According to statistics from 2011, the Welshuse in colloquial speech of about 580 thousand people. According to the census, a quarter of those using this language were born outside Wales. Virtually everyone who speaks Welsh knows English well. In Wales, both these languages have official status.
Dialects of language
In Welsh, like in any other,there are dialects. One of the most simplified classifications is the conditional division of all adverbs into northern and southern. Differences concern both grammatical rules, and pronunciation, vocabulary. Despite the fact that Welsh is a minority language and constantly under the pressure of English, at the end of the last century its support was observed simultaneously with the growth of nationalist movements. Often, children who have moved from England to Wales begin to speak Welsh.
Griffith Jones and the introduction of the Welsh
A great role in preserving the Welsh languageplayed the educational system of Griffith Jones schools. At the time when he began to create his famous "Circular Schools", he was 47 years old. It may seem strange that a middle-aged man, suffering from asthma and neurosis, undertook such a large-scale project. However, people like Griffith Jones, in fact, among the Welsh people a lot. The main purpose of his entire existence, Jones believed preservation of his native language. Even greater was his excitement about the spiritual state of the people after a large number of people died from an epidemic of typhus.
Using your native language is the key to success
Until the 1830s, the majoritypeasants did not have the opportunity to get education themselves or to educate their children. Only after the terrible epidemic began, a decision was made about the possibility of getting education from children from poor families. But soon the charity schools fell into decay. The Griffith Jones system was much more economical and efficient. One of its important aspects was the use of intensive training. But the most important factor was the use of Welsh in the classroom. The main feature of the schools, which preceded the innovations of Griffith Jones, was the conduct of lessons in English. This led to an increase in hostility among the population.
However, after the death of Jones, the presence of Welshlanguage by the majority of lawyers began to be considered as the main lack. It was believed that the "fix" it can only be through the widespread introduction of English. Supporters of this approach believed that the Welsh were a savage and uneducated people. This caused widespread indignation among the Welsh society.
Welsh language: reading rules
A modern version of the language was formed inend of the XVI century. Since then, he underwent only minor changes that did not affect the vocabulary. Between literary language and spoken there is a significant difference. The stress is almost always on the penultimate syllable. There are few exceptions to this rule - just a few words, where the last syllable has a diphthong. Vowels are divided into long and short. In some words there is also a peculiar "half-length". There are 29 letters in the Welsh alphabet. The orthography of the modern version of the language was formed relatively recently. An important role in this process was played by the Morgan Bible, created in the 17th century.
The first educational programs, within the framework ofwhich teaching was conducted in two languages, emerged only at the beginning of the last century. By early 2001, the number of schools where Welsh language lessons had increased to 52. The bilingual policy in Wales has proved effective. However, even at the present time, despite the constant growth of Welsh-speaking people, schools are not evenly distributed in Wales. Currently, Welsh also broadcasts various television and radio programs.
Despite all the obstacles thatgo through the Welsh language, he managed to stay alive, and successfully develop in the modern world. However, the Welsh government still faces many important tasks. First, it is necessary to further increase the number of speakers in Welsh. Secondly, the problem of language use among young people remains urgent. It is also necessary to stimulate the use of Welsh among private sector companies.
In 2007 in the city of Swansi occurred a curious case involving the use of Welsh. Since this language is official along with English, all road signs and inscriptions are made simultaneously in two languages. On one of the road signs it was necessary to make an inscription that the passage was closed. Employees of the road service turned to a connoisseur of the language, so that he made a translation into the Welsh language of this inscription. But he was on vacation and answered them with a standard message: "I'm not in the office." Since the connoisseur's answer was in Welsh, the recipients thought that this was the translation. For several months on the road hung this road sign.