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The Colours Flag of Wales.svg Yr Lliwiau
Saesneg Cymraeg
Red       Coch
Orange       Oren
Yellow       Melyn
Green       Gwyrdd
Blue       Glas
Purple       Glasgoch
Brown       Brown
Pink       Pinc
White       Gwyn
Grey       Llwyd
Black       Du

Template:Infobox Language

Welsh (Cymraeg or y Gymraeg, pronounced [kəmˈrɑːɨɡ], [ə ɡəmˈrɑːɨɡ]), is a member of the Brythonic branch of Celtic spoken natively in Wales (Cymru), in England by some along the Welsh border, and in the Welsh immigrant colony in the Chubut Valley, in Argentine Patagonia.

There are also speakers of Welsh throughout the world, most notably in the rest of Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

Due to the increasing use of the English language the numbers of Welsh speakers had been declining for decades. However, following a number of measures, including the introduction of the Welsh Language Act 1993, Welsh has enjoyed a strong revival in recent years and has an equal status with English in the public sector in Wales. It is the most spoken Celtic language.

See Welsh English for the English language as spoken in Wales.

Status[edit]

File:Wales.cardiff.slow.arp.750pix.jpg
Bilingual road markings in Wales

The 2004 Welsh Language Use Survey shows 21.7% of the population of Wales are Welsh speakers. This is an increase from 20.5% in the 2001 census, and from 18.5% in 1991. The 2001 census also shows that about 25% of Welsh residents were born outside Wales. The number of Welsh speakers in the rest of Britain is unknown. In 1993, S4C, the Welsh-language TV channel published the results of a survey into the numbers of people who speak or understand Welsh, and this estimated that there were some 133,000 Welsh-speakers living in England, about 50,000 of them in the Greater London area and border towns and villages in the Welsh Marches such as Oswestry. [1]

Historically, large numbers of Welsh people spoke only Welsh, but monoglot Welsh speakers are now virtually non-existent. Almost without exception, Welsh speakers also speak English (or, among those in Chubut Province, Spanish). However, a large number of Welsh speakers are more comfortable expressing themselves in Welsh than in English. A speaker's choice of language can vary according to the subject domain and the social context (known in linguistics as code-switching).

Although Welsh is a minority language, support for the language grew during the second half of the 20th century, along with the rise of organisations such as the nationalist political party Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Language Society, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg.

Welsh as a first language is largely concentrated in the less urban north and west of Wales, principally Gwynedd, Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych), Anglesey (Ynys Môn), Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin), north Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro), Ceredigion, parts of west Glamorgan (Morgannwg), north-west and extreme south-west Powys, although first-language and other fluent speakers can be found throughout Wales.

Bilingual road sign in Cardiff.

Welsh is a living language, used in conversation by thousands and seen throughout Wales. The Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages should be treated equally. Public bodies are required to prepare and implement a Welsh Language Scheme. Local councils and the Welsh Assembly use Welsh as an official language, issuing official literature and publicity in Welsh versions (e.g. letters to parents from schools, library information, and council information) and all road signs in Wales should be in English and Welsh, including the Welsh versions of place names. The teaching of Welsh is now compulsory in all schools in Wales up to age 16, and this has had a major effect in stabilising and to some extent reversing the decline in the language. It means, for example, that even the children of English monoglot migrants to Wales grow up with a knowledge of the language. However, the vast majority of people in the main population centres of South Wales do not use the language in daily life.

The UK government has ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect to Welsh.

The language has greatly increased its prominence since the creation of the television channel S4C in November 1982, which broadcasts exclusively in Welsh during peak viewing hours. The main evening television news provided by the BBC in Welsh is available for download (Real Media).

Since December 2001 the British Government has planned to ensure that all immigrants know English. It remains to be seen if Welsh will be considered a separate case. At present, a knowledge of either Welsh, English or Scottish Gaelic is sufficient for naturalisation purposes and it is believed that this policy will be continued in any proposed changes to the law.

