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 Ikasten.net. Ikasten.net is a part of Hiru.com, a resource for Euskara. Ikasten.net 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!