Linguae Vasconum Primitiae: The First Fruits of the Basque Language, 1545
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"Out of a humble beginning, may better fortune follow." So ends Bernard Etxepare's Linguæ Vasconum Primitiæ, likely the first book ever printed in the Basque language, in the year of 1545. Published in Bordeaux, the book contains a modest collection of poems, some religious, others love poetry, one autobiographical, and two extolling the virtues of Basque and its worthiness through publication to be included with the other languages of the world. Written in the Lower Navarrese dialect of Basque, the poems have found enduring fame among the Basques for their celebration of the Basque language. Included alongside the seminal translation by Mikel Morris Pagoeta is a comparative rendition of the original Basque. The book also includes a foreword by Pello Salaburu, the preface to the 1995 edition by Patxi Altuna, and an introduction by Beñat Oyharçabal. "Other people thought it could not be written; now they have seen that they were wrong. Basque, come forth into the world!"