Discussion in 'Wales/Cymru' started by lewislewis, Feb 19, 2009.
My point precisely. His story has not ended.
Stiching up anyone is never right. Wales needs to learn lessons from how its been treated and is trying its best not to be Cardiff-centric even if that is where the debating chamber is.
Thats why there is a program to spread the civil service as far as possible across wales with new buildings in Merthyr Tydfil, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction for starters.
I probably spend as much time in Wales as I do anywhere else. But I do take your point: the language does impinge on my life. Not because I speak it though. My culture is the anglophone, working-class and socialist culture of south-east Wales. Which also happens to be the culture of most Welsh people.
I'm not sure about the 'socialist' bit.
Why not? The vast majority of anglophone Welsh people have been socialist for well over a century. The Welsh speakers are far more conservative, but even they don't vote Tory.
Never see them about much.
In recent years the Welsh speakers seem to be more generally middle class. Culchure, innit. So maybe you're correct that count.
Actually, it's more about your age.
We're from a generation when the Welsh language was being put to its death throes and anyone admitting to being Welsh could expect a ton of pisstaking, but things have changed massively, particularly amongst the young.
There's now a thriving Welsh language music scene that barely existed twenty years ago and a growing sense of Welsh identity and pride.
To claim that the Welsh language has "nothing to do with the culture of most Welsh people" is simply not true. It's proving to be of growing improtance to a lot of people, as witnessed by the massive increase in pupils attending Welsh speaking schools.
I did enjoy Radio Luxembourg at Offline.
Are you calling Plaid Cymru 'conservative' then?
They're not the only Welsh speaking band I've put on at Offline either. Proof indeed of the growth of Welsh.
Nothing aside from what I've seen. Often people who've made a bit of money in England coming back to Wales to live and taking Welsh lessons. Sometimes English people moving in and taking it up.
This is in the South West - maybe things are a little different further East, couldn't say.
But the Butes were Scottish no?
And can I just point out that Cardiff WAS NOT, despite the myth put around, the greatest coal exporting port in the world, which was actually Barry.
You have to admire the balls of David Davies, who was Welsh, when the Butes refused to export his coal he built his own railway, dock and town to export it himself.
Welsh is generally spoken more in the less affluent farming areas of Wales.
I was at school when Welsh as at its lowest ebb.
Proportion of people aged 3 and over able to speak Welsh:
True, although Cardiff was the commercial hub for the coal industry.
I know, but these are among people who have always spoken Welsh. I was talking about how things have moved recently, where I've seen interest in Welsh by non-first language types being a middle-class cultural diversion.
If there is some proper organic take-up of the language happening I'd say that's a very good thing, but I haven't seen any myself, aside from the odd eccentric little band.
By the way, has the language started to evolve at all, or are new words still invented by a committee of historians in Cardiff?
Actually I'm a bit younger than you.
When I was in school the headmaster was *massively* into the Welsh language. He even used to stand kids up in Assembly for saying "good morning" to him instead of "bore da." And all the signs around the school were in Welsh, which resulted in kids mistaking the library for the toilets and smiliar mishaps.
This was in the early 80's, which was just the beginnig of the language revival for practical purposes. Of course you're right that things have developed much further since then. But the days when speaking Welsh was stigmatized were already long gone.
Not any more, though their roots were ultra-conservative. Saunders Lewis was a fascist (as well as an Englishman). But the Welsh-speaking areas of Wales are still socially and politically conservative compared to Cardiff and the Valleys.
Yes, but we're both from the time when the language was in terminal decline, as the graph clearly illustrates.
The younger generation (and with respect, that's not a group you're in) have an entirely different view of the Welsh language. It's neither seen as dead or unhip - in fact, there's quite a coolness about the language which is reflected in the growing amount of bands singing in Welsh, and the increased interest in the Eisteddfod.
So you were indeed wrong to say "Welsh speakers are far more conservative."
It's 'evolved' in much the same way as English and many other languages, adding some new words verbatim and 'Welshifying' others. Why should it be any different?
It's anything but a dead language.
This is the bit that interests me, whether it's a properly living language now or a re-animated corpse given the illusion of vitality by European hand-outs, which is how things were looking back in the 90s when I was last paying attention.
There was certainly a time not too long ago where new words were basically being invented by academics to stop too much English leaking into the language.
A living language evolves by itself without intervention by conservationists. Do you have any examples of recent organic evolution in the language?
Llanelli is largely Welsh speaking and no one would describe that area as conservative.
Even at its lowest point half a million welsh people spoke cymraeg as their first language every day, its never been anywhere near 'dead'.
Thats hardly a phenomena confined to Welsh, unless you class French and German are 'dead languages' as well.
Yup, or mining valleys like my own with plenty of welsh speakers.
How can it be 're-animated; when it never died out in the first place and has always been spoken by hundreds of thousands of people?
As for new words, try looking up Welsh words for technology.
Innit, words like Bungalow or Bank are hardly anglo-saxon.
Fair enough, but then those are also languages that are evolving organically, just at less of a frantic pace than English, hence their feeling threatened.
Perhaps my 'zombie' depiction of Welsh was overly harsh, and I should have said 'quadraspazzed, on a life glug'.
For all I know, things have changed, though, and Welsh is happily morphing and mutating at a pace far faster than Latin or Old Norse.
What was Welsh for 'television', again?
As is Welsh
Your depiction appears to be based on complete ignorance, which is a shame. It's a beautiful, vital language.
Separate names with a comma.