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buber.net > Basque > Euskara > Useful Basque Phrases
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Useful Basque Phrases

After the greetings (some words to break the ice):

  1. To somebody working:
    • Ari garela!
      Lit.: So we are working!
    • Ari zaretela (bizimainan)!
      Similar form changing the person of the verb to the second of plural.
      The verb "ari" implies activity, usually work.
  2. To somebody sat down calmly:
    • Bagaudela!
      Lit.: So we remain sitting!
      "Gaude" is the first person of plural from the present tense of "egon", a verb implying lack of activity.
    • Zer, patxadan?
      Lit.: What, (you are here) calmly?
  3. Coming across somebody walking:
    • Bagoazela!
      Lit: Here we go!
      Notice the pattern repeated later with "izan" (bagarela) and before with "egon" (bagaudela), now with "joan" to go.
  4. In a general case:
    • Bizi gara!
      Lit.: We are alive.
    • Bagarela!
      Lit.: So we are!
  5. Answers to the above:
    • Hementxe!
      Lit.: Right here!
      "Hementxe (ari) naiz" I'm (working) right here - is understood.
    • Hementxe, bizimainan!
      Something like: I'm right here making my living.
    • Hementxe, tirriki-tarraka!
      "Tirriki-tarraka" represents here the sound of dragging, and it means working activity.
    • Beharko!
      A shortened form for "beharko dut" It will be my duty.
    • Ihardun/aritu/ibili/joan beharko!
      As the above, adding the verb describing the activity: to work/to work/to be doing something/to go.
    • Zer erremedio!
      What else can I do?
      Sometimes sounds more like:
      ze' erremeriyo.
      From Spanish "!Que remedio!", same meaning.

All corrections are highly encouraged.

This series is selected and translated without permission from: "Esamoldeak- Euskalduntzeko ariketak" (Idioms- Exercices to become a Basque speaker) written by Maizpide Euskaltegiko Irakasleak, Gerriko Argitaletxea, Lazkao 1989.

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