The title, "Basque Inquisition" doesn't bode well, of course. Whether the assertive push for learning and using Basque in the region where it's traditionally been spoken is beyond what I can comment on — I'd be interested in hearing about how people see it compared to Quebec and other situations of linguistic minorities within national states.
But various parts of the article just don't make much sense. Like this: Basque "is an ancient language little suited to contemporary life." It's spoken by a ton of living people in Europe, which sort of suggest that it's not that ill-suited. And if Hebrew can be revived successfully .... . Anyhow, as a result of its antiquity:
Airport, science, Renaissance, democracy, government, and independence, for example, are all newly minted words with no roots in traditional Euskera: aireportu, zientzia, errenazimentu, demokrazia, gobernu, independentzia.Wow, really? Compared to most languages where these words go back a millennium or two? At least we in English have our own native words for this kind of stuff — not like we'd have to build or borrow things like science, democracy or independence from other languages! And maybe you can't do math in Basque:
While Indo-European languages have similar roots for basic words like numbers -- three, drei, tres, trois -- counting in Euskera bears no relation: bat, bi, hiru, lau, and up to hamar, or 10.Mr. Johnson, you might want to check out Hungary, Finland, Estonia for their numerals.
Well, at least the WSJ did some corrections, e.g. that a pig herder is urdain, not artzain.