Country - Report - Wales - EN

Country Report of

Minority adult language situation in Wales

Presented by  LEARN with GRANDMA  CYF.


Wales is an unusual situation linguistically we have an ancient traditional language that in 1847 was declared invalid by the “Treason of the Blue Books” Welsh has been the historical language of the principality throughout time. In 1588 the Bible was translated into Welsh by Bishop William Morgan of Llandaff. The translation of the bible gave literacy to the Welsh people. English was the language of the law and the court but Welsh was the language of the people.

During the 19th Century the practice of the “Welsh not” began: This period is associated with that most hated symbol of English cultural oppression, the Welsh Not, or Welsh Note, a means of forcing Welsh children to speak English at all times in school. A stick or plaque was made to be worn  by any child heard speaking Welsh during school, to be handed on to whoever next spoke the language until at the end of the day the child with the WELSH NOT was often beaten.

In 1942 the Welsh courts act gave the right for Welsh to be used in a court room situation.

The Welsh Language Act was based on the Hughes Parry report into the status of Welsh, published in 1965, which advocated equal validity for Welsh in speech and in written documents, both in the courts and in public administration in Wales The Welsh Language Act 1967 gave rise to the concept of 'equal validity' between the Welsh and English languages.

The Welsh people have fought long and hard to have their language recognized, respected and valued

In the 21st century all school children educated in Wales must learn WELSH until the age of 16.  The language is used in education, conversation, the arts and law. . Cultural  Festivals are held regionally and nationally for all ages in Welsh. There are both Radio and Television stations using Welsh as the majority language.

There are regional differences in the language as with any living language, and a clear difference between north and South Walean: although one can be understood by all.

The understanding of the validity of ones own language in Wales has given a deeper understanding for our emigrant population of the need for their mother tongues to be respected and used as and when  appropriate. We have many languages used in Wales in the regions and domestically form Somali to Polish and Urdu.

The language has been preserved developed cherished and fought for. This love of the “Language of Heaven” gives the Welsh and welsh speakers an understanding of the need to have your own language majority or minority respected valued and used.




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