Interesting Facts about the Welsh Language
Posted on May 30, 2014 by Chris
In the grand scheme of things, Welsh is quite a small language but it is still really important. There are a number of famous faces that still speak Welsh and it is this that is helping to make the language popular once again.
It is thought that just over half a million people speak Welsh, which makes it around 21% of the country’s population. According to the 2001 census just over 40% of all Welsh school children also spoke the language.
Over the years the popularity of speaking Welsh has starter to grow now, with Cardiff recently seeing a 4.4% increase in the number of Welsh speakers in the city. Research shows that Welsh is spoken more often in the North and the West of Wales but it is increasing elsewhere too
The History of The Welsh Language
We can trace Welsh back as far as being an Indo-European language and it is thought that it is an immediate decent from Brythonic language.
The Welsh Alphabet.
As first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that the Welsh language is the same as English but it actually has a few subtle differences. For starters it is actually made up of 28 letters and doesn’t have some of the English alphabet letters such as X and Z. The Welsh alphabet is made up of: a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y.
That said, often people will now include the letter j in the alphabet (between letters I and L) because it is used in several words that have made their way over from the English language. You won’t really see K, V, X and X in the alphabet but they are used in more technical and measuring terms such as kilogram and zero.
As there are difference in the alphabet you might find it hard to learn the language at first. That said as Wales is so close to England there are many different words and phrases that have snuck their way over the border which can make life easier too. Of course if you visit Wales you’ll also see lots of brand names and shops which you’ll recognise the name of, which is also a step towards making life learning to speak Welsh much easier for you.