Basque beginners' course

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Zoroa
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Postby Zoroa » 2006-06-08, 9:15

Here is one of the most important lesson because it introduces you to the main feature of the Basque language, an can be regarded as the main difficulty of Basque for an Indoeuropean language speaker

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY EUSKARA IS DIFFICULT ?

In many languages, personal pronouns are exteriorised :

I see you. He loves me. Etc...

Euskara has not reached this phase. Indeed according to linguists, languages evolve through three stages:

1. Merging pronouns with the verb
2. Intermediate state (I think it is called holophase or sth...)
3. Externalized pronouns

Euskara is at stage two. What the heck does this mean ?

Pronouns are integrated to the auxiliary, ie looking at the auxiliary, you now the nature of the subject and of the complements.

Let's take a famous example.

To love is maite ukan (to have love literaly). You recognize the auxiliary ukan, "to have".

Okay, now a sentence for you lovers

Maite zaitut : I love you.

You're right to ask me where has ukan gone, and why there is one word to translate "I have you".

In Baque we say that maite ukan is a nor/nork verb, ie it has a transitive subject (here "I", case : nork) and a transitive object (here "you", case nor).

Knowing this, the auxiliary is declined.

ZAITUT = ZAIT U T

ZAIT = you
U = root of the auxiliary "ukan"
T = I

You notice why the verb is called nor/nork : because the object (nor) is in the first position and the subject (nork) at the end.
And the auxiliary declension is done also when the subject/object are nouns...

I will give you a barbaric chart, the nor/nrk chart.
Don't learn it by heart, just observe it and try to build your own sentence.

NA u T
D u
GA it u GU
ZA it u ZU
ZA it u zte ZUE
D it u z TE

1.The left part is the object the right part the subject.

2.The "it" is the mark of a plural object.

3.The "zte" and "z" are connectors to help the pronounciation.

4.The "u" is the root of the auxiliary "ukan".

5. The subject of the third person is "nothing". A silence is worth thousand words...

Fancy an example ?

We see them : to see is ikusi

Them = DIT
We = GU

The auxiliary is DITUGU

Ikusi ditugu = We see them.

(Now you are right to say "it's all Basque to me")

Well, if you had any trouble understanding it, please ask, because this is the key of euskara, its hidden treasure...

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !
Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Hubi
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Postby Hubi » 2006-06-09, 19:04

:totalshock:
it marks the plural object so why is it maite zaitut and not maite zaut? Or is it plural? :dunno:
Wie wird das chemische Element Brom gewonnen?
Man nimmt eine Hand voll Brombeeren und lässt sie zur Erde fallen. Die Beeren verbinden sich mit Erde zu Erdbeeren und Brom wird frei.

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Zoroa
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Postby Zoroa » 2006-06-09, 23:48

You come up with a very good question.

I did not mention another form which is the equivalent of French "tutoyer", German "dützen" or Spanish "dar el tù" because this form is a bit more complex.

Zu is a singular form in meaning but grammatically plural. It is a bit more polite that the other form,. But still it is a bit more complex than that, and I don't want to make you confuse everything ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby eltigre » 2006-06-14, 8:39

Hi guys
i will follow your course!:D
Just to make youknow that.
I have no time for contribute yet , unofortunately!

:(

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Postby nettchelobek1 » 2006-06-22, 2:25

Zoroa said:
You come up with a very good question.

I did not mention another form which is the equivalent of French "tutoyer", German "dützen" or Spanish "dar el tù" because this form is a bit more complex


Actually in Spanish it'd be "tutear" :D
"From relativity ... one obtains an unequivocal proof for the view of philosophers who, like Parmenides, Kant, and the modern idealists, deny the objectivity of change as an illusion or appearance due to our special mode of perception" Gödel.

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Postby Hubi » 2006-06-22, 16:42

nettchelobek1 wrote:
Zoroa wrote:You come up with a very good question.

I did not mention another form which is the equivalent of French "tutoyer", German "dützen" or Spanish "dar el tù" because this form is a bit more complex


Actually in Spanish it'd be "tutear" :D


And in German it's duzen.

Eta Alemaniako hizkuntzan duzen da.
Wie wird das chemische Element Brom gewonnen?
Man nimmt eine Hand voll Brombeeren und lässt sie zur Erde fallen. Die Beeren verbinden sich mit Erde zu Erdbeeren und Brom wird frei.

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-06-22, 16:54

Okay guys... :D

My German sucks anyway... (and last time I used tutear in Spanish I was told that dar el tu was better. I am confused :( )

Zoroa ;)

Btw, Hubi, "Alemanez" sounds better !
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-06-25, 9:04

Just a few more things I thought you'd need to know

1. When a noun or an adjective ends in /r/, there is two possibility. Either the r doubles or it doesn't.
So whenever you learn a word ending in /r/, be sure you know how it works...

