Irati Garcia (italki)

Introduction to Basque

Basque is the only preromantic language that persisted even when the Latin died out. It is one of the oldest languages in Europe that dates at least back to Neolithic times. It is now spoken in Basque Countries in adjacent parts of Northern Spain and Southwestern France. The ban of the language from 1939 to 1975 caused significant decline in its speakers over the years. Irati García, a Basque teacher, is passionate about reviving the language Basque. In this video, she will not only introduce the agglutinative quality of the language but also share the religion, art, mythology, and traditions of the Basques. Irati on italki:

Ask the speaker a question


  • Alanood says:

    Eskerrek asko. My favorite part when you gave the example of “sea + container”.

  • MsPolyglot says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by this language (all those mysterious Xs and Ks!) and how it is unrelated to any other European language. You did such a nice job of discussing history, your own personal experience, and explaining the language. We really learn so much about a culture through how concepts that are expressed in language! There are supposedly many farmers and shepherds here in California of Basque origin, and their sourdough bread is famous! I was also told by someone from Boise, Idaho that pretty much half the population there has Basque origins.

    My only request would be not to change the camera angles back-and-forth between your face and profile, only because it really detracted from the wonderful content of your presentation!

  • Feilin says:

    Eskerrik asko, siempre queria aprender Euskara!

  • Jhony Andrade says:

    Irati, Eskerrik asko! It’s fascinating!

  • hoopstats says:

    Irati: nire iritzian, zure erakusketa oso interesgarria da. Eskerrik asko bihotzetik.

  • Eskerrik asko, Irati! It was so interesting to hear about the Basque language and history and it has definitely made its way onto my to-learn list.

  • paulrcarlos says:

    Thank you very much for your interesting presentation. I enjoyed it.

  • Ruthenium says:

    Fascinating! I am so glad Basque is still vital ans being shared. Thank you

  • ktchernes says:

    Completely agree Lindsay! I think I’ve added 10 new languages to my ‘need to learn immediately’ list 🤣

  • Eskerrik asko, Irati! Is anyone else wanting to learn every language from these introduction sessions!? 😀

  • Jas B. says:

    I know nothing about Spanish and Basque, but thanks for this introduction. Have to say it does tempt me to study basque in the future, if the food isn’t enough for tempting me about the culture. 🙂

  • Júlio Pereira ジューリョ 朱禮歐 줄리오 says:

    Muchas gracias por la clase. Me acordé que hace algunos años que tuve la oportunidad de trabajar con algunos ingenieros de San Sebastián y escuché euskera por la primera vez. Quizás lo estudie algún día.

  • Francis says:

    Eskerrik asko. Very interesting. A high school teacher I had was Basque, but I did not know much about it except that the language was neither Spanish nor French.

  • jfahey717 says:

    Wonderful talk Irati. I am grateful to learn about the Basque language, culture and history.
    John Fahey

  • Nico says:

    Thank you for a wonderful video! I wanted to ask about the phonology of Basque. It seems to me that Basque has been influenced greatly by Spanish phonology. What do you think?

  • astari says:

    Very much enjoyed my first dip into Basque with this video, Irati gives a clear explanation of the sentence structure. Loving all the words with “tx” in it, so cool. Eskerrik asko, Irati!

  • rmccue96 says:

    Kaixo Irati! Eskerrik asko for this introduction to the Basque language and culture! How do you see the future of the Basque language in the post-Franco Spain? Are a lot of young people using the language? Is Basque or Spanish more commonly used in day-to-day life there?

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