SSi Forum

The Sociology of the Welsh Language


#1

Hi Everyone,

I’m a very recent starter here (currently on week 16… Level I), but, the more I’m learning, the more I’m becoming interested in the sociology of the Welsh language.

I wonder if anyone could recommend a recent book which focuses, in particular, on the challenges the language has faced in the 20th/21st century.

Many thanks,
Liz


#2

Wow! I was just about to ask a similar question. I’m watching popeth yn Gymraeg and they tell you how much the language has declined according to the census. So I’m interested in more information about how. A book or resource.

I live in South Wales and I don’t know anyone who speaks Welsh here. OK maybe one or two acquaintances. But the language is not predominant and nobody I know wants to learn. But you can’t force people. I’m noticing more the amount of Welsh speakers and there are many but maybe not much? .It’s a little demotivating, as who can I practice with if nobody yn y De (in the South) or not many speak Welsh? Yma wrth gwrs (here of course) but it’d be nice to chat in my area. And beyond.


#3

Try this - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lets-Our-Best-Ancient-Tongue/dp/1783161787
BTW, I don’t necessarily endorse buying from Amazon (this is my personal view only) and I would encourage you to search for this title elsewhere.


#4

Hi @jen. Your story is so interesting. Why do people you know say they don’t want to learn? Is the survival of the language not that important to them?

I’m a bit anxious, too, that if you’re not able to find anyone in South Wales to practice with, then I’m really going to struggle (I’m in the frozen wastes of East Yorkshire) :smile:

Do you have a link to Popeth yn Gymraeg (I’m pretty sure I will be able to understand a little, but I really enjoy trying)?

It will be interesting to see if anyone is able to offer us any suggestions.


#5

Thank you @robbruce, that’s really helpful:slightly_smiling_face:


#6

I have an earlier copy of this one which is very good (again, other retailers are available, it’s just quickest to find an Amazon link - and I am supposed to be working! :wink: ) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Welsh-Language-History-Janet-Davies/dp/1783160195

PS - this is the blurb about it from the Amazon page:
The existence of the Welsh-language can come as a surprise to those who assume that English is the foundation language of Britain. However, J. R. R. Tolkien described Welsh as the ‘senior language of the men of Britain’. Visitors from outside Wales may be intrigued by the existence of Welsh and will want to find out how a language which has, for at least fifteen hundred years, been the closest neighbour of English, enjoys such vibrancy, bearing in mind that English has obliterated languages thousands of miles from the coasts of England. This book offers a broad historical survey of Welsh-language culture from sixth-century heroic poetry to television and pop culture in the early twenty-first century. The public status of the language is considered and the role of Welsh is compared with the roles of other of the non-state languages of Europe. This new edition of The Welsh Language offers a full assessment of the implications of the linguistic statistics produced by the 2011 Census. The volume contains maps and plans showing the demographic and geographic spread of Welsh over the ages, charts examining the links between words in Welsh and those in other Indo-European languages, and illustrations of key publications and figures in the history of the language. It concludes with brief guides to the pronunciation, the dialects and the grammar of Welsh.


#7

Popeth Gymraeg is on S4C not sure if you can watch it outside Wales. I am watching it on the app but if you go on their website it’s listed under the learners category.
I’m not sure why they don’t want to learn. No motivation, they can’t be bothered and probably sadly don’t really understand or care about the language. Sad to say. I needed the motivation myself. There is a welsh learners meet up where I live or close by, maybe you could find one near you? Otherwise there’s Slack I guess. Or you could always come to Wales for a holiday, I’m hoping to go further north to practise my Welsh one day. I’m hoping I find more opportunities soon.


#8

Marvellous! Thanks so much, @siaronjames. Really appreciate the link :smiley:


#9

Thaks @jen. There is certainly a (fairly) local meet up at the end of each month in Leeds. Am hoping to get to one soon, but, so far, other the things have got in the way… Fingers crossed for the October meetup.

I’m enjoying Slack, but wonder if I would ever have the confidence to join one of the hangouts… One of these days!

We try to spend a couple of weeks each year in Anglesey and we are off there again at the end of November, just for a few days. I’m going to try to speak at least a little Welsh, if at all possible, and see what happens (hopefully won’t embarrass myself too much, not like the time I had been practising Spanish really hard before going to Spain on holiday, having very carefully asked for something in a shop in my best Spanish, I was rewarded with a broad Geordie, and very English, response…:crazy_face:).

Ahh that’s great news about S4C. I’ve been watching a few things on there, so will hunt for Popeth Gymraeg.

:slightly_smiling_face:


#10

I’m the same with the hangouts and meet ups. Maybe I’ll see you on a hangout one day. :slight_smile:


#11

That would be great!


#12

Hi Liz,
I’m a newbie, level 1 lesson 9. I live in Brighouse, would you let me have the details of the Leeds meet ups please. Thanks Zohrah


#13

Hi @zohrah. @rich is one of the people who organise the meetup…He’ll be able to give your more details, I’m sure. All I know is that they take place in a pub near the train station on the last Saturday of the month :slightly_smiling_face:


#14

This is the information on the Leeds meetups from the newsletter:

Leeds – 4th Sat of the month, 11.30, Brewery Tap, Leeds (Contact yorkshireend )


#15

Diolch yn fawr Liz and Deborah, it looks like there may be one in Bradford too.


#16

Hi @zohrah and @Deborah-SSiW

Yes, that is right - the meeting is on the fourth Saturday.

However, this month (October) there is a small problem because they have built a new platform to Leeds station and they are hooking everything up that weekend with substantial disruption and replacement bus services a.y.y.b.

Having discussed it at the last meeting with Raymond (@yorkshireend) we agreed the best thing to do was to meet a week earlier in October - so the 19th. I took an action to post this on the forum (ahem :roll_eyes:)

I have realised it’s the day before the wife’s birthday :grimacing: - fingers crossed I’ll be there!

Rich :slight_smile: