SSi Forum

Is learning Welsh a waste of time?


#103

Very close to us then. I don’t know the names but may know them in passing. We have a regular grannies group for Gorslas School and three of them live on Black Lion Road, plus another couple live in Cefneithin and @margaretnock lives on Cefneithin Road too. I will ask my friends when we next meet. Many are very local and have never moved away. Would you private message me with the name you are known by, and any details which may help them identify. We are always talking about days gone by, it would be great if we can make a connection. Also, one of my friends is Joyce Thomas a retired teacher, though its a common name.
Anyway, hopefully we will find out :hugs: I might even get to practice my Welsh with them. :thinking: Did you say you some family come from Tumbl too?


#104

In fear of hijacking this thread … my dad was born in Tumble along with most of his siblings but there’s only the two left in that area now. My name is Geraint Scourfield, the surname passed down from my Taid, Brynmor, to his 5 kids, Glain, Benjamin, Iona, Tegwen and Gareth. Gareth and Iona have always lived in that area as far as I know.

Old days are the best subject, you never run out of things to talk about.


#105

Diolch! I will be in touch after chatting with a few friends. :hugs:


#106

They seem to have moved the article – that link doesn’t work, but this slightly different one does:


#107

Learning Welsh a waste of time? No, no, no! Part of the attitude, held by some English-speakers, that we don’t need to know a second language because so many others know English. I find it unfair, and extremely arrogant, to expect others to make great efforts to learn English, without us (English-speakers) learning another language in return, as appropriate. (I.e., one intuitivly expects immigrants to English-speaking countries, from outside the Anglosfere, to learn English. At that rate, it is only fair that if you, an English-speaker, ar going to spend an extended period of time in a non–English-speaking area, then you learn the language of that area.)

As for Welsh, minority languages such as Welsh hav very often been repressed by governments, probably in large part because linguistically unfying the country makes people easier to control and coerce. (Remember the Welsh Not?) I am a firm believer in the fundamental right to be free, and this includes freedom of language. Also, i despise linguistic discrimination; given that language is often closely tied to nationality / ethnicity / identity, i hav come to regard linguistic discrimination as another form of racism. Therefore, by learning Welsh or Cornish (i am learning both), you ar standing up for freedom.

As for these ‘arguments’ against Welsh. “It’s an antiquated language…” No. It is a modern, living language, and should be respected as such.
“no one of significance speaks it…” No. Rhys Ifans, who played Xenophilius Lovegood in the Harry Potter Series, is a nativ Welsh speaker. And Gwenno Saunders has released a number of songs and albums, mostly in Welsh and Cornish. (For comparison, Julie Fowlis sings in Scotch Gaelic, and Ruth Keggin sings in Manx. Songs in any of the three types of Gaelic [Irish, Scotch or Manx] ar quite beautiful.) Had Welsh not been persecuted (see below), even mor people would speak it.
“Only those of lower class speak Welsh…” The usual snobbish attitude, that a given language is only for the lower classes; pure linguistic discrimination.
“If it had value, the English would use it…” By the same token, if Finnish had value, the Russians, Swedes, and Norwegians would speak it. If Navajo had value, other Americans would speak it. Welsh or suchlike should be recognized for what it is: a legitimate language, on the same basis as other languages.
“If it’s so important why does only 20% of the population speak it?” Because of repressiv policies like the Welsh Not. Without them, far mor people – perhaps a majority of the Welsh people – would speak it. It gets better: until ~AD400, Britain (England + Wales) was part of the Roman Empire, and the people there spoke Proto-Brythonic. However, ~AD400, as the Roman Empire was collapsing, the Romans withdrew from Britain, and Germanic peoples (hence, Germans) invaded Britain and Germanized the island. The language of these Germans became English, while of Brythonic, only remnants (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) remain. So, the existence of English is arguably mor remarkable than the existence of Welsh; English would not hav come about had Germans not invaded Britain; English would hav either failed to develop, died out, or remained a minority language had the Germans not overpowered the Celtic Brits (linguistically). Celtic languages wer once widely spoken thru Europe, even out to Turkey. (Remember the Book of Galatians in the Bible? The Galatians wer Celts in central Turkey; their language was closely related to Gaulish.) I am planning to write an alternate history series, CeltWorld, where the Celts ar not overpowered by Romans or Germans, and Celtic ends up, and remains, one of the big branches of Indo-European.