Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Welsh language

Difficulty: 0

Welsh is a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in

Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically it has also

been known in English as "the British tongue", "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".

The 2011 UK Census counted almost 3 million residents of Wales. Of these, 73% reported

having no Welsh language skills. Of the residents of Wales aged three and over, 19% reported

being able to speak Welsh, and 77% of these were able to speak, read, and write the language.

This can be compared with the 2001 Census, in which 20.8% of the population reported

being able to speak Welsh. In surveys carried out between 2004 and 2006, 57% of Welsh speakers

described themselves as fluent in the written language.

A greeting in Welsh is one of 55 languages included on the Voyager Golden Record chosen

to be representative of Earth in NASA's Voyager program launched in 1977. The greetings are

unique to each language, with the Welsh greeting being Iechyd da i chwi yn awr ac yn oesoedd,

which translates into English as "Good health to you now and forever".

The Welsh Language Measure 2011 gave the Welsh language official status in Wales, making

it the only language that is de jure official in any part of the United Kingdom, English

being de facto official.

Road signs in Welsh Throughout Wales, roadsigns are bilingual

with Welsh and English. History

Welsh emerged in the 6th century from Common Brittonic, the common ancestor of Welsh, Breton,

Cornish and the extinct language known as Cumbric.

Four periods are identified in the history of Welsh, with rather indistinct boundaries:

The period immediately following the language's emergence from Brittonic is sometimes referred

to as Primitive Welsh; this was followed by the Old Welsh period, considered to stretch

from the beginning of the 9th century to the 12th century. The Middle Welsh period is considered

to have lasted from then until the 14th century, when the Modern Welsh period began, which

in turn divided into Early and Late Modern Welsh.

The name Welsh originated as an exonym given to its speakers by the Anglo-Saxons, meaning

"foreign speech". The native term for the language is Cymraeg and Cymru for "Wales".

Density of the Welsh speaking population

Welsh has been spoken continuously in Wales throughout recorded history but by 1911 it

had become a minority language, spoken by 43.5% of the population. While this decline

continued over the following decades, the language did not die out. By the start of

the twenty-first century, numbers had begun to increase again. The 2004 Welsh Language

Use Survey showed 21.7% of the population of Wales to be Welsh speakers, compared with

20.8% in the 2001 census, and 18.5% in 1991. The 2011 census, however, showed a slight

decline to 562,000, or 19% of the population. The census also showed a "big drop" in the

number of speakers in the Welsh-speaking heartlands, with the number dropping to under 50% in Ceredigion

and Carmarthenshire for the first time. The number of Welsh speakers in the rest of

Britain has not yet been compiled for statistical purposes. In 1993, the Welsh-language television

channel S4C published the results of a survey into the numbers of people who spoke or understood

Welsh, which estimated that there were around 133,000 Welsh-speakers living in England,

about 50,000 of them in the Greater London area. The Welsh Language Board, on the basis

of an analysis of the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, estimated there

were 110,000 Welsh-speakers in England, and another thousand in Scotland and Northern

Ireland. Welsh-speaking communities persisted well

on into the modern period across the border with England. Archenfield was still Welsh

enough in the time of Elizabeth for the bishop of Hereford to be made responsible, together

with the four Welsh bishops, for the translation of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer

into Welsh. Welsh was still commonly spoken here in the first half of the nineteenth century,

and churchwardensnotices were put up in both Welsh and English until about 1860.

Historically, large numbers of Welsh people spoke only Welsh. Over the course of the twentieth

century this monolingual population "all but disappeared", but a small percentage remained

at the time of the 1981 census. Most Welsh speakers in Wales also speak English. However,

many 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, even

within a single discourse. Welsh as a first language is largely concentrated

in the north and west of Wales, principally Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Anglesey, Carmarthenshire,

north Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, parts of Glamorgan, and north-west and extreme south-west

Powys, although first-language and other fluent speakers can be found throughout Wales.

Official status Although Welsh is a minority language, support

for it grew during the second half of the 20th century, along with the rise of organisations

such as the nationalist political party Plaid Cymru from 1925 and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

from 1962. The Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government

of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages be treated equally in the

public sector, as far as is reasonable and practicable. Each public body is required

to prepare for approval a Welsh Language Scheme, which indicates its commitment to the equality

of treatment principle. This is sent out in draft form for public consultation for a three-month

period, whereupon comments on it may be incorporated into a final version. It requires the final

approval of the now defunct Welsh Language Board. Thereafter, the public body is charged

with implementing and fulfilling its obligations under the Welsh Language Scheme. The list

of other public bodies which have to prepare Schemes could be added to by initially the

Secretary of State for Wales, from 19931997, by way of Statutory Instrument. Subsequent

to the forming of the National Assembly for Wales in 1997, the Government Minister responsible

for the Welsh language can and has passed Statutory Instruments naming public bodies

who have to prepare Schemes. Neither 1993 Act nor secondary legislation made under it

cover the private sector, although some organisations, notably banks and some railway companies,

provide some of their literature through the medium of Welsh.

On 7 December 2010, the Welsh Assembly unanimously approved a set of measures to develop the

use of the Welsh language within Wales. On 9 February 2011, this measure received Royal

Approval and was passed, thus making the Welsh language an officially recognised language

within Wales. The Measure: confirms the official status of the Welsh

language; creates a new system of placing duties on

bodies to provide services through the medium of Welsh;

creates a Welsh Language Commissioner with strong enforcement powers to protect the rights

of Welsh speakers to access services through the medium of Welsh;

establishes a Welsh Language Tribunal; gives individuals and bodies the right to

appeal decisions made in relation to the provision of services through the medium of Welsh

creates a Welsh Language Partnership Council to advise Government on its strategy in relation

to the Welsh language; allows for an official investigation by the

Welsh Language Commissioner of instances where there is an attempt to interfere with the

freedom of Welsh speakers to use the language with one another.

With the passing of this measure, public bodies and some private companies will be required

to provide services in it, though it remains to be seen which companies will have to comply.

The Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, said, "The Welsh language is a source of great

pride for the people of Wales, whether they speak it or not, and I am delighted that this

Measure has now become law. I am very proud to have steered legislation through the Assembly

which confirms the official status of the Welsh language; which creates a strong advocate

for Welsh speakers and will improve the quality and quantity of services available through

the medium of Welsh. I believe that everyone who wants to access services in the Welsh

language should be able to do so, and that is what this government has worked towards.

This legislation is an important and historic step forward for the language, its speakers

and for the nation." The measure was not welcomed warmly by all supporters; Bethan Williams,

chairperson of language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, gave a mixed response to

the move, saying, "Through this measure we have won official status for the language

and that has been warmly welcomed. But there was a core principle missing in the law passed

by the Assembly before Christmas. It doesn't give language rights to the people of Wales

in every aspect of their lives. Despite that, an amendment to that effect was supported

by 18 Assembly Members from three different parties, and that was a significant step forward."

On 5 October 2011, Meri Huws, Chair of the Welsh Language Board was appointed the new

Welsh Language Commissioner. In a statement released by her, she said that she was "delighted"

to have been appointed to the "hugely important role", adding, "I look forward to working

with the Welsh Government and organisations in Wales in developing the new system of standards.

I will look to build on the good work that has been done by the Welsh Language Board

and others to strengthen the Welsh language and ensure that it continues to thrive." First

Minister Carwyn Jones said that Meri will act as a champion for the Welsh language,

though some had concerns over her appointment; Plaid Cymru spokeswoman Bethan Jenkins said,

"I have concerns about the transition from Meri Huws's role from the Welsh Language Board

to the language commissioner, and I will be asking the Welsh government how this will

be successfully managed. We must be sure that there is no conflict of interest, and that

the Welsh Language Commissioner can demonstrate how she will offer the required fresh approach

to this new role." She started her role as the Welsh Language Commissioner on 1 April

2012. Local councils and the National Assembly for

Wales use Welsh, to varying degrees, issuing their literature and publicity in Welsh versions

and most road signs in Wales are in English and Welsh, including the Welsh placenames.

However, some references to destinations in England are still given in English only, even

where there are long-established Welsh names. Since 2000, the teaching of Welsh has been

compulsory in all schools in Wales up to age 16, and that 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 non-Welsh-speaking parents from elsewhere in the UK grow up with a knowledge

of or complete fluency in the language. Although most road signs throughout Wales

are bilingual, the wording on currency is in English only. The one exception is the

legend on Welsh pound coins dated 1985, 1990 and 1995: Pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad, which means

"True am I to my country") and derives from the national anthem of Wales, Hen Wlad Fy

Nhadau. The new British coinage from 2008 will not bear any Welsh language at all, despite

being designed by a resident of North Wales and being minted at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant,

South Wales. Although many shops employ bilingual signage, Welsh still rarely appears on product

packaging or instructions. The UK government has ratified the European

Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Welsh.

The language has greatly increased its prominence since the creation of the television channel

S4C in November 1982, which until digital switchover in 2010 broadcast 70% of Channel

4's programming along with a majority of Welsh language shows during peak viewing hours.

The all-Welsh-language digital station S4C Digidol is available throughout Europe on

satellite and online throughout the UK. Since the digital switchover was completed in South

Wales on 31 March 2010, S4C Digidol became the main broadcasting channel and fully in

Welsh. The main evening television news provided by the BBC in Welsh is available for download.

There is also a Welsh-language radio station, BBC Radio Cymru, which was launched in 1977.

There is, however, no daily newspaper in Welsh, the only Welsh-language national newspaper

Y Cymro being published once a week. A daily newspaper called Y Byd was scheduled to be

launched on 3 March 2008, but was scrapped, owing to poor sales of subscriptions and the

Welsh Government deeming the publication not to meet the criteria necessary for the kind

of public funding it needed to be rescued. There is, however a Welsh-language online

news service which publishes online news stories in Welsh called Golwg360.

Persons applying for naturalisation in the UK are required to have both an understanding

of life in the UK and sufficient knowledge of either the Welsh language, English or Scottish

Gaelic. Vocabulary

Welsh vocabulary draws mainly from original Brittonic words, with some loans from Latin,

and English. Orthography

Welsh is written in a Latin alphabet traditionally 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

In contrast to English practice, "w" and "y" are considered vowel letters in Welsh along

with "a", "e", "i", "o" and "u". The letter "j" is used in many everyday words

borrowed from English, like jam, jôc "joke" and garej "garage". The letters "k", "q",

"v", "x", and "z" are used in some technical terms, like kilogram, volt and zero, but in

all cases can be, and often are, replaced by Welsh letters: cilogram, folt and sero.

The letter "k" was in common use until the sixteenth century, but was dropped at the

time of the publication of the New Testament in Welsh, as William Salesbury explained:

"C for K, because the printers have not so many as the Welsh requireth". This change

was not popular at the time. The most common diacritic is the circumflex,

which disambiguates long vowels, most often in the case of homographs, where the vowel

is short in one word and long in the other: e.g. man "place" vs mân "fine", "small".

Grammar Phonology

The phonology of Welsh is characterised by a number of sounds that do not occur in English

and are typologically rare in European languages, specifically the voiceless alveolar lateral

fricative [ɬ], voiceless nasal stops [m̥], [n̥], and [ŋ̊], and voiceless rhotic [r̥].

Stress usually falls on the penultimate syllable in polysyllabic words, while the word-final

unstressed syllable receives a higher pitch than the stressed syllable.


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".

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.


The canonical word order in Welsh is verbsubjectobject. Colloquial Welsh inclines very strongly towards

the use of auxiliaries with its verbs. The present tense is constructed with bod as an

auxiliary verb, with the main verb appearing as a verbnoun after the particle yn:

Mae Siân yn mynd i Lanelli Siân is going to Llanelli.

Here mae is the third-person present form of bod, and mynd is the verb meaning "go".

The imperfect is constructed in a similar manner, as are the periphrastic forms of the

future and conditional tenses. In the preterite, future, and conditional

tenses, there are inflected forms of all verbs. However, it is more common nowadays in speech

to use the verbnoun together with the inflected form of gwneud, so "I went" can be Mi es i

or Mi wnes i fynd. Mi is an example of a preverbal particle; such particles are common in Welsh.

Welsh lacks pronouns for constructing subordinate clauses; instead, preverbal particles and

special verb forms are used. Other features of Welsh grammar

Possessives as direct objects of verbnouns The Welsh for "I like Rhodri" is Dw i'n hoffi

Rhodri, where Rhodri is in a possessive relationship with hoffi. With personal pronouns, the possessive

form of the personal pronoun is used, as in "I like him" : Dw i'n ei hoffiliterally,

"am I in his liking" – "I like you" is Dw i'n dy hoffi.

Pronoun doubling In colloquial Welsh, possessive pronouns - whether

used to mean "my", "your", etc., or to indicate the direct object of a verbnoun - are commonly

reinforced by the use of the corresponding personal pronoun after the noun or verbnoun:

ei dŷ e "his house", Dw i'n dy hoffi di "I like you", etc. It should be noted that this

"reinforcement" adds no emphasis in the colloquial register. While the possessive pronoun alone

may be used, it is considered incorrect to use only the personal pronoun; such usage

is nevertheless sometimes heard in very colloquial speech, mainly among young speakers: Ble 'dyn

ni'n mynd? Tŷ ti neu dŷ fi?. Counting system

The traditional counting system used by the Welsh language is vigesimal, which is to say

it is based on twenties, as in standard French numbers 70 to 99. Welsh numbers from 11 to

14 are "x on ten", 16 to 19 are "x on fifteen"; numbers from 21 to 39 are "119 on twenty",

40 is "two twenties", 60 is "three twenties", etc. This form continues to be used, especially

by older people, and it is obligatory in certain circumstances.

There is also a decimal counting system, which has become relatively widely used, though

less so in giving the time, ages, and dates. This system is in especially common use in

schools due to its simplicity, and in Patagonian Welsh. Whereas 39 in the vigesimal system

would be pedwar ar bymtheg ar hugain, in the decimal system it would be tri deg naw.

While there is only one word for "one", it triggers the soft mutation of feminine nouns,

other than those beginning with "ll" and "rh". There are separate masculine and feminine

forms of the numbers "two", "three" and "four", which must agree with the grammatical gender

of the objects being counted. Dialects

There is no standard or definitive form of the Welsh language. Although Northern and

Southern Welsh are the two main dialects, additional variations exist between counties.

In the 1970s, there was an attempt to standardise the language by teaching 'Cymraeg Byw' - a

colloquially-based form of Welsh. But the attempt largely failed because it did not

encompass the regional differences used by native Welsh speakers.

The differences in dialect are marked in pronunciation and vocabulary but also in minor points of

grammar. For example: consider the question "Do you want a cuppa?" In the north this would

typically be Dach chi isio panad? while in the south it would be more likely Ych chi'n

moyn dishgled?. An example of a pronunciation difference between Northern and Southern Welsh

is the tendency in southern dialects to palatalise the letter "s", e.g. mis, would tend to be

pronounced [miːs] in the north, and [miːʃ] in the south. This normally occurs next to

a high front vowel like , although exceptions include the pronunciation of sut "how" as

[ʃʊd] in the south. Much more fine-grained classifications exist

beyond north and south: the book Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg: cyflwyno'r tafodieithoedd

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 as describing six different regions which could be identified

as having words specific to those regions. An alternative traditional classification

was of four dialects - Y Wyndodeg, the language of Gwynedd; Y Bowyseg, the language of Powys;

Y Ddyfedeg, the language of Dyfed; and Y Wenhwyseg, the language of Gwent and Morgannwg.

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,

but a survey in the 1970s showed that the language in Patagonia is consistent throughout

the lower Chubut valley and in the Andes. Registers

Modern Welsh can be considered to fall broadly into two main stylesColloquial Welsh and

Literary Welsh. The grammar described on this page is that of Colloquial Welsh, which is

used in most speech and informal writing. Literary Welsh is closer to the form of Welsh

standardised by 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:

Amongst the characteristics of the literary, as against the spoken, language are a higher

dependence on inflected verb forms, different usage of some of the tenses, less frequent

use of pronouns and a much lesser tendency to substitute English loanwords for native

Welsh words. In addition, more archaic pronouns and forms of mutation may be observed in Literary

Welsh. Examples of sentences in literary and colloquial

Welsh In fact, the differences between dialects

of modern spoken Welsh pale into insignificance compared to the difference between some forms

of the spoken language and the most formal constructions of the literary. The latter

is considerably more conservative and is the language used in Welsh translations of the

Bible, amongst other things. Gareth King, author of a popular Welsh grammar, observes

that "The difference between these two is much greater than between the virtually identical

colloquial and literary forms of English". A grammar of Literary Welsh can be found in

A Grammar of Welsh by Stephen J. Williams, or more completely in Gramadeg y Gymraeg by

Peter Wynn Thomas. The labels colloquial and literary are in

fact convenient approximations: literary constructions occur in formal writing and speech while the

majority of Welsh writing found on the Internet or in magazines, is closer to colloquial usage.

This has also become more common in artistic literature, as in English.

Welsh Bible

The Bible translations into Welsh helped to maintain the use of Welsh in daily life. The

New Testament was translated by William Salesbury in 1567 followed by the complete Bible by

William Morgan in 1588. Welsh in education

The decade around 1840 was a period of great social upheaval in Wales, manifested in the

Chartist movement. In 1839, 20,000 people marched on Newport, resulting in a riot when

20 people were killed by soldiers defending the Westgate Hotel, and the Rebecca Riots

where tollbooths on turnpikes were systematically destroyed.

This unrest brought the state of education in Wales to the attention of the English establishment

since 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.

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 were presumed to be unsympathetic to the non-conformist majority

in Wales. 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

since, 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. One of the

most famous Welsh born pioneers of higher education in Wales was Sir Hugh Owen. He made

great progress in the cause of education and more especially, the University College of

Wales at Aberystwyth, of which he was chief founder. He has been credited with the Welsh

Intermediate Education Act 1889, following which several new Welsh schools were built.

The first was completed in 1894 and named Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen.

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 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 at the secondary


Welsh is now widely used in education, with 20% of all pupils in Wales being taught at

Welsh-medium schools. Under the National Curriculum, it is compulsory that all students should

study Welsh up to the age of 16, either as a first language or a second language. Some

students choose to continue with their studies through the medium of Welsh for the completion

of their A-levels as well as during their college years. All Local Education Authorities

in Wales have schools providing bilingual or Welsh-medium education. 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 is also

taught in adult education classes. The Welsh Government has recently set up six centres

of excellence in the teaching of Welsh for Adults, with centres in North Wales, Mid Wales,

South West, Glamorgan, Gwent. and Cardiff. The ability to speak Welsh or to have Welsh

as a qualification is desirable for certain career choices in Wales, such as teaching

or customer service. All universities in Wales teach courses in Welsh. Aberystwyth, Cardiff,

Bangor, and Swansea have all had chairs in Welsh since their virtual establishment, and

all their schools of Welsh are successful centres for the study of the Welsh language

and its literature, offering a BA in Welsh as well as post-graduate courses. Following

a commitment made in the One Wales coalition government between Labour and Plaid Cymru,

the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol was established. The purpose of the federal structured college,

spread out between all the universities of Wales, is to provide and also advance Welsh

medium courses and Welsh medium scholarship and research in Welsh universities. Over the

next few years, it is expected that there will be at least 100 lecturers who teach through

the medium of Welsh in subjects ranging from law, modern languages, social sciences, and

also other sciences such as biological sciences. There is also a Welsh-medium academic journal

called Gwerddon, which is a platform for academic research in Welsh and is published quarterly.

