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The Algonquian–Basque pidgin was a pidgin spoken by the Basque whalers and various Algonquian peoples.[2] It was spoken near the Saint Lawrence River. It was last attested in 1710.[2]

Algonquian–Basque pidgin
RegionGulf of Saint Lawrence
Era16th to 18th century
Basque-based pidgin
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Basques Newfoundland.gif
Basque fishing sites (in French)

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 Iroquois. 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.[3]

Sample wordsEdit

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



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Basque-Amerindian Pidgin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ Echoes from the Past
  4. ^ Gray, Edward (2000). The Language Encounter in the Americas, 1492-1800. Berghahn Books. p. 342. ISBN 9781571812100.