Basque (Basque: Euskara) is the language spoken by the Basques, a group living in the northern part of Spain and some border regions of southern France. Basque, unlike the majority of languages in Europe, belongs neither to the Indo-European, nor to any known language family. Linguists usually classify it among the Paleohispanic languages, as well as the heterogeneous group known as the Mediterranean languages.
The total number of native speakers is roughly 800,000 people. A unified Basque language did not appear until the 1960’s, when it was standardized by Basque linguist Koldo Mitxelena. The alphabet consists of 22 letters. In Basque dictionaries, the total lexical items number as high as 500,000, which can be explained by the language’s numerous synonyms and dialectical variations.