Euskara ikasten… learning Euskara

In 1991, I went to Euskal Herria to learn Euskara.  My dad is from Munitibar, and my mom’s grandparents were from Leikeitio (her grandma) and Mutiloa (her grandpa). While of course my dad was fluent in Euskara, my mom hadn’t had the opportunity to learn.  Her dad, while born and raised in Oregon, also knew Euskara though he had never visited the land of his parents.  Long story short, I didn’t learn any Euskara as a kid, so I thought to go to Euskal Herria and see what I could learn.

I attended the University Studies Abroad Consortium’s program in Donostia, where I took an intensive course in Euskara.  My teacher was Nekane, an euskaldun-berri who did an admirable job of teaching her three students Euskara (though I could be, at times, a difficult student).  (I’ve learned that Nekane passed away a few years ago.)  She taught us Batua and every weekend I went to visit my dad’s family, in Ermua and Munitibar, where they speak Bizkaian.  On evenings I wasn’t with family, struggling to apply my Batua to understand Bizkaian, I spent my time with other Americans in the program, who had gone to learn Spanish, and played foosball in the local bar.

So, I didn’t learn too much.  I got some basics, some words, some phrases, but nothing that got me to the point of being able to hold a conversation.  So, whenever I see any type of online course, I’m at least intrigued, hoping that I can try to improve.  So far, I haven’t done anything yet, but I keep hoping.

This is a long segway to mentioning two new efforts for learning Euskara online.  The first, provided by Gorka Bakero, is an English course he has developed and made into a PDF document.  Gorka has also provided a forum for Euskara students to find one another and practice.  Eskerrik asko Gorka!

The second is is a part of, a resource for Euskara. is an online course of sixty lessons.  The course seems to be in Spanish, though I was unable to register as it asks for my “DNI” number, which makes me wonder if the site is for Spanish citizens only.  I’m not sure.  But if anyone knows more, I’d appreciate hearing about your experiences.

A few other courses (though badly organized) are on the Euskara page.  If anyone else has a favorite online Euskara course, please share!

6 thoughts on “Euskara ikasten… learning Euskara”

  1. Kaixo!

    I’m not Spanish either, but I’ve been using for quite a while now (the course is also available in English; made it to lesson 38 so far). When I signed up, the only thing that was asked for was a valid e-mail address. That was, however, a few months ago.

    It would be a shame if they made the course available to Spanish citizens only – this is by far the best (or at least the most entertaining) resource for learing Euskara on the internet I encountered so far!

  2. Thanks Steve. I guess I should look at it again. It wanted a DNI and when I just left that blank, it complained, but maybe I was trying to register in the wrong way. I’ll try again.

    Anyone else tried to use

  3. Hallo there!
    My name is Juncal, and I come from back country. My euskera is not that good and I would like to improve it.And Id like to know, what u guys think about the language and how dificult is it to learn, since my boyfriend might want to do it too.

    Ondo ibili!

  4. I just signed up for the course. I received an error when I didn’t put in my DNI, so I just entered “none” into the box and it took care of it. Best of Luck!

  5. I signed up for the course two days ago. I have not yet finished with the first unit, but I find it very approachable and am doing well on the exams. I’ve even taken to making my own flashcards to study for the exams, as they are challenging but not unpassable; I learned that in the first lesson.

    It was, indeed, difficult to bypass that DNI requirement, but after putting in several different combinations of numbers, it finally let me start studying.

    It’s an easy-to-learn language, free of masculinization and feminization of nouns and verbs, despite the challenging morphology and syntax. I hope to master the complex periphrasing of verbs soon, though. For now, I just hope to be able to answer who is whom when I am asked, and to be able to pronounce correctly the g’s, r’s, tz’s, ts’s, etc; well, I think I’ve mastered the g’s, but it took me three days to satisfactorily produce that G sound that lies between a G and a K! It is quite difficult for a native English speaker to produce some of those sounds!

  6. I can’t get logged in with the password that they sent. If is also difficult because the directions are in euskara (even when starting at the english site) and I am not accomplished enough to understand them.

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