Algonquian–Basque pidgin

Algonquian–Basque pidgin
RegionGulf of Saint Lawrence
Era16th to 18th century[1]
Basque-based pidgin
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Basques Newfoundland.gif
Basque (both French and Spanish) and Breton fishing sites in 16th and 17th centuries.

The Algonquian–Basque pidgin was a Basque-based pidgin spoken by Basque whalers and various Algonquian peoples.[1] It was spoken around the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It was last attested in 1710.[1]

There were three groups of First Nations that the Basque people distinguished. The ones with which they had good relations were the Montagnais and the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. They also knew of the Inuit, whom they considered hostile. The Basque people referred to them as the Montaneses, the Canaleses and the Esquimoas, respectively.[2]


Pidgin Original language English translation
Normandia Normandia (Basque), 'Normandy' French
kir kir (Mi'kmaq) you
ania anaia (Basque) brother
capitana capitaina (Basque), kapitaina in Standard Basque captain
endia andia (Basque), handia in Standard Basque large
chave chave (roa) know


Sample Phrases

Algonquian-Basque pidgin Basque English
Ania, kir capitana? Anaia, capitana al zara? Brother, are you a captain?
Ania capitana ouias amiscou. Anaia capitana kastor haragia. Brother captain beaver's meat.
Endia chave Normandia. Frantsesek gauza asko dakite. The French know a lot of things.
Gara gara ender-quir gara gara. Guda izango dugu. There will be war if we continue like this.
Maloes mercatora. Malo Deunakoak merkatari bidegabekoak dira. Those of Saint-Malo are unfair traders.
Nola zaude? Apezak obeto. Nola zaude? Apaizak hobeto. How are you? The priests are better.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Bakker, Peter (1989). "'The Language of the Coast Tribes is Half Basque': A Basque-American Indian Pidgin in Use between Europeans and Native Americans in North America, ca. 1540-ca. 1640". Anthropological Linguistics. 31 (3/4): 117–147. JSTOR 30027995.
  2. ^ Echoes from the Past
  3. ^ Gray, Edward (2000). The Language Encounter in the Americas, 1492-1800. Berghahn Books. pp. 342. ISBN 9781571812100. The Language Encounter in the Americas, 1492-1800: A Collection of Essays.

Further reading

  • Koldo Mitxelena (1984): "Lingüística inmanente y lingüística trascendente", "Julio Urquijo" Euskal Filologiaren Seminoarioaren Urtekaria, 18, 251–266. orr, Donostia, Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia.
  • Peter Bakker (1989): "The language of the coast tribes is half basque", Anthropological linguistics 31: 117–147. orr.

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