I get asked this question all the time. What’s the point? Everyone in Wales speaks English, so what’s the point learning Welsh? Well, I have so many answers.
- Most people in Paris appear to speak English too. However, if I lived in Paris, I’d definitely learn to speak French better than I currently do! My personal attitude is that I live in Wales, therefore I have made an effort to speak the language of that country.
- Welsh is the closest thing we have to the original language of Britain. We have a range of evidence for this, from poetry written in archaic Welsh that comes from Scotland, to comments made by Gerald Cambrensis in his 12th century description of Wales.
- Each language you learn opens up new ideas and insights into the relevant culture. The Welsh culture is rich, vibrant, patriotic, proud, and intensely artistic and musical. For example, visiting the National Eisteddfod is an experience not to be missed, and while it’s perfectly possible to go there without knowing a word of Welsh, the experience is greatly enhanced if you can communicate a little bit in Wales’ mother tongue.
- There was a systematic attempt to stamp out Welsh by the English. That’s one of the big reasons that so few Welsh people actually speak the language now. It’s absolutely appalling when you read about it now, and supporting the Welsh language is a step towards righting that historical wrong.
- Job prospects! Working in Wales, it never hurts to be able to speak the language, particularly if you would like to work for any sort of government related group.
- Wouldn’t you like to be able to pronounce place names in Wales properly? Places like Llanfyllin, Felin-Fach, or Cwmystwyth?
- Finally – it’s so much fun! It’s a great language to learn, the community of learners is wonderful, there are events going on all over the place to encourage people to learn and make sure they enjoy themselves while they’re doing it. Learning Welsh adds a whole new dimension onto your life, particularly if you live here in Wales. There are learners of this great language all over the world; one of the finalists on Welsh Learner of the Year in 2015 was from Rome! Come on. Get in touch and give it a go!