Juan Martin Elexpuru naiz, Vancouverren nago ingelesa ikastera etorrita. Joan den ostiralean, kasualitatez, polemikari jarraipena ematen dioten hainbat gutun sorta aurkitu nituen Wall Street Journal egunkarian. Kopiatu egin ditut eta hor doazkizue. Ondo izan. Eguneraketa, 12.25: Erantzunetan, 180 lagunek WSJra bidali duten gutuna osorik, sinadura guztiekin.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - Friday, november 16, 2007 - LETTERS TO DIRECTOR
I suppose you thought you were quite clever by using the word inquisitions (Basque inquisition: (How do you say shepherd in Euskera), page one, nov. 6), which almost everyone associates with the bloody rampage of medieval Spain to rid the Iberian Peninsula of Muslims, Jews and other undesirables. The implication is that Basque are attempting some form of ethnic cleansing through their linguistic policies. This ideas is furthered by the subtitle Trough Fiat Basques Bring old tongue to Life. Te word fiat means an authoritative decree of order such as real fiat. However, the Policies which the members of the far (no center) right Partido Popular are so offended have been created in a democratically elected parliament and supported by the Spanish Constitution, which protects the promotion and use of Euskera as a co-official language of the Basque Country.
Im not sure why its so hard to understand that after living trough the repression of a violent dictatorship, a people would want to reclaim their cultural identity and promote what was taken away from by Francoists though fiat.
The Basque Language may not thrive, but is silly for any objector to say that one of euskeras flaws is its lack of native words for things such as airports or independence or democracy. Guess what? If English had no words for these things except from Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) roots, wed be jetting into flyhavens and celebrating the signing of our Declaration of Unhangingdownship as one of the written bases of our American folkmightiness. Neologisms from Greek and Latin populate most European languages. Why not Basque after 700 years o more?
Assoc Professor of Classics
University of South Florida
Finally, someone from a prestigious international newspaper covers in detail the tragedy going on the Basque Country (and in Catalonia), and doesnt address the problem as an exotic regional fact. I think youve been very precise and extremely brave in describing the situation. I have not doubt that you are being flooded by nasty messages from Basque Nationalists who, as inquisitors, take as a sin against God any criticisms made against their regime. However, millions of people, including non-nationalistic Basques or those of Basque descent, such as myself, are extremely thankful to you for your analysis and your courage.
At age five I went to school as a unilingual Basque, and on the first day I was told that I couldnt speak any more word of it. If I did, I would have t pay a fine, which I did, more than once. The books that I was given to study didnt mention the word Basque We didnt exist. We only learned about Spain, which was mostly Madrid and Castile and the Spanish Empire. Though was the worst offender, he didnt initiates the anti-Basque Policies. Already in the 16th Century a Castilian king was requesting that the Basque conduct their government affairs in Castilian and that those who spoke only Basque should not be able to hold offices. For centuries the civilized kingdom nation of Europe enforced repressive linguistic policies toward minorities. So much for liberté, egalité and fraternité, right? They havent apologized yes, But Im waiting.
Linguists all over the world marvel at antiquity of Euskera and its potential to unlock many past secrets, but the governments of France and Spain would gladly bury it. They dont considerer it a part of their national patrimony, and the repression continues this day.
The Basques who are who are trying to expand of use of their language should be realize that there are better ways of expressing national pride than by language. Some of my brethren in Cornwall are trying to revive the Cornish language, dead for over 200 years. What a waste of time. Both the Basques and the Cornish have emigrated widely, spreading their special skills and initiatives. For that they should be proud. I am.
Mountain View, Calif.
Lets reconcile and resolve all these issues in a very democratic way, by adding another word rooted in Latin, self-determination, which is defined as the firm right of the people to decide how dependent or not they want to be. Madrid never aloe this for the obvious reason that the Basques will use democracy to demonstrate their unalienable right to determine their own destiny.