Speaking Basque: Part One


Coming to Basque Country? Don't speak Basque? Makes sense. In this edition of learning the Basque language we will be focusing on some common social words and phrases. Enjoy!

The Basque language is unique and fascinating. Unlike English which is Germanic or Spanish which is Latin, Basque is a language unto its own. It is the oldest living language in Europe and is spoken by fewer than a million people worldwide. Although you do not need to be able to communicate in Basque to enjoy yourself in Basque Country, as 98% of people speak either Spanish or French the locals do appreciate you giving it a go. Plus it's fun!

Kaixo - Hello: The K-A-I- is pronounced like the name "Kai". the X-O makes the sounds like the word "show." The trick is to trail off a little bit with the w. The full word is "kai-show."

Mesedez - Please: Mesedez is said like the car company Mercedes-Benz. You just have to drop the R. It's not "meRcedes'' its "mecedes."

Eskerrik Asko - Thank you: Eskerrik is usually said faster than the asko part. The "es" is said like the letter "S" and the "kerr" is said like "care." The "ik" is pronounced as if something is gross and you use the word icky, but you drop the "y" from icky. So you say "S-care-ick"

For "asko" the A-S is said like the donkey or your butt "ass." The K-O is said like you are shortening the word "company" to "co". Combined asko is pronounced "ass-co."

When you put these two words together it sounds like "S-care-ick Ass-co."

Aupa - Hi: This hello is less formal than Kaixo. It's  To say "aupa" you say the letter A-U like when you hurt yourself and say "ow." You say the word "pa" as in dad. It's "ow-pa."

Komuna - bathroom: The K-O sound makes a "co" sound like when you say co-op. The M-U-N is said like "moon." The "A" is said like "a" in a sentence. For example "give the boy a pear" The full word Komuna is pronounced "co-moon-a."

Zorionak - Congratulations: The Z-O-R-I is pronounced as if you have a slight lisp saying sorry "ssorry." the O-N is pronounced like you're saying "own." Lastly the A-K is pronounced as if you were saying the word "act" but never got to the t. The full word is pronounced "ssorry-own-ac."

Egun on - Good morning: The "E" makes an "a" sound. This time the sound of the "a" is like when the letter is in ABCD. The G-U-N is said like "goon." The full word is said "a-goon." The second word "on" is said the same as the english "on." in total the saying "egun on" is said "a-goon on"

Gabon - Good night: The G-A sound is like when a baby makes that "goo-goo-ga-ga" sound. That "ga" a baby makes is the same as the G-A in Gabon. The B-O-N is like in French when someone is saying "enjoy your meal" "bon appetit." Or like in James Bond if you drop the "d" at the end. The full word is pronounced "ga-bon."

Amatxu - Mom: The A-M is pronounced like "am." For example "I am learning." and the A-T-X-U makes the sound of describing someone sneezing. "Achoo". The difference in this achoo is that you don't draw out the "a" part of the "achoo." It is said "am-achoo."

You may also hear people say "Ama" instead of Amatxu. This is the same as shortening mother to mom.

Aita - Dad: The A-I is said "eye" and the T-A is pronounced "ta." Like if you were a magician and just pulled a rabbit out of your hat. You would likely say "ta da." That is the same "ta" as in Aita. The full work sounds like "eye-ta."

Basque is a very interesting language that sounds really cool when you hear it. The way that it's structured and the flow of the sentences are something special. Try out these few words for now and we will add more vocabulary in the next edition of Basque words.

Keep Exploring...

Photo credit:

1: Flag of the Basque Country By Frankie688 under license by Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic

2:Basque as first language(corrected).JPG by Andrew Champs. Public domain.

3:cliff-rocks-blue-landscape-nature-1340107 by Somo_photograhy on pixabay

4: Zazpiak by SanchoPanzaXXI licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0

5: hermitage-basque-country-landscape-3646724 by javierAlamo on pixabay

6: ship-france-basque-water-port-5043313 by caslopsan on pixabay

7: /mammal-agro-industry-livestock-lawn-3284606 by julie_vy12 on pixabay

8:Flag_of_the_Basque_Country.svg: by Frankie688 licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported