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 churchwardens’ notices 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 1993–1997, 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
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".
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 verb–subject–object. 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 hoffi – literally,
"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 "1–19 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 styles—Colloquial 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.
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, OpenOffice.org, 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 EU’s 23 official languages. The official
use of the language followed years of campaigning. Jones said "In the UK we have one of the world’s
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."
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