha."

Garagardoa - Beer: The G-A sounds like when a baby goes "goo goo ga ga." The R-A is like in the Boney M song "Ra Ra Rasputin". G-A-R sounds like the word "guard" but drop the "d." The D-O sounds like "dough" and the "a" sounds like when you're asking for "a" beer. It sounds like "ga-ra-gaur-dough-a."

Patxaran - A type of basque liquor: The P-A is like when saying dad. The T-X makes a "cha" sound. Think about when someone wins a bet and says "cha-ching!" The A-R-A_N sounds like "a run" but said quickly, as if it were one word. "Pa-cha-arun."

On egin - Enjoy your meal: The O-N is said the same in English. "On." The E makes a soft Canadian "eh" sound. The G makes a "gee" sound as in "geese" and the I-N "een" like the last part of the word "seen." It's pronounced as "geen." In full it's pronounced as "On eh-geen."

Basque is a very interesting language that sounds really cool when you hear it. The way that it's structured and the flow of the sentences are special. Try out these few words for now and we will add more vocabulary in the next edition of Basque words.

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