Spanish Regional Government Develops Basque Translator Powered by AI with Red Hat

Red Hat’s hybrid cloud technologies help serve more than 260,000 daily global queries


Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Basque country’s IT department, Eusko Jaurlaritzaren Informatika Elkartea (EJIE), is using Red Hat technologies to provide AI-supported digital services for its citizens. The Basque Government aims to support citizens in using the language of their choice and developed language tools within the framework of the Itzuli project, which, using AI, enables translation from Basque into Spanish, French and English, transcription of speech to text in Basque and Spanish and synthesis of text to speech in Basque, Spanish, French and English.  


At EJIE we have been working for years with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system and the Red Hat OpenShift application platform, and this technological base has allowed us to continue modernizing our applications and deploying AI to make Itzuli lighter, faster and more modular, making it easier to scale.

Xabier Arrieta

Director of Information Technology and Telecommunications of the Basque Government

Basque, considered the oldest living language in Europe, coexists with Spanish as the official language in the Basque Country, one of the 17 regional states in Spain, with 62% of the Basque Country population speaking or understanding Basque. 71% have Spanish as their mother tongue and 24% have Basque or Basque and Spanish as their mother tongues. About 5% have another mother tongue (other than Spanish or Basque). This variety of languages spoken has led the Basque Government to enhance social inclusivity with the support of 67% of the population over the age of 16, who are in favor of promoting Basque, as opposed to just 6.8%, who are against it.

EJIE, responsible for the digitalisation of public services in the Basque Country, was tasked with creating language tools for the Basque language and chose Red Hat hybrid cloud technologies to develop an IT infrastructure with increased computing capacity, portability and scalability. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a more flexible and reliable operating system foundation for the translator, while Red Hat OpenShift delivered many of the necessary capabilities to power the AI lifecycle, including support for containers with graphics processing units (GPUs).  EJIE has been able to promote the DevOps methodology by providing development teams with autonomy and tools to integrate with production teams, resulting in a product-oriented approach rather than a project-oriented one.

After establishing the technological architecture, EJIE engaged with Vicomtech, part of the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation (RVCTI), to optimize the learning algorithm and develop a Rest API to interact with different applications. In addition, the Public Governance and Self-Governance department of the Basque Government collaborated with the Basque Institute of Public Administration (IVAP) and the Department of Culture and Language Policy to train the neural networks with more than 30 years of translated documents. Together they created, for example, a translation model which takes into account the context of the translation, including colloquial and legal-administrative language.

Since its launch in 2019, the Itzuli application for mobile phones helps citizens translate Basque to and from Spanish, French and English. Itzuli has reported more than 100,000 downloads and is used by more than 30,000 users daily, with peaks of more than 260,000 queries in a single day.

With Red Hat OpenShift, which is deployed in the Basque Government's own IT infrastructure, EJIE was able to enhance its AI capabilities and is now working on a pilot project to create automatic transcriptions of judicial processes with Itzuli. The neural networks are being trained with recordings of Basque public television (EITB) and the proceedings of 12 different judicial bodies.

Supporting Quotes
Julia Bernal, country manager, Spain and Portugal, Red Hat
"We are proud to help improve Basque citizens’ digital lives through the first AI-powered Basque translator. A neural translator like Itzuli requires an elastic and flexible IT environment to respond more quickly to thousands of global queries daily about the Basque language. As the foundation of Itzuli’s success, Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux provide the required openness, standards and enhanced security capabilities needed for an AI deployment of this nature.”

Xabier Arrieta, director of Information Technology and Telecommunications of the Basque Government
"Red Hat technologies have been key to the development of the Itzuli project. At EJIE we have been working for years with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system and the Red Hat OpenShift application platform, and this technological base has allowed us to continue modernizing our applications and deploying AI to make Itzuli lighter, faster and more modular, making it easier to scale. Having the capacity to process more than 200,000 queries a day and hearing positive feedback from Basque citizens about their experience with the app gives us great satisfaction."

Additional Resources

Connect with Red Hat

  • Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

  • Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on the company’s current assumptions regarding future business and financial performance. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Any forward-looking statement in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


    Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Red Hat logo,and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.