Check Out Aragonese

[youtube=ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4rKy63MqZM]
Aragonese is a Romance language very similar to Spanish that is spoken in northern Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains along the border with France. It is not in good shape at all. It probably has about 25-50,000 speakers.
The subject of this video, Creciendo en Aragonés, is the small town of Benasque in the Pyrenees, where they speak a divergent Aragonese dialect called Benasquese. Benasquese is said to be a dialect of Catalan, but it is not at all. The dialects in this area however are somewhat transitional between Aragonese and Catalan.
At one time, there was a Kingdom of Aragon (which I don’t know much about) along eastern Spain, and Aragonese was widely spoken over perhaps 20% of modern Spain. The language, like Asturian, Leonese, Basque and Extremaduran, has contracted dramatically with the growth of Castillian.
Aragonese is said to be a dialect of Spanish by Spanish nationalists, and the fascist Spanish state refuses to recognize the language at all, so it gets little to no support. It is in really bad shape and is considered to be an endangered language.
However, in Benasque, as you can see in this video, the language is doing great. It is spoken by all residents, including young kids. All the teachers in the local schools are fluent speakers. This town is isolated high in the Pyrenees (Check out the incredible, Alps-like scenery) and that is probably what has helped to preserve Aragonese here.
The narration of the video in is Spanish, but when they start interviewing the locals, all of them are speaking Aragonese. I understand Spanish pretty well and could get a lot of the Spanish narration, but I was seriously lost whenever they started speaking Aragonese.
Aragonese sounds like a cross between Spanish and Portuguese to me, but actually it has a heavy Basque substrate. There are also similarities to Occitan and Catalan. Intelligibility is said to be 80% with Spanish, but it was much lower than that for me. If you speak Spanish or Portuguese, check out Aragonese and see how much of it you can get.

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4 thoughts on “Check Out Aragonese”

    1. Few things.
      First of all, if I am not mistaken, Tom Sunic is a fascist and an anti-Semite.
      Many people were killed at Bleiburg in the late part of WW2. There was no targeting of smart people or anything like that. Those people fled because they were all Nazi sympathizers and supporters. So, basically, 400,000 Nazis got killed in Bleiburg. Choose to weep if you must. I don’t like Nazis. The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi.

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