History[edit]

Like most languages, there are identifiable periods within the history of Welsh, although the boundaries between these are often indistinct.

Old Welsh[edit]

The earliest extant sources of a language identifiable as Welsh go back to about the 6th century, and the language of this period is known as Early Welsh. Very little of this language remains. The next main period, somewhat better attested, is Old Welsh (Hen Gymraeg) (9th to 11th centuries); poetry from both Wales and Scotland has been preserved in this form of the language. As Germanic and Gaelic colonisation of Great Britain proceeded, the Brythonic speakers in Wales were split off from those in northern England, speaking Cumbrian, and those in the south-west, speaking what would become Cornish, and so the languages diverged. Both Canu Aneirin and Canu Taliesin were in this era.

Middle Welsh[edit]

Middle Welsh (or Cymraeg Canol) is the label attached to the Welsh of the 12th to 14th centuries, of which much more remains than for any earlier period. This is the language of nearly all surviving early manuscripts of the Mabinogion, although the tales themselves are certainly much older. It is also the language of the existing Welsh law manuscripts. Middle Welsh is reasonably intelligible, albeit with some work, to a modern-day Welsh speaker.

Modern Welsh[edit]

Modern Welsh can be divided into two periods. The first, Early Modern Welsh ran from the 14th century to roughly the end of the 16th century and was the language used by Dafydd ap Gwilym.

Late Modern Welsh[edit]

Late Modern Welsh began with the publication of William Morgan's translation of the Bible in 1588. Like its English counterpart, the King James Version, this proved to have a strong stabilising effect on the language, and indeed the language today still bears the same Late Modern label as Morgan's language. Of course, many minor changes have occurred since then.

19th century[edit]

The language enjoyed a further boost in the 19th century, with the publication of some of the first complete and concise Welsh dictionaries. Early work by Welsh lexicographic pioneers such as Daniel Silvan Evans ensured that the language was documented as accurately as possible, and modern dictionaries such as the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (the University of Wales Dictionary), are direct descendants of these dictionaries.

However, the influx of English workers during the Industrial Revolution in Wales from about 1800 led to a substantial dilution of the Welsh-speaking population of Wales. English migrants seldom learnt Welsh and their Welsh colleagues tended to speak English in mixed Welsh–English contexts, and bilingualism became almost universal. The legal status of Welsh was inferior to that of English, and so English gradually came to prevail, except in the most rural areas, particularly in north west and mid Wales. An important exception, however, was in the non-conformist churches, which were strongly associated with the Welsh language.

20th and 21st centuries[edit]

By the twentieth century, the numbers of Welsh speakers were shrinking at a rate which suggested that it would be extinct within a few generations. The 10-yearly census first started to ask language questions in 1891, by which time 54% of the population still spoke Welsh. The percentage fell with every subsequent census, until reaching an all-time low in 1981 (19%). In 1991 the position was stable (19% as in 1981) and in the most recent census, 2001, it has risen to 21% able to speak Welsh. The 2001 census also recorded that 20% could read Welsh, 18% could write Welsh, and 24% could understand Welsh. Furthermore, the highest proportion of Welsh speakers was among young people, which bodes well for the future of Welsh. In 2001, 39% of children aged 10 to 15 were able to speak, read and write Welsh (many of them having learned it in school), compared with 25% of 16 to 19 year olds. However, the percentage of Welsh speakers in areas where Welsh is spoken by the majority is still in decline.

It seems that the rise of Welsh nationalism rallied supporters of the language, and the establishment of Welsh television and radio found a mass audience which was encouraged in the retention of its Welsh. Perhaps most important of all, at the end of the twentieth century it became compulsory for all school children to learn Welsh up to age 16, and this both reinforced the language in Welsh-speaking areas and reintroduced at least an elementary knowledge of it in areas which had become more or less wholly Anglophone. The decline in the percentage of people in Wales who can speak Welsh has now been halted, and there are even signs of a modest recovery. However, although Welsh is the daily language in many parts of Wales, English is almost universally understood.

