Carbonell Basset was born in Spain. He was educated in the US, in Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. and later joined the faculty of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. He is the creator of the Unialphabet system for bilingual dictionaries, where they are not divided into two languages. This was first used in his Spanish and English Dictionary of Idioms and in The new Dictionary of Current Sayings and Proverbs, Spanish and English, foreworded by John Simpson, of the University of Oxford. For over twenty years, Carbonell Basset was the Director of the Marshall Institute of Languages in Madrid, Spain.