2. We'll learn two new synthetic verbs

First, let me introduce jakin, to know

Nik dakit
Zuk dakizu
(Hark, Berak) daki
Guk dakigu
Zuek dakizue
(Haiek) dakite

If the object is plural, you have to insert "zki" before the ending (zki is the equivalent of the "it" for ukan)

Ex : You know the Bible and the Koran.
Koran eta Biblia dakizkizu.

3. Fancy another synthetic verb ?

Etorri, to come

Ni nator
Zu zatoz
(Bera, Hura) dator
Gu gatoz
Zuek zatozte
(Haiek) datoz

4. A remark about synthetic verbs - the "ba" particle.

Synthetic verbs are unstable forms. What does it mean ? It means that they cannot be used alone.

For instante

Zatoz?
Bai, nator!

Sounds okay, but a bit awkward. You need to use the "ba" particle to stabilize these verbal forms.

Bazatoz?
Bai, banator!

Sounds much better :D

The "ba" particle is a contraction of "bai", yes.

This particle can also be used to emphasize the meaning of the verb.

If we take back the former example,

Koran eta Biblia badakizkizu.
You do know the Koran and the Bible.


That's all for today folks. It was an easier lesson, just to rest from all the stuff you've been learning beforehand !!!!

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby nettchelobek1 » 2006-06-29, 1:17

So, the particle "ba" is like the German "doch" :?:
"From relativity ... one obtains an unequivocal proof for the view of philosophers who, like Parmenides, Kant, and the modern idealists, deny the objectivity of change as an illusion or appearance due to our special mode of perception" Gödel.

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Zoroa
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Postby Zoroa » 2006-07-03, 13:33

Mmmh more or less. Doch is the reply to a negative sentence. Ba is somehow an intensification particle.

Zoroa ;)
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Postby Zoroa » 2006-07-03, 13:47

Nanana, for your great pleasure, some more stuff.

1. The negative sentence

The word for no and not is exactly the same: "ez".

The particularity with "ez" is that...it changes the word order.

Affirmative sentence : Nik janetxean jan dut
Negative sentence : Nik ez dut janetxean jan

Basically, the SOV order becomes SVO, with the auxiliary being the verb and the participle ending in the end of the sentence.

2. A new case for you because you're worth it

Easy one : the partitive case (norik). Only used in singular, it describes a quantity, almost translating "some"/"any" in English.

For instance : ez badut dirurik : I don't have (any) money. (Note that I used the ba particle here because ukan is used with its primary meaning of "to have" and is not an auxiliary.

No you can find another use of partitive with ez, to say : "No something"

No war ! = Gerrarik ez !

Now even more fantastic, if you nominalize "ez" and turn it into a name, you know how to translate the word "a lack"

Urrik eza: the lack of water
Beldurrik eza: the lack of fear


That's all for today folks, I let you digest the big stuff you had before, don't hesitate to come up with suggestions or any metaphysical questions (sorry I'm a bit busy these days).

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby toksave » 2006-07-04, 3:23

my brain is totally fried :indiff:

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-07-04, 14:14

And this is only the beginning... :twisted:
Deviens qui tu es !

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Postby Hubi » 2006-07-06, 19:32

How do you say "I know you"? Zakizkit?
Wie wird das chemische Element Brom gewonnen?
Man nimmt eine Hand voll Brombeeren und lässt sie zur Erde fallen. Die Beeren verbinden sich mit Erde zu Erdbeeren und Brom wird frei.

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Postby Patty43 » 2006-07-06, 22:02

Great stuff!!! At last I'll learn Basque :)

Now that I have free time, I'll try to catch up with you guys, and I'm definitely following this course.

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-07-07, 16:42

Welcome Patty !

For your question Hubi, synthetic verbs are nowadays only used in their fully conjugated forms to translate (subj verb it/them) if they are nor/nork verbs. Otherwise they are used just like any other verbs. An ancient form may be still in use in some areas, but if so, I don't remember it.

You example would be

Nik jakin zaitut.

Zoroa ;)
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Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-07-07, 16:54

Now I just want to add a thing about synthetic verbs.

If they are nor-types, the subject appears in the front of the verb (ni noa, zu zoaz, etc...) and if they are nor/nork types, the subject appears at the end of the verb (dakit, dakizu, etc...) and the object is materialized by the "d" (+ "it" or "zki" if plural). Thus a pattern emerges.