Orthography[edit]

Main page: Welsh alphabet

Welsh is written in a version of the Latin alphabet consisting of 28 letters, of which eight are digraphs treated as single letters for collation:

a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y

The letters j and v, although not originally used to write Welsh, have been borrowed from the English alphabet, and are most commonly used only within names, although there are a few exceptions.

The most common diacritic is the circumflex, which is used in some cases to mark a long vowel.

Grammar[edit]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Welsh has the following consonant phonemes:

  Bilabial Labiodental Labiovelar Dental Alveolar Alveolar
lateral
Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p  b       t  d       k  g  
Affricate             (tʃ)  (dʒ)      
Nasal (m̥)  m       (n̥)  n       (ŋ̊)  ŋ  
Fricative   f  v   θ  ð s  (z) ɬ ʃ   x h
Trill         r̥  r          
Approximant     w     l   j    

/z/ occurs only in unassimilated loanwords. /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ occur mainly in loanwords, but also in some dialects as developments from /tj/ and /dj/; the voiceless nasals /m̥/, /n̥/, /ŋ̊/ occur only as a consequence of nasal mutation.

Vowels[edit]

A chart plotting the vowel formants of a Welsh speaker from Bangor.
Monophthongs Front Central Back
Close ɨː
Near-close ɪ ɨ̞ ʊ
Close mid ə
Open mid ɛ ɔ
Open a   ɑː

The vowels /ɨ̞/ and /ɨː/ occur only in Northern dialects; in Southern dialects they are replaced by /ɪ/ and /iː/ respectively. In Southern dialects, the contrast between long and short vowels is found in stressed syllables only; in Northern dialects, the contrast is found only in stressed word-final syllables (including monosyllabic words).

The vowel /ə/ does not occur in the final syllable of words (except a few monosyllables).

Diphthongs Second component
is front
Second component
is central
Second component
is back
First component is close   ʊɨ ɪu, ɨu
First component is mid əi, ɔi əɨ, ɔɨ ɛu, əu
First component is open ai aɨ, ɑːɨ au

The diphthongs containing /ɨ/ occur only in Northern dialects; in Southern dialects /ʊɨ/ is replaced by /ʊi/, /ɨu, əɨ, ɔɨ/ are merged with /ɪu, əi, ɔi/, and /aɨ, ɑːɨ/ are merged with /ai/.

Stress[edit]

Stress in polysyllabic words occurs most commonly on the penultimate syllable, more rarely on the final syllable.

The positioning of the stress means that related words or concepts (or even plurals) can sound quite different, as syllables are added to the end of a word and the stress moves correspondingly, e.g.:

ysgrif/ˈəsgriv/ — an article or essay
ysgrifen/əsˈgriven/ — writing
ysgrifennydd/əsgriˈvenɨð/ — a secretary
ysgrifenyddes/əsgriveˈnəðes/ — a female secretary

(Note also how adding a syllable to ysgrifennydd to form ysgrifenyddes changes the pronunciation of the second "y". This is because the pronunciation of "y" depends on whether or not it is in the final syllable.)

The connection between the Welsh word ysgrif and the Latin scribo "I write", from which it is derived, is fairly clear, taking diachronic sound shifts into account.

Morphology[edit]

Main page: Welsh morphology

Welsh morphology has much in common with that of the other modern Insular Celtic languages, such as the use of initial consonant mutations, and the use of so-called "conjugated prepositions" (prepositions that fuse with the personal pronouns that are their object). Welsh nouns belong to one of two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine, but are not inflected for case. Welsh has a variety of different endings to indicate the plural, and two endings to indicate the singular of some nouns. In spoken Welsh, verb inflection is indicated primarily by the use of auxiliary verbs, rather than by the inflection of the main verb. In literary Welsh, on the other hand, inflection of the main verb is usual.

