Basque vocabulary to tour like a local in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria or Pamplona

In my private tours, it is very common to ask about the meaning of the words in Basque that people see in the different signals around the city.

Basque is an old language, which starts to flourish after many years of prosecution in Spain and years of withdrawal in France. It does not matter if you tour in Bilbao or San Sebastian, a few words of this language will open you doors and make your Basque host to help you with a smile. These are some basic words that you can get into your dictionary:

A Greetings. "Kaixo" and "Agur" are basics.
"Kaixo!" means "Hi!" and will be the start surely of a friendly conversation.
"Agur!" means "Bye!" and nearly everyone in the Basque Country say that to say goodbye instead of the Spanish "¡Adiós!"
For more advanced speakers, you can say "Egunon" meaning "Good morning" or "Arratsaldeon" meaning both "Good Afternoon" or "Good Evening".

B Politeness. We are not a top polite country, but a sorry and please are always welcome... How to say this? Well here you have it:
"Barkatu" means "sorry".
"Mesedez" means "Please".
You know that this words can open the many doors...

C Food and Wine. "pintxo" is a must known, hard to translate this one, as it is a kind of appetizer hardly found outside the Basque Country. Be careful as it is not the same as a tapa. Some pintxo bar owners may be upset if you ask for a Basque tapa...
Other words that you may want to learn are: "ardoa" meaning "wine", "garagardoa" meaning "beer" and "ura" meaning "water" for drinks.
For food, the variety is so wide, that it will be better actually if you learn "goxoa" which means "delicious" and "oso ona" which means "very good". 

Need help for a private tour in the Basque Country? Aitor can prepare a private tailored tour anywhere of the Basque Country, you can contact me through your Basque Private Tour Guide contact form, email me at: or phone me: +1 (518) 632 4867 or +34 687 476 134