The Vice-Minister for Language Policy of the Basque Country and Chair of NPDL, Patxi Baztarrika, and CEO of NPLD, Meirion Prys Jones, have jointly organized a press conference to present the report the Value and Economic Impact of Basque, an ambitious study aimed at measuring the weight of the Basque language in the economy and quantifying the different sectors and dimensions in which the language occupies a prominent position. While many studies have been conducted from a sociological and linguistic angle, it is the first time that a purely economic approach is taken to analyze the economic vibrancy of the language.
“Sometimes, prejudices do not allow us to adopt a different perspective on things, including languages. It is still a prejudice to claim that there are some languages with a clear economic value, namely the big, hegemonic languages, and others – small, minority languages – which are considered less useful. This is something that we must change as all languages have equal social and economic value. This study confirms so” – stated Patxi Baztarrika.
NPLD’s CEO, Meirion Prys Jones, also gave an overview of the role of NPLD and highlighted the pivotal importance of linking lesser-used languages as a way of revitalizing them and making them useful in every day life. Thanks to the project NPLD2020, supported by the European Commission, the NPLD has been able to focus on the language-economy binomial in lesser-used languages. “ In Europe, we do not have any study related to lesser-used languages and the economy. Once again, the Basque Country takes the lead on this front” – stated Prys Jones.
The study will also be presented at a high-level conference on the 18th of November in Brussels, in which language planners from all over Europe will get together to discuss the current and future language of multilingualism, from a regional or small-state language perspective.
Click here to find out more. The report will soon be available on the Basque Government’s website in different languages.