Pérez, Juanjo

    Asociación Elhuyar, País Vasco  España


    Diploma in Teaching, Eskoriatzako Irakasle Eskola, 1990. I specialize in the normalization of the Basque language in public administrations. I have been working at Elhuyar since 2005, carrying out tasks such as diagnosis, design, and development of Basque language plans for the Navarrese and Basque Governments, municipalities, and Provincial Councils.



    Revitalization of Basque Language: A Message of Hope


    In the Basque Country, in the Basque language territory, there are slightly over 3 million people living; divided between two states (Spain and France) and three administrations: the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) or Euskadi, and the Chartered Community of Navarre, in the southern side, and three provinces in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Department in the north. Thus, we have three administrations and consequently three language policies, yielding radically different outcomes. Currently, slightly over one and a half million people understand or are capable of speaking Basque (half of the population), and around 450,000 of us use Basque regularly. The vast majority who study in the public network of the BAC do so under the linguistic immersion model, and 55% of university students pursue their undergraduate studies in Basque… This is not the reality in Navarre nor in the territories situated administratively in France. However, we do share a series of common elements that allow us to look towards the future with hope: Unification of the language, creation of a linguistic corpus, schooling in Basque and adult literacy, a strong sense of community, social demand, and above all, having achieved that families and individuals unrelated to Basque have chosen to learn and promote the language. At present, some of the parents of 70% of those who know Basque are not native speakers of the language; that is the great triumph of Basque.