As a Linguistics major, I am fascinated by the interaction between the Basque language and culture. About a month ago I made a trip to the Basque city of San Sebastián, or Donostia as it is known in Basque, located on the northern coast. What I found surprised me. I had expected to find a culture completely permeated by the Basque language, but what I encountered was the strategic use of Basque to forge a sense of national identity. In contexts of bilingualism, the selection of one language over another has significance as well as consequences. It is often a conscious choice in order to achieve a specific purpose, in this case, that of distinguishing País Vasco from the rest of Spain and securing a national identity.


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