Spoken by 720,000 people, Basque is neither rare nor endangered, but it is unusual. It’s spoken in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, but is not related to either French or Spanish or in fact any of the other languages spoken around that area. it’s believed to have derived from a group of languages that pre-date the Indo-European family of languages and were spoken in prehistoric times. So Basque is the closest that modern ears get to hearing what Neanderthals sounded like! It’s a highly inflected language, with verbs being modified to fit not only the subject of a sentence but also the object (e.g. in “I feed the dog”, the verb would be modified to fit with both “I” and “the dog”). This results in highly complicated grammar and sentences that are more inflection than content! For instance, in the sentence “Zuek egunkariak erosten di-zki-da-zue”, (“you buy the newspapers for me”) there are 6 different grammatical markers “-ek”, “-ak”, “di”, “zki”, “da”, “zue”. An interesting subject for linguists but a nightmare for anyone trying to learn it!