The PuntuEUS Observatory has measured the digital health of the Basque language

  • 17% of Internet websites use Basque.
  • .EUS has launched a campaign to cross the 5,000 domain mark by offering an 80% price reduction in December.

The PuntuEUS Observatory was presented by the PuntuEUS Foundation at a press conference held today at the Kafe Antzokia in Bilbao. The task of the Observatory is to analyse, quantitatively and qualitatively, the presence and health of the Basque language on the Internet. To do this, it measures 3 spheres: the situation of the .EUS domain, the presence of the Internet in the Basque Country, and the situation of Basque on the Internet.

As Josu Waliño, the chairman of the PuntuEUS Foundation, pointed out, “until now we have had no data to gauge the success of the .EUS domain nor to measure the digital health of the Basque language. We have often said that Basque enjoys good health on the Internet, that it has a healthy digital community, that it is well positioned on the Internet among the dominant languages, but we have had very little data available to confirm this. We have never measured the level of success of the Basque language on the Internet, nor the presence of the Internet itself in the Basque Country to see how many Basque websites there are on the Internet, and how many of them have content in Basque. Until now we have not been able to find out the extent to which the .EUS domain has penetrated the Internet, nor what its level of penetration should be. The PuntuEUS Observatory has come about to fill this gap by offering the whole of Basque society a useful tool to assist in specifying the strategy and policies needed to reinforce the presence that Basque has on the Internet”.

According to the PuntuEUS Observatory, the use of Basque on the Internet amounts to 17%. Or, to be more precise, 17% of the websites present in the main Internet domains (.eus, .com, .es, .org, etc.) use Basque. This is a little higher than in the street, but not much. According to the latest measurement made by the Street Use of Basque Survey, the use of Basque in the street is 13.3%.

When analysing the percentage of domain names that have content in Basque and which belong to the main Internet TLDs (Top Level Domains), the .EUS domain stands out as the TLD that uses Basque the most. In this case, the number of domains that have Basque amount to 88% of the domains, while the percentage of websites with no Basque content is 12%. So the .EUS domain can be said to be the digital “lungs” of the Basque language. As regards the remaining domains, the presence of Basque on their websites is below 20% in most cases. Today, there are a total of 16,559 websites with content in Basque in the Basque Country, and 4,500 of them use the .EUS domain name.

As regards the whole of the Basque Country’s Internet market, .COM and .ES are the main TLDs, which together account for 77% of the market. The remaining TLDs have a small market share. So far, only 2% of the domain names registered in the Basque Country are .EUS ones, which is on a par with the .INFO domain.

In its first year of life, 4,500 .EUS domain names were registered: 34% of them were registered by companies, 19% by public institutions, and 15% by organisations in the field of the Basque language and Basque culture. Many websites have made the leap to .EUS, which has resulted in the .EUS domain being rated in fourth position in terms of quality and with respect to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) among the 783 new domain names in the world.

As regards the .EUS domain’s geographical distribution, it is spread all over the world and 10% of the registrations were made outside the Basque Country. When analysing the data on the registrations made in the Basque Country, imbalances emerge between the different territories, and it becomes clear that the presence of the domain is greater in the territories where the Basque language is stronger.

Methodology and collaboration

To be able to conduct this analysis, we used two strategies to calculate the Basque, Spanish, English and French content across all the domains: domain level crawling and domain level web searches. In addition to these automatic strategies, the presence of Basque in the case of the .EUS domains was measured manually, thus achieving a higher level of precision. With respect to domain distribution, the following domains were analysed: the gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) .EUS, .COM, .NET, .INFO, .ORG and .BIZ, and the ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains) .ES, .FR, and .EU.

The PuntuEUS Observatory project is an initiative of the PuntuEUS Foundation. The PuntCAT Foundation, Elhuyar, Gaindegia & Euskalgeok and the sociolinguist Beñat Garaio also assisted in producing the report. This project has received funding for Internet publishing from the Sub-Ministry for Language Planning of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community (region).

Let’s make it 5,000!

In December, the domain for 9.95

It is clear that the .EUS Internet community knows no limits since it was launched in 2007. The domain has been turned into a reality and now it has to go on growing by taking the leap from 4,500 to 5,000 by the end of this year.

In this challenge the aim is to attract 500 new domain names to the digital Basque language community. To celebrate the first anniversary of the .EUS domain and International Day of the Basque Language, and to meet this challenge and facilitate the achieving of the aim, it will be possible to take advantage of a unique offer from 3 December until the end of the month and obtain the domain for 9.95 euros, an 80% price reduction!

Let’s make it 5,000! Come on! Why not set up your own dotEUS?