Lockdown. That was the word to which the Fundación del Español Urgente (FundéuRAE), promoted by the Royal Spanish Academy and the EFE Agency, awarded in 2020 the label of “word of the year”. Until then, the definition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language (DLE) for ‘confinement’ included “action and effect of confining or confining oneself” and, in the field of law, “penalty for which the sentenced person is forced to live temporarily, in freedom, in a place other than where you live “. As a result of the state of alarm decreed on March 14, a new use of the word began to spread on televisions, radios, newspapers, conversations and tweets. This is how the dictionary collected it: “Temporary and generally imposed isolation of a population, a person or a group for health or safety reasons.”
It was the year of ‘confinement’, although there were twelve other candidate words for the podium, such as telecommuting, pandemic or coronavirus. Already in 2021, the Euskaltzaindia dictionary on the web has also been updated and in the last six months it has decided to include 592 new forms (427 entries and 165 subentries), among which stand out deskonfinamendu and deskonfinatu, antagonists of the 2020 winner, ‘koronabirus’, one of the finalists, and other voices linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as ‘asymptomatiko’ or ‘biral’, for example.
Currently, the dictionary of the Euskaltzaindia (Royal Academy of the Basque Language) has 49,286 forms in total and 68,181 meanings, which are the different senses in which a word can be taken, for example ‘battery’ in Spanish, which can refer to charging device or one of the members within a music group.
Since 2016, when the second paper edition of the dictionary was published, Euskaltzaindia reviews and completes it twice a year and subsequently shares its modifications or new inclusions with the public. The latest update, published on July 9, includes the results of the work carried out during the first six months of 2021. Miriam Urkia, head of the dictionary, explained in a press release that “the new forms of the updated corpus are the words that they circulate daily “and if they have been included it is” because people have used them “and” that is a sign that there is a need “for them to be implemented. In addition, several words have been included that at the time had been “left behind” and that now Euskaltzaindia has decided to recover, as ‘binary’, to which a new meaning has been given: “When talking about the system of sex or gender is one that has both categories (male and female) “.
Among the 427 new entries, forms that are reminiscent of Spanish stand out, such as’ portzierto ‘,’ nezeser ‘,’ prekuela ‘,’ governantza ‘or’ heteropatriarkal ‘, others admitted in their original form in English, such as’ queer’, ‘poney ‘or’ router ‘, and others with their own voice, such as’ dedio’, a word used to express surprise and anger, ‘aurri’, which in Spanish would mean something similar to ruin, or ‘telelaguntza’, home help service. Along with the new words, Euskaltzaindia has adapted 975 forms, which means, among other modifications, that it has completed or changed some definitions or that forms that were not recommended have been accepted, such as ‘aber’, ‘exejitu’ or ‘despentsa’ .
Euskaltzaindia was founded as a cultural institution in 1918 by the four Provincial Councils (Álava, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Navarra) and its mission is to “investigate and formulate the grammatical laws of the Basque language, promote its use and ensure the rights of the language” . In 1976 it received official recognition in Spain as a Royal Academy and it was not until 1995 that it was accepted as a public utility in France, where, in its Basque-speaking area, Basque is also spoken.
One year after its foundation, in 1919, the first four members were chosen: Resurrección María de Azkue (president of the academy until 1951), Luis Eleizalde, Julio Urkixo and Arturo Campión. Now, and since 2005, the president of Euskaltzaindia is Andrés Urrutia, the seventh since its creation.
We will have to wait another six months to learn the new words in Basque with which 2021 will close and 2022 will be welcomed, but meanwhile the online dictionary is open to anyone who wants to discover what ‘txorrotada’, ‘kurruskaria’ or “mean. mokadutxo “, among other forms that seem to have come to stay.