Talk to Welsh speakers: Welsh language opens another door to me

On the International mother language day, let’s make a conversation with local Welsh language speakers to know more about the position of the mother tongue in Wales.

Every year on 21 February, people celebrated the international mother language day. Created by UNESCO, it is set for awakening public’s attention to linguistic diversity. This year’s theme is Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development.


Welsh speakers’ logo

For celebrating the International mother language day, an event called “Taith Laith” which means “Language tour” in English has been held in Cardiff national museum. This event aims to arise people especially Welsh people awareness to use Welsh more frequently and also attract other English speakers’ interest in learning the Welsh language.

“As a mother tongue of Wales, we want to promote the importance of preserving the Welsh language.” Said Ellen Carter, the host of this event and an English-Welsh translator of the national museum.

In order to provide Welsh language speakers and learners with an opportunity to practice their Welsh and to learn more about the history of Welsh language, this event uses a special way to do so which is teaching Welsh to the audience through Iorwerth Cyfeiliog Peate’s works.

Here is a young Dr. Peate at his desk in the early years of his career.

As the first curator of St Fagans National Museum, Dr. Peate contributed his whole life to protecting Welsh language and culture and published work on the study of folklife in both English and Welsh.The hosts hoped that this event can stimulate people especially the Welsh interest in learning and be using Welsh.

Ellen is introducing Dr. Peate in Welsh.

As an English speaker but works as a bilingual translator, Ellen shared her experience of learning and working with Welsh.

“I’ve learned Welsh since secondary school, it was compulsory in Wales’ schools. Thanks to this course, I found that I am really interested in Welsh language and being a translator. So I went to Cardiff University to study English-Welsh translation module.” Said Ellen.

Ellen Carter, the host of Taith Laith

“Being a Welsh speaker gives me more opportunities than others in many situations such as finding jobs especially in Wales. The Welsh government has launched the new standards of Welsh language (e.g. documents and guides need to be bilingual), it opens another door to me.”

Welcome to Wales Sign (Croeso i Gymru) road sign

According to the Welsh Language Use in Wales 2013-15 survey, around 310,600 people say they can speak Welsh fluently (About 11%),23% of the respondents said they could speak some Welsh (but not fluently) and there was a significant growth in the number of youngsters saying this (between the ages of 3 and 29).

Results from the Welsh Language Use Survey, 2013-15 (From the Welsh Government)

This trend shows that learning Welsh is now being a mainstream and more and more people are accepting it.