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  Tags: Welsh
 Language Learning Forum : Collaborative writing Post Reply
25 messages over 4 pages: 13 4  Next >>
cymro
Triglot
Groupie
Wales
Joined 6293 days ago

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

 
 Message 9 of 25
24 December 2007 at 10:44am | IP Logged 
JamesBates wrote:
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.



This comes across as so dreadfully ignorant that I find it difficult to find where to begin. First of all this business about the North West being the only place with people more happy in Welsh is a nonsense.

People are more relaxed and at home with you if you speak THEIR language. I should have thought that this would be self-evident to any language learner.

The highest number of Welsh speakers is actually in the SOUTH. As a percentage of the population they are higher in the thinly populated north but in terms of utility it is
there are far more speakers in the south. Quite often the people who don't speak it are outsiders. More than 80% of Ceredigion ( A southern County) inhabitants who were born there speak the language. The "they all speak English anyay" argument just doesn't hold water. It ignores cultural maters that are so important with languages. Would you tell everyone to ignore Catalan because so many people speak Spanish?

There is also another poor argument. Just because one individual can't see the utility in doing something doesn't mean that that utility doesn't exist for anyone else. This thread is about helping people learn a language. If you don't want to learn it fine but please don't diminish the worth of the efforts of others.

I have seen credibile statistics that show that there are more than 30,000 people in classes every year which shows the utility exists for them.

And finally there are of people who speak Welsh but not English in the welsh colony in Argentina.






6 persons have voted this message useful



Metacognition
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 6347 days ago

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

 
 Message 10 of 25
24 December 2007 at 2:56pm | IP Logged 
I fear my remarks may have been misinterpreted there. For the record, I am English but have lived in the vicinity of Cardiff for the past 5 years.

As far as I am aware, the only real concentrations of monoglot Welsh speakers are in the North. A significant proportion (over 50%) of my friends are capable of speaking Welsh (most of them not fluently though), because it is compulsory at school, but in living here half a decade, I have yet to hear people converse in it by default or as a matter of course.

I briefly worked in a job in the capital where I was encouraged to answer the phone in Welsh as a matter of policy, and the company offered free (compulsory) Welsh lessons every thursday, but I was only there for a week, and didn't get past the basic greetings.

Edited by Metacognition on 25 December 2007 at 8:47pm

1 person has voted this message useful



JamesBates
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
Pakistan
Joined 6029 days ago

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

 
 Message 11 of 25
24 December 2007 at 8:57pm | IP Logged 
cymro wrote:
JamesBates wrote:
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.



This comes across as so dreadfully ignorant that I find it difficult to find where to begin. First of all this business about the North West being the only place with people more happy in Welsh is a nonsense.

People are more relaxed and at home with you if you speak THEIR language. I should have thought that this would be self-evident to any language learner.

The highest number of Welsh speakers is actually in the SOUTH. As a percentage of the population they are higher in the thinly populated north but in terms of utility it is
there are far more speakers in the south. Quite often the people who don't speak it are outsiders. More than 80% of Ceredigion ( A southern County) inhabitants who were born there speak the language. The "they all speak English anyay" argument just doesn't hold water. It ignores cultural maters that are so important with languages. Would you tell everyone to ignore Catalan because so many people speak Spanish?

There is also another poor argument. Just because one individual can't see the utility in doing something doesn't mean that that utility doesn't exist for anyone else. This thread is about helping people learn a language. If you don't want to learn it fine but please don't diminish the worth of the efforts of others.

I have seen credibile statistics that show that there are more than 30,000 people in classes every year which shows the utility exists for them.

And finally there are of people who speak Welsh but not English in the welsh colony in Argentina.







First and foremost, yes, people are more comfortable when you speak their default language, i.e. their first language. For example, although I am Pakistani and have been living in Pakistan for over fifteen years, English is my default language (e.g. I think in it and speak it with my family), probably because I was born in America and acquired my primary education there. Therefore, I am more comfortable when people speak English, which is my first or default language. Similarly, many of my friends, though ethnic Pakistanis and now resident in Pakistan, are more comfortable speaking and being spoken to in English, as it is their default language. As far as I know, the vast majority of the population of Wales uses English as its default language, so I doubt they would be any less comfortable speaking and being spoken to in English than in Welsh. In fact, I'm sure most of them would be MORE comfortable conversing in English than in Welsh.

Now let us turn to the small minority whose default language is Welsh. They might be slightly more comfortable speaking Welsh than English, but, given the fact that they are immersed in an English-speaking environment, I seriously doubt they are anything less than proficient in both.

