Basque is the last remaining pre-lndo-European language in Western Europe. Despite many attempts, no relationship with any other language has been found, and its origins remain an unsolved mystery.
Defying its minority language condition, modern Basque enjoys a vibrant life both as a spoken and a written tongue. The area where it is spoken has been shrinking over centuries, but Basque speaking schools have modestly increased the number of speakers in recent times. However, as virtually all Basque speakers are bilingual in Spanish or French, the use of the state tongues dominates on both sides of the border. The survival of the Basque language remains both an enigma and a challenge.