Our guest on today’s podcast is Josu Walino, CEO of the .EUS domain registry. .EUS is the top-level domain (TLD) for the Basque (Euskara) Community, the unique linguistic and cultural community which is found in a region of Northern Spain and Southern France.
Click on the player below to play the podcast, or download it here: 19:08; 11MB; MP3.
.EUS is “not a geographical TLD” Josu explains. The Basque country includes three different political administrative areas: the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain, and the Northern Basque Country in France. Furthermore, there are Basque speakers all over the world. It is a global community, and .EUS is designed to represent them and their language and culture.
As an Irish-speaker, I’m always interested in the experience of minority language speakers in other countries. Josu describes a significant difference from the Irish education system, in that Basque is the primary language of instruction in the majority of schools.
We are agreed that the internet has been a huge benefit to minority languages, connecting speakers of those languages, and routing around the roadblocks of a monolingual world. But Josu feels that communities need something to rally around, to pull them together, and he believes the .EUS domain can play that role.
“Having our own TLD is something that helps to have your own community located on, and to foster the presence of your language on the internet. We always say that the internet is like a huge universe, and .EUS is like our own galaxy for our own language”
.EUS conducts research each year on the usage of the Basque language online. For .EUS domains, it is a condition of their registration that they use the Basque language (or alternatively that they contain information about Basque language or culture).
Going forward, Josu’s goal is to grow the .EUS top-level domain and become the number 3 domain in the Basque country, after .COM and .ES.