Other features of Welsh grammar[edit]

Possessives as object pronouns[edit]

The Welsh for "I like Rhodri" is "Dw i'n hoffi Rhodri" ("I am liking [of] Rhodri"), but "I like him" is "Dw i'n ei hoffi fe" — literally, "I am his liking him"; "I like you" is "Dw i'n dy hoffi di" ("I am your liking you"), etc.

Significant use of auxiliary verbs[edit]

While English can either use verbs directly (e.g. "I go") or with the aid of an auxiliary verb ("I am going", here using "to be" as the auxiliary), non-literary Welsh inclines very strongly towards the latter use. In the present tense, all verbs are used with the auxiliary "bod" (to be), so "dw i'n mynd" is literally "I am going", but also means simply "I go". In the past and future tenses, there are inflected forms of all verbs (which are invariably used in the written language), but it is more common nowadays in speech to use the verbal noun (berfenw, loosely equal to the infinitive in English) together with the inflected form of "gwneud" (to do), so "I went" can be "mi es i" or "mi wnes i fynd" and "I will go" can be "mi a' i" or "mi wna i fynd". There is also a future form using the auxiliary bod, giving "fydda i'n mynd" (perhaps best translated as "I will be going") and an imperfect tense (a continuous/habitual past tense) also using "bod", with "roeddwn i'n mynd" meaning "I used to go/I was going".

Affirmative markers[edit]

Mi or fe is often placed before inflected verbs to show that they are declarative. In the present and imperfect of the verb bod (to be), yr is used instead. Mi is mainly restricted to colloquial Northern Welsh, with fe predominating in the South and in the formal or literary register. Such marking of the declarative is, in any case, rather less common in higher registers.

Counting system[edit]

The traditional counting system used by the Welsh language is vigesimal, i.e. based on twenties, as in French numbers 80-99, where numbers from 11–14 are "x on ten", 16–19 are "x on fifteen" (though 18 is more usually "two nines"); numbers from 21–39 are "1–19 on twenty", 40 is "two twenties", 60 is "three twenties", etc.

There is also a decimal counting system, favoured by younger people, more common in South Wales, and which appears to be commonly used in Patagonian Welsh, where numbers are "x tens y", e.g. thirty-five in decimal is tri deg pump (three ten five) while in vigesimal it is pymtheg ar hugain (fifteen – itself "five-ten" – on twenty).

A further complication is that while there is only one word for "one" (un) there are masculine and feminine forms of the numbers "two" (dau and dwy), "three" (tri and tair) and "four" (pedwar and pedair), which must agree with the grammatical gender of the objects being counted, though this rule is less strictly observed with the decimal counting system.

Number Vigesimal system Decimal system
1 un
2 dau (m), dwy (f)
3 tri (m), tair (f)
4 pedwar (m), pedair (f)
5 pump
6 chwech
7 saith
8 wyth
9 naw
10 deg
11 un ar ddeg un deg un
12 deuddeg un deg dau
13 tri/tair ar ddeg un deg tri
14 pedwar/pedair ar ddeg un deg pedwar
15 pymtheg un deg pump
16 un ar bymtheg un deg chwech
17 dau/dwy ar bymtheg un deg saith
18 deunaw ("two nines") un deg wyth
19 pedwar/pedair ar bymtheg un deg naw
20 ugain dau ddeg
21 un ar hugain dau ddeg un
22 dau/dwy ar hugain dau ddeg dau
23 tri/tair ar hugain dau ddeg tri
24 pedwar/pedair ar hugain dau ddeg pedwar
25 pump ar hugain dau ddeg pump
26 chwech ar hugain dau ddeg chwech
27 saith ar hugain dau ddeg saith
28 wyth ar hugain dau ddeg wyth
29 naw ar hugain dau ddeg naw
30 deg ar hugain tri deg
31 un ar ddeg ar hugain tri deg un
32 deuddeg ar hugain tri deg dau
etc.
40 deugain ("two twenties") pedwar deg
41 deugain ac un pedwar deg un
50 hanner cant ("half a hundred") pump deg
51 hanner cant ac un pum deg un
60 trigain chwe deg
61 trigain ac un chwe deg un
70 deg a thrigain saith deg
71 un ar ddeg a thrigain saith deg un
80 pedwar ugain wyth deg
81 pedwar ugain ac un wyth deg un
90 deg a phedwar ugain naw deg
91 un ar ddeg a phedwar ugain naw deg un
100 cant
200 dau gant
300 tri chant
400 pedwar cant
500 pum cant
600 chwe chant
1000 mil
2000 dwy fil
1,000,000 miliwn
1,000,000,000 biliwn

Notes:

  • The words deg (ten), deuddeg (twelve) and pymtheg (fifteen) often become deng, deuddeng and pymtheng respectively when before a word beginning with "m", e.g. deng munud (ten minutes), deuddeng milltir (twelve miles), pymtheng mlynedd (fifteen years).
  • The numbers pump (five), chwech (six) and cant (hundred) drop the final consonant when they stand immediately in front of a noun, e.g. pum potel (five bottles), chwe llwy (six spoons), can punt (a hundred pounds).
  • Larger numbers tend to use the decimal system, e.g. 1,965 mil, naw cant chwe deg pump. An exception to this rule is when referring to years, where after the number of thousands, the individual digits are spoken, e.g. 1965 mil naw chwe(ch) pump. This system appears to have broken down for years after 2000, e.g. 2005 is dwy fil a phump.
  • The number miliwn is feminine, and biliwn is masculine. It is necessary for the gender of these to be different as they can both mutate to filiwn. Two million is therefore dwy filiwn, and two billion is dau filiwn.

Dialects[edit]

Dialectical differences are very evident in the spoken, and to a lesser extent the written, language. A convenient, if slightly simplistic, classification is into North Walian and South Walian forms (or "Gog" and "Hwntw" based on the word for North, gogledd, and the South Walian word for "them over there"). The differences between dialects encompass vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar, although particularly in the last regard the differences are in fact relatively minor. Much more fine-grained classifications exist beyond north and south: the book Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg: cyflwyno'r tafodieithoedd,[2] about Welsh dialects was accompanied by a cassette containing recordings of fourteen different speakers demonstrating aspects of different dialects. The book refers to the earlier Linguistic Geography of Wales[3] as describing six different regions which could be identified as having words specific to those regions.

Another dialect is Patagonian Welsh, which has developed since the start of the Welsh settlement in Argentina in 1865; it includes Spanish loanwords and terms for local features.

An example of the difference between North and South Walian usage would be the question "Do you want a cup of tea?" In the North this would typically be "Dach chi isio panad?", while in the South the question "Dych chi moyn dishgled?" would be more likely. An example of a pronunciation difference between Northern and Southern Welsh is the tendency of Southern dialects to "lisp" the letter "s", e.g. mis (month), would tend to be pronounced [miːs] in the north, and [miːʃ] in the south.

In fact, the difference between dialects of modern spoken Welsh pale into insignificance compared to the difference between the spoken and literary languages. The latter is significantly more formal and is the language of Welsh translations of the Bible, amongst other things (although the Beibl Cymraeg Newydd — New Welsh Bible — is significantly less formal than the traditional 1588 Bible). Gareth King, author of a Welsh grammar, observes that "The difference between these two is much greater than between the virtually identical colloquial and literary forms of English" and goes so far as to state "that there are good grounds for regarding them as separate languages". He comments that whilst colloquial Welsh is a mother tongue requiring no special learning to acquire, literary Welsh is the mother tongue of no-one, and must be taught to people.[4]

Although the question "Do you want a cup of tea?" is not likely to occur in literary Welsh usage, if it did it would be along the lines of "A oes arnoch eisiau cwpanaid o de?"

