The Debate Behind the Creation of a United Euskara

The creation of a standardized Basque language, Euskara Batua, by the Euskaltzaindia — the Academy of the Basque Language — in the 1960s raised perhaps as many issues as it resolved. Which were true Basque words, and which were derivations of surrounding languages? Basque experts have debated these issues for decades.

Luckily, the development of a unified Basque has led to the successful promotion of the language in the Basque Country. It is the official language of Euskadi, in Hegoalde, the Spanish Basque Country. It is taught in dozens, perhaps hundreds of ikastolas — Basque schools. It is even being taught in classes throughout the Basque diaspora, in particular in Argentina and the United States. The survival of the ancient language is no longer in question.

Michael James Lancaster discusses some of the debate that led to the development of a standardized Basque language in his latest post in his “Languages of the World” blog.

See also the North American Basque Organization’s page on the Basque language.

Listen to what some Americans have to say about learning Basque:

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