In March 1999 the process of the Scheme to Intensify Basque Use was set up. We have been working on specific aims starting with the most simple ones: to give those who did not speak Basque the chance to learn, and to work on the oral use of Basque among those who could speak the language, to put the company’s linguistic landscape into Basque and translate the ordinary, general documents into Basque. Gradually, we began to work on technical documents and the computing area. And after that we specified the level of Basque knowledge needed to be met by each of the positions in the company.
This is in fact Eika’s main mission or goal: To make Basque the language of work and service inside Eika Etxebarria and to act as a player locally. To promote Basque in external relations as well.
We specified a language policy that would be capable of meeting the main aim; we regulated Basque use by dividing it into four areas: communication, recruitment, training and investments.
Since setting up the Scheme to Intensify Basque Use, we have been basing ourselves on the three Txepetx factors that influence the life of a language: knowledge, use and motivation. So these three factors are the ones that we are constantly planning to be able to expand the use of Basque. In addition, we have also attached particular importance to management, because appropriate management is essential to implement what has been planned and to steer the project in the right direction.
An indication of what has been achieved is having obtained the GOLD BIKAIN CERTIFICATE awarded by the Basque Government; we have in fact obtained the gold certificate twice for Basque quality.
In addition, we also participate in the EUSLAN programme set up by the Basque Government in 2015, because in EUSLAN we see an opportunity to share our experiences and good practices with companies in a similar situation, to update Basque planning and, in particular, to go on taking firm, lasting steps to turn Basque into the language of work in our companies.