Basque (Euskara) is a language isolate inside of Spain. The language is the last lone survivor of the languages that were spoken in the region before the Romans arrived.[1] Basque is unique and has managed to survive until the present day.

Where is the language spoken?

Basque is spoken in North-Western Spain and South-Western France in a region called the Basque Country.[2]

The language gained official status along with Spanish within the Basque country in 1978.[3] Since then, Basque has been taught and used in schools in the Basque Country.[4] The language does have some support and recognition.


Basque words are largely unique, but there are a number of loan words from Spanish.

Reading, Writing, Pronunciation

In terms of reading, writing, and pronunciation, Basque shares a lot with Spanish. Basque is written with the same alphabet as Spanish, and the pronunciation rules are largely the same.[5]

The main unique feature of Basque pronunciation is a few diphthongs like tx and tz.[6] Pronunciation in Basque is largely straightforward and parallel to Spanish.


Basque has one part of its grammar that is somewhat rare. Basque has an ergative case.[7] What is an ergative case? An ergative case attaches to the subject of transitive verbs (verbs that can have a direct object).[8] In Basque, there is a special case ending for subjects of transitive verbs.


Basque is the main linguistic outlier in Spain. It has, often through difficult circumstances, survived. Keeping its unique features into the present day.


  1. Rijk, Rudolf P.G. de, and Luis Michelena. “Basque language.” Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. Rijk, Rudolf P.G. de, and Luis Michelena. “Basque language.
  3. Ibid.
  4. “History of euskara.” History of euskara — Euskal kultur erakundea.
  5. “Basque (euskara).” Basque language, alphabet and pronunciation.
  6. “Basque (euskara).” Basque language,
  7. Rijk, Rudolf P.G. de, and Luis Michelena. “Basque language.” Encyclopædia Britannica.
  8. Rijk, Rudolf P.G. de, and Luis Michelena. “Basque language.”

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