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17/07/2010 - 23:42
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House names, part of our cultural heritage

The importance of the house to both family and society in the Basque Country, both historically and today, is a well-known fact. The existence of house names in oral literature bears witness to this (one of the best known is in a verse by Xalbador in reference to Xalbadorrenea, his home in Urepel). House names are also cited in the rights and obligations assigned to houses under the Basque royal charters. And, it goes without saying that house names remain alive in the surnames of the people who lived there.

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01/07/2010 - 13:05
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Catalan in cinemas, at long last?

In May, 1.9 million cinema-goers in Catalonia were greeted by a 22-second spot after the trailers, showing an empty cinema and a dramatic piece of news delivered by a voice off screen: «If the Cinema bill is adopted in its present form, you won't be able to see some of the films we've just presented».

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17/06/2010 - 17:21
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Valencian-Catalan: market factor

It has taken more than fifteen years and thirty court decisions for the autonomous government of Valencia to recognise that a university level degree in Catalan Philology accredits fluency in Valencian in the competitive exams that all primary and secondary teachers must successfully pass to secure a permanent position. The more optimistic members of the community celebrated the event as a victory since in their opinion the decision sanctions the "unity of the language". The tenacity of Acció Cultural del País Valencià and the Sindicat de Treballadors de l'Ensenyament is indeed admirable. Their persistence in pursuing perfectly legitimate complaints paid off. Without these organisations legal recognition would never have been accorded.

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09/06/2010 - 14:34
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Aizpea Goenaga, Head of the Etxepare Institute

San Sebastián-born actress, writer and film director Aizpea Goenaga is to head the Etxepare Institute, following an agreement by the institute's governing board.

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01/06/2010 - 15:26
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Different paradoxes in the protection of minority languages: the foe within or without?

In the last decade we have frequently turned our eyes towards the political and academic aspects of Canada. For many, Canada should be taken as an example in several areas. One of these is the strategy developed in that North American country for accepting and protecting "difference" in society.

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16/05/2010 - 20:08
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«The Mountain of Languages»: minor languages of the Caucasus

The languages spoken in Caucasus belong mainly to three indigenous families: South Caucasian (or Kartvelian), West Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adyghean), and East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian), as well as to Turkic and Indo-European families.

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03/05/2010 - 17:19
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New language decree will dismantle progress made with Galician, say Queremos Galego

The new government in Galicia under Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP Conservatives) has proposed a new decree which will reduce the amount of Galician used in schools. It has been met with a storm of protest led by the new umbrella NGO Queremos Galego who have led demonstrations of up to 100,000 people, huge by language campaign standards. Queremos Galego visited Brussels two weeks ago to gain international support, meeting with the European Parliament's Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages and with the European Commission.

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18/04/2010 - 19:17
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Basque language policy in the northern Basque Country-Development of the Public Office for the Basque Language

The Public Office for the Basque Language (POBL) recently presented its plan of action and objectives for 2010-2016. While provisional, it is interesting to analyse these objectives and, with a view to evaluating the development of the linguistic policy, measure their progress during the first phase running from 2004 to 2009.

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02/04/2010 - 22:09
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Fear and vested interests in the face of change

The 3rd conference organised on the last Friday in February by the Sociolinguistics Cluster essentially focussed on prejudices, motivations, level of use and changes in habits with respect to language. And, almost simultaneously, the citizens of Usurbil (Gipuzkoa) decided with their votes in a referendum held on 27 and 28 February whether or not to continue with the novel door-to-door waste collection system in place for the last year.

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11/03/2010 - 18:35
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Russenorsk: the pidgin of the Far North

The historical links between Russians and Scandinavians are no mystery. Less known is that the two communities have gone as far as establishing a lingua-franca in the Far North of Europe.

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