The Welsh language most likely evolved from British, a Celtic dialect spoken by the ancient Britons which is thought to have arrived in the UK during the Bronze age before it began to fragment during the middle ages, ultimately differentiating into Welsh, Breton and Cornish.
The Welsh language has many notable works such as the poetry of the Taliesin, thought to date to as early as the 6th century, and the Mabinogion a collection of eleven prose stories drawing on pre-Christian Celtic mythology and folk law.
The famous chronicler Gerald of Wales (c. 1146 – c. 1223), who became royal clerk to King Henry II of England, records that during a raid Henry asked an old man of Pencader, Carmarthenshire, whether he thought the Welsh language would survive, the old man replied:
“Never will it be destroyed by the wrath of man, unless the wrath of God be added, nor do I think that any other nation than this of Wales, or any other tongue, whatever may hereafter come to pass, shall on the day of the great reckoning before the Most High Judge, answer for this corner of the Earth.”
However, for a long time the language did appear to be dying out. For many generations the number of people speaking the language was shrinking - the main catalyst thought to have been the influx of English workers during the industrial revolution and the inferior legal status of Welsh. In 1891 54.4% of the population spoke Welsh, but by 1962 only 26% of the population remained Welsh speaking. With concern rising that the language would die out in just a couple of generations, the Welsh language act was passed in 1967 giving it equivalent legal status to English. Interest and pride in the language was rekindled, Welsh TV and radio channels were launched, and learning Welsh became compulsory in schools. Yet despite these efforts Welsh speaking still continued to fall, finally reaching a low of 18.5% in 1981. But the most recent census (2001) indicated that around 20.5% now speak the language - the first rise for over 100 years. With this new pride that has been fostered, future of the language looks strong once again and the old man of Pencader may be proved right!
During your stay at Parc-Le-Breos Olive and Louise can both speak Welsh so whilst you’re staying with us give it a go…….
Here’s are a few Welsh phrases which can get you started:
Good Morning - Bore Da (Boh-reh-da)
Good Afternoon - Prynhawn da (Prin-houn da)
Goodnight - Nos da (Nohs Da)
Thank you very much - Diolch yn fawr (Deeolch un fowr)
Please - Os gwelwch yn dda (Os gwelooch un thar)
How are you? - Sut dych chi? (Sit duch chee)
Very well, thank you - Da iawn, diolch (Dah-ee-awn, Deeolch)
Where is the pub? - Ble mae’r dafarn? (Bleh myr darvarn?)
What time is it? - Faint o’r gloch yw hi? (Vint orr gloorch ewe he?)
Microwave Oven - Poppety Ping (Just Joking!)
Parc Le Breos House