Basque is mainly spoken in the Basque Country, which describes a region on both sides of the Pyrenees, but there are also a lot of Basque speakers elsewhere in Europe. The ethnonym for the language is Euskara, from which the Basques coined the name Euskaldunak to refer to themselves. It is known as the oldest living language in Europe and does not appear to have any linguistic relations to other European languages.
There are five dialects in the Modern Basque language, which are divided into eleven subdialects. This can make cross-dialect communication quite difficult. The Biscayan or the “West” dialect is said to be the most widely spoken one, with a number of approximately 300,000 speakers.
The phonetics of the Basque language is comparable to that of the Spanish language. Stress and sound are in general not as distinctive as in other languages. The alphabet of this language contains five pure vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and two sets of consonants, of which one is voiced (like b, d, g) and the other one is voiceless (like p, k, t). The nasal sounds are m, n and ñ. As well as the phonetics, the orthography, which was first promulgated in 1964, complies with the Spanish norm.