Still Under Threat?
I pass through many parts of Wales, and each part has a special magic brought about, I reckon, by the magic of Wales. Each area, it seems, has its own, individual community culture, and there’s a variety of countryside and local architecture. That architecture, we must remember, often echoes the past. It is part of our Welsh heritage and can tell us much about what happened in our land in times past.
The Welsh language – Cymraeg – is a very important part of our culture and heritage. There has been, at least since the 1960s, a strong and active movement to protect our language.
Alas, I have to report that Cymraeg is still very much under threat of extinction!
Up in North Wales recently, I seemed to find that most shops – both in towns and in small villages – did not have a Welsh-speaker serving there. Many of the people serving in shops did learn Welsh at school, but have never found the need to use it in their everyday lives.
And the dear old “Gog” was once a place where it would be difficult to settle in without at least trying to learn the language.
In places like Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion which were, I recall from not very long ago, strong centres of the Welsh language and culture have become very English-ised.
When I ask local folk why there’s been such a swing to English, the answer comes out the same in all places: English is the language of commerce.
And there are many, many more English people coming here as immigrants these days.
What can be done to help the survival of the ancient Welsh language, which is a Celtic tongue?
Our schools are playing their part, of course. But it’s no good learning something you’re not going to use once you leave. And I hear, too, lots of English immigrants openly ridiculing the Welsh language.
I’d be interested to hear your views, dear reader – especially if you live and work in Wales.