Welsh in information technology

As with many of the world's languages, the Welsh language has seen an increased use and

presence on the internet, ranging from formal lists of terminology in a variety of fields

to Welsh language interfaces for Windows 7, Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Microsoft Office,

LibreOffice,, Mozilla Firefox and a variety of Linux distributions, and

on-line services to blogs kept in Welsh. A variety of websites are also available in

Welsh: the social networking site Facebook has offered a Welsh version since 2009, and

Wikipedia since July 2003. Mobile phone technology

In 2006 the Welsh Language Board launched a free software pack which enabled the use

of SMS predictive text in Welsh. At the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2009, a further announcement

was made by the Welsh Language Board that the mobile phone company Samsung was to work

with the network provider Orange to provide the first mobile phone in the Welsh language,

with the interface and the T9 dictionary on the Samsung S5600 available in the Welsh language.

The model, available with the Welsh language interface, has been available since 1 September

2009, with plans to introduce it on other networks.

On Android devices, user-created keyboards can be used,. On iOS devices Welsh accented

characters such as ŵ, ŷ, ô and ï are available by pressing and holding the characters on

the virtual keyboard, and the Calendar can also be shown in Welsh.

Welsh in warfare Secure communications are often difficult

to achieve in wartime. Cryptography can be used to protect messages, but codes can be

broken. Therefore, lesser-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. Welsh was not used in the Falklands War because of the Welsh-speaking

Argentine population in Patagonia. Use of Welsh at the European Union

In November 2008, the Welsh language was used at a meeting of the European Union's Council

of Ministers for the first time. The Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones addressed his audience

in Welsh and his words were interpreted into the EUs 23 official languages. The official

use of the language followed years of campaigning. Jones said "In the UK we have one of the worlds

major languages, English, as the mother tongue of many. But there is a diversity of languages

within our islands. I am proud to be speaking to you in one of the oldest of these, Welsh,

the language of Wales." He described the breakthrough as "more than [merely] symbolic" saying "Welsh

might be one of the oldest languages to be used in the UK, but it remains one of the

most vibrant. Our literature, our arts, our festivals, our great tradition of song all

find expression through our language. And this is a powerful demonstration of how our

culture, the very essence of who we are, is expressed through language."

See also

Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters English and Welsh

Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion Languages in the United Kingdom

List of Welsh-language media List of Welsh films

List of Welsh-language authors List of Welsh-language poets

List of Welsh people List of Welsh principal areas by percentage

Welsh language Welsh literature

Welsh Language Board Welsh placenames

Welsh Tract Welsh


References 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

Welsh Language Measure 2011 Available in Welsh and English.

Welsh Language Commissioner Bilgi Sitesi

Welsh language at Omniglot BBC Cymru, The history of the Welsh language

Statistical data Jones, H.. A statistical overview of the Welsh

language. Welsh Language Board. Welsh Language Board: The Vitality of Welsh:

A Statistical Balance Sheet, August 2010 Link for Welsh language statistics from the

Welsh Assembly Government Example knowledge of Welsh data from the Office

for National Statistics Dictionaries

Welsh Phrasebook at Wikivoyage Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru: University of Wales

Dictionary of the Welsh Language, a historical dictionary of Welsh

Welsh Lexicon, an online Welsh-English and English-Welsh resource

Conversational groups Mwydro Ynfyd Dedwydd Conversational Society

Cymdeithas y Dysgwyr Conversational Society Courses

Say Something in Welsh, an online beginning Welsh language course

Learning resources on the BBC website Welsh Grammar

A grammar of the Welsh language A guide to Welsh: Part 1, Part 2

The Description of Welsh language