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Welsh profile

  Tags: Welsh
 Language Learning Forum : Collaborative writing Post Reply
25 messages over 4 pages: 1 2 3 4  Next >>
InsanePenguin
Senior Member
Wales
Joined 6684 days ago

248 posts - 248 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 25
27 February 2006 at 11:22am | IP Logged 
I've started a Welsh profile but would appreciate some help to expand it, finding a fluent Welsh speaker would be a great help to write some information about the language rules, structure etc.

heres what I have so far...


Welsh

Usefulness:

While Welsh is a minority language it is enjoying a resurgence for the first time in years especially among younger people.

The 2001 census gives a figure of 20.5% of the population of Wales as Welsh speakers (up from 18.5% in 1991), out of a population of about 3 million; however, the same census shows that 25% of residents were born outside Wales.

While it's usefulness is largely confined to Wales there are a growing group of speakers in the United States and elsewhere.

Chic Factor:

You will certainly stand out from the crowd if you can speak Welsh it is the strongest remaining Celtic language and sounds beautiful and musical when spoken.

J.R.R Tolkien (Lord of the rings author) loved the language and it heavily influences the languages he created.
It is also considered one of the oldest languages in Europe.

Countries:

Welsh is spoken in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina

Speakers: 610,000 (according to Wikipedia)

Economic Importance: Not a lot really, unless you plan to do business in Wales and even then it is only some more remote north western parts that only speak Welsh.

Variation: Some very minor differences between North and South.

Culture: Wales has a lot of history, Wales is covered in castles like the ones built by Edward I to keep the Welsh at bay.
Following the Norman conquest Welsh independence was slipping and in 1282 Edward I of England defeated the last independent prince of Wales Llywelyn the last.
a lot of people from outside the UK forget that Wales throughout history was a fiercely independent nation and even today Wales has its own assembly and all road signs in Wales are in English and Welsh.

The Romans were also busy in Wales and there is much to see for history lovers.
Some historians also claim that the King Arthur legends all happened in Wales and not throughout Britain.

Difficulty I'd say four, Popularity one, transparency two (some may disagree, it is definitely regarded as difficult to learn) Countries spoken: 6
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curon
Bilingual Pentaglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 6702 days ago

31 posts - 42 votes
Speaks: English*, Welsh*, German, Italian, French

 
 Message 2 of 25
28 March 2006 at 9:51am | IP Logged 
Hey well done. I've been meaning to do one myself but I haven't found the time. I am a mother tongue native speaker. Let me know if I can help in any way. Diolch!

Edited by curon on 28 March 2006 at 11:39pm

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InsanePenguin
Senior Member
Wales
Joined 6684 days ago

248 posts - 248 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 3 of 25
28 March 2006 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
If you can add to the profile I've done so far, things about the language itself, use the current language profiles/write ups as a guide, hopefully then admin will add it to the main languages page.
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FuroraCeltica
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 6678 days ago

1187 posts - 1427 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French

 
 Message 4 of 25
22 December 2006 at 7:47am | IP Logged 
For Welsh "usefulness", you might want to add that it's pretty essential for people who want to work in the public sector and/or provide statutory services in Wales. I'd also add that Welsh speakers are musical people (vocal choirs etc).

Just a thought :)
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cymro
Triglot
Groupie
Wales
Joined 6267 days ago

76 posts - 98 votes 
Speaks: English*, Welsh, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 5 of 25
11 April 2007 at 2:55am | IP Logged 
Great to see this being done.

I would change/add the following. I am a fluent second language speaker, who is Welsh by birth and heritage.

Chic Factor:

You will certainly stand out from the crowd if you can speak Welsh it is the strongest remaining Celtic language and sounds beautiful and musical when spoken.

ADD. It is known to those who speak it as "The Language of Heaven".

This really is true. Put the phrase into Google to check if you like. It may have originated because the English King, Henry the Eighth banned the language from all
official usage but the language survived due to the translation of the Bible and its use in religious worship.


J.R.R Tolkien (Lord of the rings author) loved the language and it heavily influences the languages he created.
It is also considered one of the oldest languages in Europe.

This last sentence is a commonly repeated myth. The origin of it is the fact that it has the oldest post roman poetry in Western Europe. (The Gododdin a poem about a battle in around 600 AD. Actually written about a battle in Yorkshire fought against the Anglo Saxons by Welsh speakers from Southern Scotland.)


Grammar.
Welsh is a verb first language. It uses auxiliary verbs for many of its verb tenses. It also has Initial Consonant Mutations where the start of the word changes depending on the gramatical context.The large variety of noun plural types can also pose problems for the learner but fortunately the singular forms are used with numbers.


The following needs to be added somewhere. Culture perhaps.
Welsh has a unique and very beautiful form of poetry called Cynghanedd (harmony) where repeated sounds are used according to very strict rules. Examples of this form for an English speaker would be the slogan, "You'll be aMaZeD at a MaZDa" or the name "JohAN SeBAstiAN BAch".


Variation: Some very minor differences between North and South.

I would expand this. There are two major dialects North and South which originally had two subdivisions but the South Eastern form is almost extinct. There are noticable differences in accent between north and south and there is some different vocabulary. The word for "he" and differences in the way possession of an object are expressed are the most obvious differences.


Difficulty: Well I didn't find it difficult. I was able to do a TV interview after six months study BUT I had plently of practice opportunity and was able to do quite a bit of immersion in the language.

I would add here.

" There are many resources available for the English speaking learner, bilingual books, learners novels and dictionaries, special abridged and anotated classic novels and a plethora of web resources including a learners radio station that broadcasts on the web. http://www.radioacen.fm ."

Incidentally I have a web resource myself. A website for English speaking learners. It is in my profile. It has a welsh name chosen for its memorability.



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JamesBates
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
Pakistan
Joined 6003 days ago

27 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: English*, Hindi*, Arabic (Written)
Studies: Persian, German

 
 Message 6 of 25
14 December 2007 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
InsanePenguin, as far as I know there are no Welsh people who are not bilingual in English (in fact, most of them are monolingual in English), so wouldn't that reduce the usefulness of knowing Welsh to nil?
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Metacognition
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 6321 days ago

23 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Norwegian

 
 Message 7 of 25
23 December 2007 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
There are still a number of people who speak Welsh as a first language, and you will find small pockets of people (mostly very old) in the north-west who do not speak English.
1 person has voted this message useful



JamesBates
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
Pakistan
Joined 6003 days ago

27 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: English*, Hindi*, Arabic (Written)
Studies: Persian, German

 
 Message 8 of 25
23 December 2007 at 8:10pm | IP Logged 
Metacognition wrote:
There are still a number of people who speak Welsh as a first language,


So? Don't they all speak English too? I see no reason why anybody would want to learn Welsh unless they wanted to eavesdrop on the small minority whose first language is Welsh.

Metacognition wrote:
and you will find small pockets of people (mostly very old) in the north-west who do not speak English.


Alright, now we're getting somewhere. I've read there are no Welsh-speakers who do not speak English, but let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that there are a small number of very old people who speak only Welsh. I'll have to admit a knowledge of Welsh would be handy if one were to travel to the north-west and seek out those very old people and for some reason wish to converse with them.


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