Language

Wales is a bilingual country with a population of around three million.

Wales has its own language, ‘Welsh’ (‘Cymraeg’), a Celtic language and one of the oldest alive in Europe today. While over 20% of the population speak Welsh, English is the predominant language. Television in Wales is broadcast in both languages and there are a wealth of publications, books, magazines and newspapers available in both English and Welsh. You can find out more about the Welsh language by visiting the following sites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/language.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language

Learning Welsh: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh

The need for labour in the South Wales coalfields in the 19th and 20th centuries brought an influx of English workers into the area which brought about an erosion of the Welsh language, though Welsh continued to be spoken extensively in North Wales. Today the mining of Welsh coal has all but disappeared, but the language is still spoken fairly widely as a second language.

Reading list:

The Adulterer's Tongue: An Anthology of Welsh Poetry in Translation:
http://www.walesliterature.org/books.cfm?lan=e&switch=book_info&book_id=102

Literature organisations in Wales:

Wales Literature Exchange: www.walesliterature.org/books.cfm?lan=e
Welsh Books Council: www.cllc.org.uk
Literature Wales: National Company for the development of literature in Wales: www.literaturewales.org
National Library of Wales: www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=122

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