Amongst the characteristics of the literary, as against the spoken, language are a higher dependence on inflected verb forms, a shift in the usage of some of the tenses, a reduction in the explicit use of pronouns (since the information is usually conveyed in the verb/preposition inflections) and a greatly reduced tendency to substitute English loanwords for native Welsh words.

Diglossia: Literary vs. Colloquial Welsh[edit]

Modern Welsh can be written in two varieties - Colloquial Welsh (Cymraeg llafar) or Literary Welsh (Cymraeg llenyddol). The grammar described on this page is that of Colloquial Welsh, which is used for speech and informal writing. Literary Welsh is closer to the form of Welsh used in the 1588 translation of the Bible and is found in official documents and other formal registers, including much literature. As a standardised form, literary Welsh shows little if any of the dialectal variation found in colloquial Welsh.

Some differences include

Literary Welsh Colloquial Welsh
Can omit subject pronouns (pro-drop) Subject pronouns rarely omitted
Extensive use of simple verb forms Extensive use of periphrastic verb forms
No distinction between simple present and future (e.g. gwelaf "I see"/"I shall see") Simple form expresses only future (e.g. gwela i "I'll see")
Subjunctive verb forms Subjunctive in fixed idioms
3rd.pl ending = –nt 3rd.pl ending = –n

In addition, more archaic pronouns and forms of mutation may be observed in Literary Welsh. A complete grammar of Literary Welsh can be found in A Grammar of Welsh (1980) by Stephen J. Williams.

Currently, most Welsh writing, especially that found on the Internet or in magazines, is closer to the Colloquial form. This is also becoming more common in artistic literature.

Examples of sentences in literary and colloquial Welsh[edit]

English Literary Welsh Colloquial Welsh
I get up early every day Codaf yn gynnar bob dydd Dw i'n codi'n gynnar bob dydd
I'll get up early tomorrow Codaf yn gynnar yfory Coda i'n gynnar fory/wna i godi'n gynnar fory
S/he had not stood there long Ni safasai yno'n hir Doedd hi/o ddim wedi sefyll yno'n hir
They'll sleep only when there's a need Ni chysgant ond pan fo angen Byddan nhw ddim ond yn cysgu pan fydd angen

Welsh in education[edit]

The decade around 1840 was a period of great social upheaval in Wales, manifested in the Chartist movement, which culminated in 20,000 people marching on Newport in 1839 resulting in a riot when 20 people were killed by soldiers defending the Westgate Hotel, and the Rebecca Riots when tollbooths on turnpikes were systematically destroyed. This unrest brought the state of education in Wales to the attention of the English establishment, as social reformers of the time considered education as a means of dealing with social ills. The Times newspaper was prominent among those who considered that the lack of education of the Welsh people was the root cause of most of the problems, although the population was generally literate in Welsh because of the activities of Sunday Schools and the need to read the Bible. In July 1846, three commissioners, R. R. W. Lingen, Jellynger C. Symons and H. R. Vaughan Johnson, were appointed to inquire into the state of education in Wales; the Commissioners were all Anglicans, and hence unsympathetic to the Non-conformist majority in Wales, and were monoglot English-speakers.

The Commissioners presented their report to the Government on 1 July 1847 in three large blue-bound volumes. This report quickly became known as Brad y Llyfrau Gleision (The Treachery of the Blue Books) as, apart from documenting the state of education in Wales, the Commissioners were also free with their comments disparaging the language, Non-conformity, and the morals of the Welsh people in general. An immediate effect of the report was for a belief to take root in the minds of ordinary people that the only way for Welsh people to get on in the world was through the medium of English, and an inferiority complex developed about the Welsh language whose effects have not yet been completely eradicated. The historian Professor Kenneth O. Morgan referred to the significance of the report and its consequences as "the Glencoe and the Amritsar of Welsh history".

