Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First it was Latin, now it is Welsh.

Language is a wonderful thing, it changes to reflect the times. Most languages grow but some like Latin simply die. These forgotten languages have a history but are not used in normal conversation. The number of fluent Welsh speakers is falling by around 3,000 people a year, a new report suggests. The report says that around 6,500 Welsh speakers die annually and 5,200 move away, out-pacing adult learners and children learning or raised in Welsh. It found the number of people who say they speak Welsh fluently is approximately 300,000.

Although I have lived in Cardiff for 21 years, I do not speak Welsh. Not speaking Welsh has not put me at a disadvantage as everyone in Cardiff speaks English. Okay, people in Cardiff can sing the national anthem in Welsh after a few drinks but that is a social thing and is not normal conversation.

So I think that Welsh is going the way of Latin and will become a dead language. It will leave a heritage, just like Latin has but I do not think it will be missed. Society moves on and Welsh will become another dead language. Throughout the world there are lots of minor languages that are still spoken in small local groups and I think Welsh will become one of them. I can't see the point in our government promoting the Welsh language as it's declining use demonstrates that people don't want it. People want to speak English and not a language that has clearly had it's day. Think of all the time wasted by Welsh school children learning a language that they will not use - that seems like teachers having a political agenda to me!
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