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Bertan > The Basque language > Every day life
Bertan 24

Every day life


With the passing of time, Basque has become ever more standard in everyday life, work, leisure and business. The areas where it is now commonly used include travel, research, official business, museums, hobbies and new technologies.

491. Elhuyar is a cultural association set up in 1972 to develop, promote and use Basque in the area of science and technology. Since 1974 it has published the first journal of science and technology completely in Basque, prepared and published educational material and designed science programmes for radio and television. 492. Merkataritza euskaraz. Many towns and villages throughout the Basque Country run campaigns to encourage the use of Basque in shops, catering establishments and shopping centres. Zumaia from the marina. 493. The association of Independent Publishers of Navarre (NAIE) was set up in 2005, with the publishers Txalaparta, Pamiela, Mintzoa, Igela and Txoria Errekan, to address the Navarrese Government's neglect of Basque culture in general and the lingua navarrorum in particular. 494. In the field of computing, Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows have both been available in Basque since 2008, and manufacturers such as Dell, Inves and HP offer Basque language versions of both programs preinstalled on their computers. 495. Basque is also big in the blogosphere. Since the creation of the first one in 2001 (sustatu.com), there are now more than five thousand Basque language blogs, most on blogari.net. Some are collective and others individual; most are linked to writers and the university. 496. Service providers and private companies have integrated Basque into their services. 497. UZEI Terminologia eta Lexikografia Zentroa (The Centre for Terminology and Lexicography) was founded in 1977 to adapt Basque for use in university and provide a technical-scientific lexicon. In 1979, the institution brought out the first technical dictionary, a dictionary of physics. This was followed by several dozen specific dictionaries; on commission from the Basque Government, it is currently developing and maintaining EUSKALTERM, the public Basque terminology bank. It is also performing research into the treatment of the natural language, a basis for many applications, including the spell checker Xuxen. 498. Larrunarri and the Gipuzkoan area of Aralar. 499. KZgunea is a digital literacy programme run by the Basque Government with the association of Basque municipalities (EUDEL). In practise, it takes the form of a public network of free computer centres (KZguneak) where people can improve their IT skills. The network now has over 315,000 registered users. 500. Free software and Linux in particular have made a major contribution to developing operating systems and applications in Basque. Basque-speaking users also have a number of consolidated computer tools to choose from, such as the search engine Google in Basque, the spell-checker Xuxen and the Firefox toolbar Euskalbar, with dictionaries, encyclopaedias and search engines. 501. Fonatari is a portal for Basque phonetics which contains complete information on the phonic level of the language and various user services in Basque, English, French and Spanish. 502. Many models of mobile phone (174 in all) now include Basque as one of the optional menu languages. In 2007, the operators Eroski, Euskaltel, Telefónica, Vodafone, Yoigo and Orange and the manufacturers Alcatel, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson entered into an agreement with the Basque Government to promote the use of Basque in mobile telephony. 503. Many products are already labelled in Basque. One example consists of products bearing the Eusko Label. The K for Kalitatea (Quality) identifies food products that are produced, processed or prepared in the Basque Country, and which display above-average quality, features or singularity. 504. The linguistic landscape of the Basque Country has been transformed, and the visibility of Basque in the streets has grown over recent decades. Determined support from the municipal authorities has been vital in promoting the presence of Basque. One of the pioneering initiatives in this field was the set of bylaws issued by the town of Andoain in 1988. 505. Amongst the extensive range of museums in the Basque Country, one of the biggest names is the Guggenheim, designed by Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997 as the central plank of a programme of recovery for the Nervion (Ibaizabal) river estuary. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art attract around a million visitors each year. It also runs educational programmes for schools in Basque. 506. In Navarre, groups demand proper official status for Basque call for increased visibility of the lingua navarrorum. 507. Theatre-cafés are a new and important initiative for socialising the use of Basque. The first, the Kafe Antzokia, opened in 1995 in Bilbao, with the support of Zenbat Gara. It was designed to offer the thousands of Basque speakers in the city a meeting place where they could use the language naturally. Ondarroa, Durango, Elgeta and Donostia/San Sebastian now have similar venues. There is also a broad and varied public programme of activities in Basque, organised by municipal and regional authorities in theatres and cultural centres.
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