The formal Wales tune for the FIFA Men’s Planet Cup 2022 isYma o Hyd” (“Still here”), a protest track first released by Dafydd Iwan and Ar Lôg in 1983. Its unashamedly patriotic verses explain the adversity that Welsh folks have endured about the hundreds of years, ending with:
We will be here right until the finish time,
a bdd yr iaith Gymraeg yn fyw.
(We’ll be below right until the conclude of time,
and the Welsh language will be alive.)
The Welsh government has a language method that aims to have a million individuals speaking Welsh by 2050. And it appears to be operating: recently on Tv channel S4C, 230,000 young children from a lot more than 1,000 educational facilities throughout Wales sangYma o Hydwith each other at the very same time. They incorporated children not only from Welsh-speaking households or so-identified as Welsh-talking heartlands, but from across Wales.
The Welsh language, Cymraeg, has modified linguistically a lot more than the hundreds of years, which indicates the words and phrases, appears and grammar applied these days are quite diverse to 1,000 decades in the past. Welsh will go on to modify – and if we want to see and listen to a residing Welsh language in the potential, its grammar switching isn’t some thing that ought to get worried us.
As”Yma o Hydindicates, Welsh has survived inspite of opposition. It is only in the previous number of a long time that Welsh has regained a degree of social prestige, becoming now taught in universities throughout the country. Some of the little ones singing may not have even heard significantly Welsh had they been born a several generations ago. So the coming together of hundreds of small children singing in Welsh in 2022 is no smaller thing.
Welsh is a minority language, spoken by probably one-3rd of the Welsh population, getting been stigmatized for a lot of generations. Stigma is the opposite of prestige, and in the situation of Welsh it has been treated as subservient to English because at minimum at the time of Henry VIII, English was for a prolonged time deemed the language of formality and officialdom, although Welsh was the language of the property and the road.
Make contact with among two languages
Language make contact with happens when speakers of different languages coexist in the exact same group – and, the more time the speak to, the more intensive and intertwined it gets to be. Welsh has been in make contact with with English since the early center ages, and despite the fact that Welsh remained the language of most of Wales right up until the late 19th century, factors such as industrialization and migration modified the demographics. Now every single Welsh speaker also speaks English. They are what we connect with bilinguals or multilinguals.
When languages are socially in extreme call like this – and particularly in which bilingualism is popular – we can see all those languages influence each individual other linguistically. That usually means variations to the seems, syntax or phrases. And a minority language will typically be afflicted more by a vast majority language’s grammar than vice versa.
An factor of the impact of English on Welsh grammar that I examine is how people today use various languages in the exact same dialogue. In linguistics, this is known as code-switching. Listed here are two illustrations from the everyday speech of Welsh-English bilinguals,
Oedd hi’n look yn Spectacular.
,She looked remarkable,
Pan dach chi’n USE Large-ANGLE LENSES dach chi’n EMPHASISE-io’r FOREGROUND.
(When you use large angle lenses you emphasize the foreground,
Code-switching is pretty popular in the speech of Welsh individuals, even though it can be affiliated extra with talking informally than formal speech. It truly is also anything that some Welsh speakers have a damaging angle towards. There is even a phrase Bratiaith (pretty much “ragged language”), which is sometimes employed to explain code-switching, contrasted with “pure” Welsh speech that will not incorporate English phrases.
My colleagues and I at Bangor University recorded conversations between Welsh-English bilingual members and analyzed their speech for code-switching. We located that, even though switching was found in practically everyone’s speech, the grammar of the sentences that contained code-switching was pretty much normally Welsh.
Welsh and English have different grammatical buildings, these as the order in which phrases go in a sentence – like where an adjective goes when it is describing a noun. A speaker who inserts, say, an English adjective to modify a Welsh noun has to make a (potentially unconscious) choice of regardless of whether to put that adjective before the noun, which would be the English pattern, or to put it right after the noun and use the welsh pattern.
Just about normally, our individuals applied adjectives in maintaining with the Welsh pattern, like the English term Egyptian modifying the Welsh term things (“factors”) in this instance,
‘CAUSE hwnna wyhenth fi fod ‘na beuthua EGYPTIAN yno.
(‘Cause that’s what reminded me that there are Egyptian factors there.)
We located through our data that speakers caught with Welsh grammar, regardless of inserting some terms from English. And the vast majority of the terms they spoke ended up Welsh. Place yet another way, even though code-switching is occurring, they are still plainly speaking Welsh.
If the government’s ambition of a million Welsh speakers is to be successful, then we will need to have not just these folks who discuss “pure Welsh”, but persons that converse Welsh however they wish – even if that usually means switching in and out of English when executing so .
The presenters and attendees on the films on the S4C-funded Youtube channel Hansh, aimed at a young grownup audience, are a fantastic instance of folks speaking Welsh and easily switching amongst Welsh and English. This is now, for quite a few, what colloquial Welsh appears like, and investigate indicates that it can be no damaging detail for the potential of the language.
So if Dafydd Iwan is proper, and Welsh will endure right until the conclusion of time, then it is really very good to embrace the Welsh language currently in all its several varieties, even so it is spoken.