Published October 6, 2018
This video was recorded by Daniel Bogre Udell in Quebec, Canada and features Asturian speaker Victor Suárez. Asturian was spoken in Spain by around 100,000 people according to a 2007 census, divided into three regional forms: Central (50,000), Western (30,000), and Eastern (20,000). Also known as Bable, Asturian is an Ibero-Romance language of the Indo-European language family and belongs to the Asturo-Leonese language group. The standard form emerges primarily from Central Asturian, is regulated by the Academy of the Asturian Language, and is protected under a Spanish Statute of Autonomy (which serves as a legislative corpus for the Principality of Asturias). The Asturian language is taught as an elective in schools and written in the Latin script. Like other Romance languages, the Astur-Leonese languages originated from Vulgar Latin during the Middle Ages. Asturian's split from the other Astur-Leonese tongues is associated with the Kingdom of Asturias between 718 and 910 AD. Drawing from several regional powers, Asturian incorporated Celtic influences from the pre-Roman, Iberian tribes known as the 'Astures' and Germanic influences from post-Roman Visigoths and Suevi. What vitality of the language remains today is thanks to the ongoing efforts by the Asturian community to protect and promote the language since 1974. Asturian is offically considered endangered and the protections granted to it by the Statute of Autonomy are not ironclad, so enduring commitment to language preservation is required.