Digital Strategy for the Basque Language
Core ideas with respect to the Digital Strategy for the Basque Language have been put forward by the PuntuEUS Foundation on various forums. These forums include the Parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community, the Chartered Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa (Etorkizuna Eraikiz), and the Congress of the Basque Studies Society.
The fact is that the need for a consensus-based Digital Strategy is becoming increasingly clear. The Digital Strategy that would have Basque at its centre would need to be based on the following key aspects at least:
The Basque language needs an institution to undertake that mediation if its digital strategy is to be developed, but when we are talking about mediation we do not have to take giants like Google and Facebook exclusively into consideration. Mediation needs to be in contact with local players and the sector so that the technologies being developed in the Basque Country can take Basque into consideration; that way, we can develop technology for Basque in the land of the Basque language, and Basque can have its place in the new plans.
- Technological sovereignty
We need to make it clear that the technology that Basque needs is not going to be developed abroad because it generates little economic interest. But if as far as our Digital Strategy is concerned we accept that the Basque language needs technology, we have to develop the path of technological sovereignty, and to achieve this we need to draw up our own road map and train Basque-speaking professionals.
- Content development
We have to take Basque to all digital environments, text as well as audiovisual ones, and to do this we need our own strategies and platforms.
Creation costs money, and to make it feasible it is essential to consolidate specific funding lines and make a commitment towards digital marketing in Basque, so that publishing content in Basque over the internet is both socially and economically cost-effective.
The strategy for the Digital Environment of the Basque Language needs to take two aspects into consideration: supply and demand. Publishing content in Basque is of no use whatsoever unless consumer habits in Basque are strengthened.
In view of all this, it is essential to develop knowledge and build awareness by influencing the use aspect. We need to develop an active user community that will spread the offer of Basque content and make it feasible.
If we hope to successfully develop the digital strategy the Basque language needs, unified, consensus-based leadership is essential. The reports and strategies produced so far have been restricted to recommendations, or else responsibility for the subject has been spread among different organisations.
That is why, to be able to implement the necessary measures in a consensual way, one of the cornerstones of the digital strategy for the Basque language will be to appoint a legitimate organisation that will be responsible for designing, developing and updating the strategy.