Basque Language Learning Tips

STOP Hating on Standardized Basque

Esther Ciganda
2 min readDec 13, 2021

And instead, love on it!

Basque Country, Basque Language, Euskara, Learn Basque, Vasco, Minority Language, Isolate Language, Unified Basque Language
Photo by Damien DUFOUR Photographie on Unsplash

Euskara Batua is the name given to the standardized Basque that was organized and developed in the 1960s. However, it was an idea that had been around since the 1800s when several books were published in Basque using the Basque dialect in the region of the writers.

Also, before the 1960s, the language had not been used in schools or administration.

With the Basque language taking a big hit during the dictatorship, the Basque community saw the need to start teaching the language in schools from day 1, teaching Basque speakers to read and write, and working together to save the language.


STOP Hating on Standardized Basque because as of December 2021, the Basque language is still alive and doing well!

Instead, celebrate that Basques, like my own family, didn't give up after they were told not to use the language.

Unification of a language doesn't mean we all have to use the same words and the same pronunciation. In fact, standardized Basque focuses on the written language. What is spoken to this day will still be different depending on where you go. That's the beauty of any language…the unique difference in how it's spoken.

For example, I don't walk around saying I speak American. Just in my accent, it shows and it's what makes me different than the English I'm teaching in San Sebastian.

And when you stop to celebrate that the Basque language is unified, you'll see how fortunate you are that you can learn the language from anywhere around the world because Basque is now accessible to all.

Because of Batua (standardized Basque), I was able to check off a dream of mine to learn Basque and then have the honor to help others around the world to learn Basque.

And now that you're celebrating the Basque language with me, are you ready to learn? Go grab any of the resources that will help you get started today!

  1. Pronunciation Guide for English-speakers
  2. Quizlet Set of 100 Frequent Basque Words
  3. Mini-Basque Course.
  4. Coming soon…Join the waitlist for the New Basque Speaker Club [Euskaldun Berri Elkartea]!

Esther is a teacher, podcaster, digital product creator, and die-hard fan of the Washington State Cougars, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Lakers, & Osasuna. She splits her time between the beach city of Hendaye, France, and the farm in Moses Lake, WA. You’ll catch her using 4 languages daily & she’s also a proud tía (aunt).

Esther Ciganda

If I can do it, so can you | Midlife, Multilingual + Multipassionate Teacher turned Edupreneur at 45 | Daughter of Basque Immigrants & Farmers, 🧠tumor survivor