20 Essential Basque Phrases You'll Need on Your Trip to Bilbao

Make sure youre familiar with a few key Basque phrases before you visit Bilbao
Make sure you're familiar with a few key Basque phrases before you visit Bilbao | © Michael Brooks / Alamy Stock Photo
Esme Fox

If you’re heading off for a holiday in the Spanish city of Bilbao, it’s not your Spanish that you’ll need to brush up on, it is in fact Basque, or Euskara as it is locally known. Unlike any other European language, Basque does not have its roots in Latin or Germanic languages and can be quite tricky to learn. Take a look at these 20 essential phrases you’ll need on your trip.

Phrases for greeting

Kaixo – Hello
Urte askotarako – Pleased to meet you
Ongi etorri – Welcome
Egun on – Good morning
Arratsalde on – Good afternoon/evening
Gabon – Goodnight
Agur – Goodbye

Where are your manners?

Mesedez – Please
Eskerrik asko – Thank you
Egun ona izan dezazula – Have a nice day
Zer moduz – How are you?
Barkatu – Excuse me

Getting to know you

Nor zara? – What’s your name?
Nire izena … da – My name is …

The everyday in Bilbao

Zenbat balio du? – How much is this?
On egin! – Bon appétit (have a good meal)
Ez dut ulertzen – I don’t understand
Osasuna! – Cheers!
Bai – Yes
Ez – No

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