How old is the Welsh language

Welsh language

Welsh (also Cymric, Own name Cymraeg or - with fem. article - y Gymraeg) is a p-Celtic language and, together with Breton and Cornish, belongs to the British subgroup of the Celtic languages. It is spoken by around 500,000 people in Wales. This makes it the Celtic language with the most native speakers. In Wales, alongside English, it is the official language and the school language. There are two main dialects, a northern and a southern.

In contrast to Breton, Cymric is still very vital, as it is still learned by many children as their mother tongue and is spoken by all walks of life. The prospects of preserving the language are therefore relatively good, especially since Cymric still has a coherent linguistic area; in some parts of the country, especially in the north, Kymrisch speakers still make up the majority today, with a share of up to 70%. Over the past ten years, the percentage of speakers has remained constant, whereas before it decreased slowly but steadily; the absolute number of speakers has even risen again. Since Wales has its own parliament, the National Assembly for Wales / Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru, the measures to promote the Kymrischen have been intensified. In addition, the Cymric is the pride and the identity-forming element of many Welsh people, even if they no longer master it themselves.

According to the 2001 population census, a good 21% of Welsh people speak the language. 4.93% even said they were monolingual Welsh speakers. Another 7% of the population had at least some knowledge of Welsh. However, 71% of the Welsh resident population cannot communicate in Welsh at all.

Outside Wales, Cymric is spoken in the Chubut Valley ("Chubut Valley" in Wikipedia) in the Argentine province of Chubut in Patagonia.

The language code to ISO 639-1 is cy, to ISO 639-2 (B) wel and after ISO 639-2 (T) cym.


J. R. R. Tolkien was very fascinated by the Welsh languages ​​and liked the way they sound. Therefore, he developed Sindarin, which in its phonetic structure is in some ways similar to Welsh. Welsh was the impetus for Tolkien to develop this Elvish language.

Text sample

Mae'r byr wedi newid,

teimlaf ef yn y dwr,

teimlaf ey yn y ddaear,

fedra'i ei aroghu yn yr awyr.

Welsh translation of Galadriel'sindarin poem "I amar prestar aen ..."

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