In the later 19th century virtually all teaching in the schools of Wales was in English, even in areas where the pupils barely understood English. Some schools used the Welsh Not, a piece of wood, often bearing the letters "WN", which was hung around the neck of any pupil caught speaking Welsh. The pupil could pass it on to any schoolmate heard speaking Welsh, with the pupil wearing it at the end of the day being given a beating. Towards the beginning of the 20th century this policy slowly began to change, partly owing to the efforts of Owen Morgan Edwards when he became chief inspector of schools for Wales in 1907.

The Aberystwyth Welsh School (Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth) was founded in 1939 by Sir Ifan ap Owen Edwards, the son of O.M. Edwards as the first Welsh Primary School. The headteacher was Norah Isaac. Ysgol Gymraeg is still a very successful school and now there are Welsh language primary schools all over the country. Ysgol Glan Clwyd was established in Rhyl in 1955 as the first Welsh language school to teach to a secondary level.

Welsh is now widely used in education. All Welsh universities teach some courses in Welsh (most notably the University of Wales, Bangor and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth) but are primarily English language. Under the National Curriculum, schoolchildren in Wales must study Welsh up to the age of 16. Over a quarter of children in Wales attend schools which teach predominantly through the medium of Welsh. [5]. The remainder study Welsh as a second language in English-medium schools. Specialist teachers of Welsh called Athrawon Bro support the teaching of Welsh in the National Curriculum.

Welsh in information technology[edit]

Welsh has a substantial presence on the Internet, ranging from formal lists of terminology in a variety of fields [6] to Welsh language interfaces for parts of Microsoft Windows XP, a variety of Linux distributions, and some online services to blogs kept in Welsh.[7]

Welsh in warfare[edit]

Secure communications are often difficult to achieve in wartime. Cryptography can be used to protect messages, but codes can be broken. Therefore, little-known languages are sometimes encoded, so that even if the code is broken, the message is still in a language few people know. For example, Navajo code talkers were used by the United States military during World War II. Similarly, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, a Welsh regiment serving in Bosnia, used Welsh for emergency communications that needed to be secure.[8]

During the 1982 Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, there were stories of British soldiers speaking Welsh with captured Argentinian soldiers who were descendants of Welsh immigrants to the Chubut Valley in Patagonia.[citation needed]

Welsh in popular culture[edit]

In the summer of 2006, Glyn Wise and Imogen Thomas entered the Big Brother house. These were two fluent Welsh speakers and regularly spoke to each other through the Welsh language. This increased the awareness of the Welsh language dramatically in young people.

See also[edit]

Template:Portalpar

References[edit]

  1. Summary of 1993 S4C survey
  2. Thomas, B. and Thomas, P. W. Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg: cyflwyno'r tafodieithoedd, published by Gwasg Taf, ISBN 0-948469-14-5. Out of print
  3. Thomas, A. R. 1973 Linguistic Geography of Wales
  4. King, G. Modern Welsh: a comprehensive grammar, published by Routledge, ISBN 0-415-09269-8 p3
  5. Figures for 2002-03: Welsh medium or bilingual provision, Welsh Language Board
  6. The Welsh National Database of Standardised Terminology was released in March 2006.
  7. Selections of Welsh-language blogs are listed on the sites Y Rhithfro and Blogiadur.
  8. Heath, Tony (1996-08-26). "Welsh speak up for their ancient tongue". The Independent: pp. 6. 
  • J.W.Aitchison and H.Carter. Language,Economy and Society. The changing fortunes of the Welsh Language in the Twentieth Century. Cardiff. University of Wales Press. 2000.
  • J.W.Aitchison and H.Carter. Spreading the Word. The Welsh Language 2001. Y Lolfa. 2004

External links[edit]

About the language[edit]

Dictionaries[edit]

Template:Wiktionarylang

Learning the language[edit]

Template:Spoken Wikipedia

Celtic languages
BretonCornishIrishManxScottish GaelicWelsh