Does Welsh Have A Future...?

Welsh should, at some level, be taught in all the bordering English counties (additionally Manchester and Birmingham). Included in this should be references to some culture and customs of the country. This would help enormously. We seem to concentrate on European languages, yet ignore what’s on our doorstep.

Many English will never change their opinion on the Welsh language, but maybe we could start to mould the next generation of incomers.


That it’s a dead language spoken only by a small percentage of the elderly and the ultra-nationalist; useless to learn because everybody already speaks English?

That’s the only negative opinion I’ve heard here in England. The only activate hatred I’ve ever heard has come from Welsh people who don’t speak the language; either from being forced to learn it in school or from receiving abuse from the more ultra-nationalist, who are often seen to represent the majority of Welsh speakers. And yes, I’m well aware that they don’t represent the majority; I’m speaking about people’s perception. Both of these problems are hard to solve, because one involves persuading people that they’re wrong about something they may have believed for many years while the other involves having as many kids as possible be taught a language at school without them feeling like they’re being forced into it.

One possibility might be to have kids learn the basics of Welsh in reception, and have the teachers read children’s books to them in Welsh or let them watch Sam Tân or Superted in Welsh; then in later years have some teachers teach in Welsh, others in English so that the Welsh language just becomes a normal part of their daily lives. In addition to that, I’d suggest scrapping single language schools entirely (Welsh or English), and having the English speaking children and Welsh speaking children mix freely in the classroom and on the playground - because good luck getting rid of the “us vs them” attitude that leads to such division over language when the Welsh speaking kids are kept separate from the English speaking kids practically from birth…

If I might use a video game as an example of how I’d like to see Wales in the future, I would point to Jade Empire, an RPG set in mythical China by Bioware. In it, there’s a minority language spoken by relatively few characters in the game, but everybody understands it. As such, someone can speak the “old tongue” as it’s known or the majority language based purely on preference, knowing that whoever they’re speaking to will understand and answer with their own preferred language. That kind of situation would take time, it would take a massive amount of work, and it would require that a lot of people start actively questioning their own beliefs (which might be the hardest bit), but I honestly see it as the best case scenario for the use of Welsh in Wales.

Well, that was wordier than expected.


That’s all I can say …

I think Welsh only schools are a necessity - in fact it will be the most single important thing that will save the language. The children have to use it and learn it easily and the best parents will learn with them.


Welsh should, at some level, be taught in all the bordering English counties

It only struck me recently how strange it is that we don’t do this. I grew up in Swydd Gaerloyw not even knowing that Welsh existed, and I have a Welsh father and a Welsh-speaking Grandfather.

(additionally Manchester and Birmingham)

They might be a tough sell, but I think there’s a case to be made for Liverpool.


Sorry, but I agree with @hectorgrey on this. They’re not. Children have to have the feeling they belong everywhere - in English and in Welsh environment and shouldn’t be “ashamed” or neglected to speak any language in any environment. However @hectorgrey’s first paragraph says it all about the isue. There are still people who nurse their preposition or even hatered toward Welsh and being Welsh, speaking Welsh etc, etc … Sad thing, but there are people who would like that Cymraeg would be dead language and are very frustrated it is not yet. Hopefully their frustration will grow bigger and bigger so big that at the end they’ll just have to speak it too.

However this all is very complex thing. All we can do is learn and speak and if we contribute at least a bit to the language to be spoken and alive it’s good. More we - here - can’t do I believe, especially not we being abroad.

Imagine the “French/Spanish/Mandarin/Portuguese is more useful” argument we already have in Wales but multiplied by a thousand. It’s a nice romantic idea, but it’s not a runner, sadly.

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Oh dear. Village Hall meeting. Everyone speaking their mother tongue. Newcomers arrive. “What’s this? We’re in Britain. We’re British. We should speak the Queen’s English!”
It happened. It used to happen a lot. The incomers honestly didn’t know that any other language was used in Britain. They certainly didn’t know that Cymraeg had a better claim to be “British” than their own language!!
In the recent program on Pen Llyn, “They ask us, ‘Do you speak Welsh every day?’” So it’s still the same!!
It makes me want to cry. I keep thinking of generations of little boys & girls finding themselves in schools where they understood nothing and were faced with an alphabet board showing a young looking chicken labelled “hen”. Clearly we don’t want to inflict the same sort of shock on children raised in English, but I strongly object to the death of our language and culture, I do not know the answer. I just pray that all those who want to save Cymraeg manage it. We managed to get road signs, S4C and a language commissioner!


Ah come on. Kids are faced with stuff they don’t understand in schools every single day. That’s kind of the point, isn’t it? I think the industrialised and institutionalised disregarding and belittling of an entire culture was a bit more complex than a few strange words on a blackboard.

Let’s face it, “os gwelwch yn dda” IS a bit of a mouthful, so it’s perhaps understandable that the simple “plis” is often used in its place.

But what I really can’t understand is, why is an English word sometimes used in place of a perfectly good and simple Welsh word? For instance, I was listening to a Welsh radio programme the other day and they were talking about food - and kept using the word “sausage”. What on earth is wrong with “selsig”?

As Welsh is fighting an uphill battle against dominance by English, surely adopting English words when there is no need to, is the thin edge of the wedge - “death by a thousand cuts”? I just don’t get it.

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“sosej”? A perfectly good Welsh word!

Bacwn, also!


But what about a composite like “pwdin du”, my favourite until I turned vegetarian?

Pwdin gwaed, actiwali. :wink:

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Reit te!

This is actually what I wanted to say. “Os gwelwch yn dda” just came to my mind because “plis” seams so strangly English to me and I never will be totally able to say it Welsh way. With “halo” is different stoy as “halo” is used in German too and is said quite similar to Welsh (Cymraeg) .

That’s why I still support using native language words instead of Wenglishisms. By so fargile language (as unfortunately Cymraeg is at the moment) implementing too much English words would be death and not developing. From importing to assimilation the line can be really tinny.

Hmmm … sosej, bacwn … and similar stuff … only good things. I’m becomming hungry guys. - haha! :slight_smile: :smiley:

Sori Tatjana, sai’n cytuno o gwbl.
(I thought you might appreciate seeing “sai’n” in use even though I can’t guarantee I’ve written it right :smile: )

It’s one of those things that only really exists in the spoken language, so I’m pretty sure that you can write it however you like. :smiley:

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Diolch, Rob

Romantic or not, I have believed for as long as I can remember that all British schools (especially those in England, and not just on the border), should teach something about the Celtic languages. Not to fluency of course, but about the basic structures, similarities and differences, pronunciation and some vocabulary (with perhaps the option to take it further for those who wanted to, and now that we have SSi, that opens up more possibilities).