Just wanted to share this photo…my wife and I were in Philadelphia today to participate in the 2014 Philly Half Marathon. A few blocks past the starting line, I looked up and spied this fellow flying in the breeze. Inspirational, to be sure. Peace, friends.
Philly is a Welsh city, of course. Well, kind of.
If you look over at the western suburbs, you’ll find places called things like Bala Cynwyd, Bryn Mawr, Radnor, Colwyn, Narberth, Gwynedd, and slightly further out Montgomeryville and North Wales.
Kind of a shame it didn’t get to be as much a Welsh city as the original settlers wanted it to. My dad’s ancestors came to Pennsylvania as part of the influx of Welsh Quakers in 1730, but the first immigrants who came with William Penn in the 1680’s were hoping the Welsh Tract would become a self-governing entity using the Welsh language since many of them had no English. Penn agreed to this, but within 10 years it was all out the window…no self-governance and no official Welsh language.
That sounds like a sadly familiar story - thanks very much for sharing it, interesting.
I wonder how different the world would be if the US had established itself as a multilingual state.
That is an interesting question, but I guess I’m not sure what it would mean, or which languages would have status. The US has no official language, and despite occasional efforts by xenophobes to officially declare English the official language, it has never happened.
Martin Van Buren (the eighth president) had Dutch as his first language. Welsh was spoken in parts of central Ohio until ~1880, and probably in parts of Pennsylvania as well. There are parts of rural Pennsylvania where dialects of German are still spoken, and of course there are many places where you can go and find that Chinese or Spanish is the most often used language.
I live in San Francisco where official government publications are in 13 different languages. The wife of my neighbor on one side speaks only Korean, and the wife of the neighbor on the other side speaks only Vietnamese.
This has gotten a little longer than I’d expected. Not sure what my point was. Despite all of these facts, the vast majority of Americans are monolingual, which maybe was your original point.
Well, if nothing else it might at least have meant that my family wouldn’t have lost the habit of speaking Welsh, and perhaps I would myself have grown up speaking it instead of having to learn from scratch. I must say, my hat is definitely off to the folks who conceived of the SSiW program. I think my life would be much the poorer without it.
I thought I had read that in certain states of the USA, Spanish was recognised as an official language alongside of English.
But looking at this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_language_in_the_United_States
it is only “a Recognised minority language " in Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico”.
(Puerto Rico is an exception, as the article notes)
The USA itself has no official language, but as Mike observes some states have in fact declared one. This is mostly a recent phenomenon (since 1980) and has almost exclusively been a tool of the “english only” lobby to try to eliminate things like bilingual education in public schools.
This article describes the current status of official languages in the individual states: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States#Official_language_status
You will notice that except for Hawaii, Alaska, and a few territories, the move has always been to give English status against possible encroachment by minority languages, not to protect mintority languages or promote multilingualism.
A friend of mine today sent me this link to a site of one of his friends - quite apposite: http://www.thudmedia.com/dragon_and_eagle/index_welsh.html
Y Ddraig a’r Eryr looks interesting, but when I look at it in the AppStore, its languages are indicated as English and German, with no mention of Welsh. Does anyone have this app? If so, is any of the content in Welsh?
Although, the pages on the iTunes Store and Google Play are both written in Welsh with Welsh screenshots, so it’d be misleading to say the least if it wasn’t available in Welsh!
The problem seems to be that the AppStore links at both the English and Welsh versions of the Ddraig a’r Yreri site, pointed to above, lead to the English-language version of the iOS app.
To see the Welsh language version, go to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/y-ddraig-ar-eryr/id932895503?mt=8