It is funny you should bring up Catalan. I was discussing the language with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, he has learned the language to a degree of proficiency. When I asked him why he had learned it when he was already fluent in Spanish, he conceded it was out of fascination rather than utility. For the life of me I cannot see the utility in learning Catalan if one already knows Spanish. I guess the only utility would be being able to eavesdrop on conversations.

You are right that "just because one individual can't see the utility in doing something doesn't mean that that utility doesn't exist for anyone else." That's why I'd like you to enlighten me and show me what utility the Welsh language possesses for others.
1 person has voted this message useful



Metacognition
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 6347 days ago

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

 
 Message 12 of 25
25 December 2007 at 6:08am | IP Logged 
I am strongly in favour of preserving minority languages, for their own sake. I used to know a Cornish Revivalist, which was quite interesting.
1 person has voted this message useful



magic9man2
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6468 days ago

149 posts - 153 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: Arabic (Written), Mandarin, French, Cantonese, Russian, Korean, Taiwanese, Arabic (Levantine)

 
 Message 13 of 25
25 December 2007 at 6:59pm | IP Logged 
Interesting stuff. I've never really looked into Welsh beyond it's influence on the Elvish languages of Lord of the Rings.
1 person has voted this message useful



Metacognition
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 6347 days ago

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

 
 Message 14 of 25
26 December 2007 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
As I say, there's also the Cornish language which is in the same family, but this one is truly quite obscure now, sadly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_language
1 person has voted this message useful



Ceffyl Dwfr
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 4604 days ago

4 posts - 12 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, French, Welsh

 
 Message 15 of 25
12 November 2011 at 2:38pm | IP Logged 
"It is funny you should bring up Catalan. I was discussing the language with a friend
of mine a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, he has learned the language to a degree of
proficiency. When I asked him why he had learned it when he was already fluent in
Spanish, he conceded it was out of fascination rather than utility. For the life of me
I cannot see the utility in learning Catalan if one already knows Spanish. I guess the
only utility would be being able to eavesdrop on conversations."

Actually, I've watched films set in Catalonia (Barcelona in particular), such as
L'Auberge Espagnole, in which Castilian Spanish was of no use to the protagonist in
Barcelona because the university course he was enrolled in was taught entirely in
Catalonian, and it was also the language in which people on the streets were speaking.
I also have a friend who's been to Catalonia many times, and found, to take Barcelona
as an example again, that the street signs and such were all in English and Catalonian,
but none were in Spanish. She's also been to Galicia and told me that a lot of the
people she spoke to in Spanish couldn't speak it very well, to the extent that her
Spanish was better than theirs.

"Now let us turn to the small minority whose default language is Welsh. They might be
slightly more comfortable speaking Welsh than English, but, given the fact that they
are immersed in an English-speaking environment, I seriously doubt they are anything
less than proficient in both."

And so what? You can speak English and Urdu (I presume), and you live in a country
where Urdu is the national language (though Punjabi is also a major language in
Pakistan, right?), but that doesn't mean you never speak English and it has no worth,
does it? Or else you would've forgotten it after 15 years.

"That's why I'd like you to enlighten me and show me what utility the Welsh language
possesses for others."

I'm sorry to be so aggressive, but I really don't think you are interested in learning
anything about Welsh. Clearly you came to this forum with prejudices, and the people
above me gave very coherent and credible reasons for the preservation (and indeed
regrowth) of Welsh as a language, none of which you paid a blind bit of notice to. A
language doesn't have to be all-powerful to have worth, though it is worth pointing out
that Welsh did once have complete control, along with the other Celtic languages, over
all of Britain and Ireland, in the form of Brythonic and Pictish and an ancient form of
Irish. That their numbers have been depleted and their languages stigmatised and
trampled upon, is in a great part due to viewpoints like yours. Welsh doesn't have to
have millions of monoglot speakers to be worthy of attention. It is a language, and
like all languages, it is of equal worth. I realise this thread is pretty old now, so I
hope, in this time, you've come to see other languages with a more open mind, because
frankly, in a world where your kind of linguistic superiority reigns supreme, any
language that doesn't have vast numbers of speakers will eventually disappear. If you
truly loved languages, you would have a problem with that.
4 persons have voted this message useful



JamesBates
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
Pakistan
Joined 6029 days ago

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

 
 Message 16 of 25
12 November 2011 at 5:38pm | IP Logged 
Please stop dodging my questions. Allow me to repeat:

"That's why I'd like you to enlighten me and show me what utility the Welsh language
possesses for others."


1 person has voted this message useful



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