A Student Grammar of Euskara, or The Best Grammar Book I’ve Read So Far…

A couple of months ago, I was able to get a copy of Jon D. Patrick & Ilari Zubiri Ibarrondo’s, A Student Grammar of Euskara (ISBN: 3 89586 444 7). This book differs from others in my collection in that its main purpose is to explain and clarify the intricacies of Basque grammar whereas the others are self-study lessons with worksheets and exercises.

I’ve found the book to be a great help in my studies due to the numerous examples it gives, especially when it comes to word order as that is one of the main things I struggle with. Also, another great aspect of the book is the section on Typical Errors wherein they give you examples of commonly committed mistakes along with the corrected version of the phrase or sentence.

The only negative aspect about the book is that it is very expensive. I have searched for it on places such as Ebay, Amazon, and Abebooks and I’ve only found two copies available for the steep price of 92€ (about $117) and $120. However, I think the book is worth it as it covers the curriculum of the first three years of a University Basque language curriculum and according to the authors, “competency in all the contents of the book would ensure a student was at the uppermost end of the scale of 2nd language speaker competency”.

When I first received this book in the mail, I took with me on my commute and I bet the other riders on the bus could almost see the lightbulbs flickering on above my head as I started to fully understand things that were unclear or foggy at best. I now use it as my main source of information on Basque grammar whether I’m using the Bakarka books or the BOGA program.

Have you discovered a fantastic resource for learning Euskara? Tell us about it in the comments!

Pedro Maria de Aguirre:


  • Kaixo Isabel,

    Ni ere bai, euskara ikasten ari naiz. I am French, in love with Basque country where I spent my childhood (in the french side, in Iparralde as it is said now). But at that time it was not posible for erdualdunak (non basque people) to have the oppotunity to learn the idioma out of a family. It was not taught in schools, forbidden instead! And I spend my life of adult far from Iparralde. Now I am retired, I am learning that great idiom, coming from very very ancient times, as it is said. Like you, I am using different books and methods (Bakarka, Assimil ...) and I am progressing, poliki poliki, thanks to them.
    I draw your attention (and the one of others ikasleak, as well), to a website of the Eusko jaurlaritza o Gobierno basco de Euzkadi : http://www.ikasten.net, I discovered last year.
    There is a course of euskara in it, at the address, hiru.com.
    I am sure you will appreciate it and use it, too.
    Ongi pasa eta gozatu ezazu euskaraz.