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Yes indeed in Basque country nearly everyone who said anything to me spoke Spanish. There are a couple of old ladies in Zestoa I'm not sure about. I thought it sounded like Spanish, but was completely incomprehensible. The other old lady I talked to there was definitely speaking Spanish, but very oddly... at least 1/2 of each word seemed to be silent... and she was impatient that I had such a hard time understanding her. Eventually she gave up and started saying "A..." (the "dios" was mostly silent) and waving at me.

At the Ekainberri ticket office the woman spoke to me in Spanish but gave me the Euskara (Basque) version of the flyer with the map to the site. The tour of the site was in Spanish (with all syllables pronounced) and after that we joined a demonstration of prehistoric technology mostly for kids also in Spanish.

The toll takers on the highway said the price of the toll in Spanish. "Cinco cuarente nueve". The products in the supermarket and the pharmacy were labeled in Spanish.

I think I might have heard bits of people speaking Basque to each other, but as expected they basically all can speak Spanish and assume they'll need to with random strangers.

All the subway announcements and official signs are in both.

The Basque ethnology museum had an Orson Welles film from 1955 in English with Spanish (not Basque) subtitles. (Exhibits there and other museums are labelled in Euskara and Spanish).

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July 2012

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