Facts about the Welsh Language

If you had to name an area in Britain that doesn’t get as much publicity as it deserves, we would say that it would be Wales. And that’s why we’d love to shed light on the country that’s doing all it can to get its name and language noticed not only around the UK, but abroad too. So, to get started, here are some facts about the Welsh language.

Welsh Language Facts

Since 1993 when the Welsh Language Act was introduced, Welsh and English have been accorded the same status. This was extended in 2012 when Welsh was made one of the official languages of Wales. This means that the public sector has to provide services in Welsh, and certain private sector businesses also need to provide reasonable services in Welsh, too. In order to comply with these laws, many companies are now hiring Welsh-speaking staff to represent them on the phone, and are even localising their websites for the Welsh language.

According to the 2011 census, over 700,000 Welsh speakers live in the UK. Although most of them reside in Wales (especially in the north and west of the country), we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find at least someone who speaks Welsh wherever you go in the UK.

Another interesting fact is that not all Welsh speakers can actually speak English perfectly. Although you might imagine that everyone would be bi-lingual and that Welsh would probably be everyone’s second language, that isn’t necessarily the case. That’s why the Welsh Language Act was introduced, so that people who feel more comfortable communicating in Welsh can do so.

Let’s learn some Welsh!

For those of you from further afield, we thought we’d share some Welsh greetings with you. You’ll soon see just how different Welsh and English really are!

  • Bore da – Good morning
  • Prynhawn da – Good afternoon
  • Noswaith dda – Good evening
  • Nos da – Goodnight
  • Helô / Hylô – Hello
  • Shw mae?  – How are you? (South)
  • Sut mae?  – How are you? (North)
  • Croeso – Welcome
  • Hwyl – Bye
  • Hwyl am nawr – Bye for now (South)
  • Hwyl am rwan – Bye for now (North)

After years of being relatively suppressed, it’s great to see the Welsh language now enjoying a renaissance. And, from a translation point of view, we’re glad to see the need for Welsh translations rising (and the other minority languages of the UK, too).

If you’d like some help getting your company ready for doing business in the UK, just get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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