Knowing this and the root of the verb, you can easily conjugate the other synthetic verbs. Give it a try at the exercice section!

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby Zoroa » 2006-09-13, 16:35

Today we'll learn how to make a relative clause. Nothing hard here, except for a small subtlety.

1. A relative clause in 1 second
To make a relative clause, put "-en" at the end of the sentence

E.g. :

The man eats : gizonak jan dut
Who/which/That the man eats : giznoak jan duten

2. How to use it

In Basque, relative clauses are placed before their antecedent

The apple that the man eats

Gizonak jan duten sagarra
(The man eats that the apple)

3. More detailed relative clauses

Don't forget that "-en" can be declined, like a noun with no determinative

The friend with whom the man eats
Gizonak jan dutenekin laguna

Basque 'd rather use the simple form of the relative clause and thus transfers the declension to the noun:

The place where I live : Bizi naizen lekuan (in the place where I live)

At last, don't forget that a+e = e, e+e = e, etc...

da+en = den :

The man whose name is Koldo
(Bere) izena Koldo den gizona

4. Another use of the relative suffix

If you nominalize the relative, you can translate "the one who, those who, etc..."

The one who eats with my friend
Nire lagunarekin jan dutena


That's all for today, I hope I'll find more time to keep on with the lessons !!!

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"

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Postby Nero » 2006-09-21, 0:45

Cette langue est très belle, Zoroa. Un jour, j'espère l'apprendre.

Diese sprache ist sehr schon, Zoroa. Und eines Tages, Ich werde erlernen.

Esta lengua es muy bonita, Zoroa. algún día, voy a apprenderlo.
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Zoroa
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Postby Zoroa » 2006-09-26, 9:51

Thx Nero ! You're more than welcome to learn it ;)

Today's lesson will be about the three "participles".
With them, you'll be able to extand your scope of expression.

1. The "past" participle

This is the one you get when learning a new verb. Usually, it ends in tu(du), which is a legacy from Latin. This is how nouns/adjectives are turned into verbs, etc... e.g.: pentsatu = to think.

Gazte: young --> gaztetu: to make young/ to rejuvenate

Better: ohe: bed --> ohera: to bed --> oheratu: to go to bed ;) Your imagination's the limit (and also uses...)

Other verbs ends in "n" (egin), i (etorri), etc...

This is a past participle used to make present perfect (pp + izan/ukan).

There is another past participle, used with state verbs like egon, eduki. This is the state past participle, in ta(da). (Sorry when I put (da) it means that, for euphonic reasons, the ending in t becomes d if the verb ends in "n").

Let's have it clearer, shall we ?

When I take the verb to tire: nekatu and I am wondering: how would I be able to express the feeling of my tiredness? I analyze the whole stuff as follows:

1. I am tired : not very transitive, let's not use ergative
2. Hopefully I won't be tired tomorrow, so this is a transitory state, let's use "egon"
3. You've said egon ? okay so the pp may be in "ta", for it describes a state
4. Can you remind me of the word for "tire" ? Yes, it's nekatu (sounds very Japanese, doesn't it?)

So the sentence is "Ni nekatuta nago".

2. The "present" participle

Well, in fact, it's not really a present participle, but rather a nominalized form of the verb.

Take the past participle, remove the ending (tu, n, i whatever...), then add t(z)en (you can use both ten/tzen). Just for the notice, ten is te + n, n being a locative (non) form. Indeed, adding te makes the nominalized form of the verb (egite(a): the fact of doing).

When you use the present participle + izan/naiz, you obtain a kind of countinuous present.

The difference between past participle/present participle is more in terms of aspects, like in English.

Okay, now that you begin to understand it a bit more, let's see the present participle for a couple of verbs

joan => joaten
jan => jaten
etorri => etort(z)en (note that the second r is dropped)
ibili => ibilt(z)en
kantatu => kantat(z)en
etc...

Last, but not least, a small tip to make you quasi-bilingual.
As you've seen, the present participle is declined.

What if we take the allative (nora) form ?
You make an allative participle ! Only to be used after movement verbs (ibili, joan, etc...)

He goes to eat in the restaurant
Janetexera jatera doa.

What if we take the locative genitive (nongo) form ?
You make a purpose participle

In the urban jungle, men kill to survive.
Hiriko oihanan gizonek bizirik irauteko hil dute. (Nice sentence ?)

3. The future participle

The easiest for the end. Just add "go" at the past participle. And use it like the past participle.

I will eat in the restaurant
Janetxean jango dut.

Hope I did not kill you for that lesson, I'll try to proofread it just to check the spellings/mistakes.

Zoroa ;)
Deviens qui tu es !

Nietzsche "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra"


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