I’ve mentioned a few times in these little snippets of my mind that I am Welsh. Not only that, a Welsh speaker.
Why am I bringing this up again? Well, it’s St David’s day on the first of March. And as we all know, St David is the patron saint of Wales.
For the past few years, it has hit home that I do not speak my native tongue as often and as confidently as I should. I studied all my compulsory educational life in the Welsh language, using basic words like “helo” and “does dim creision yn y cwpwrdd” at first, then advancing to study poems called Glas and Damwain for GCSE.
Though, during my time in the educational homes that has a reputation to keep our nation’s native tongue alive – or, in short, Welsh schools – I sort of did the opposite, I didn’t speak as much Welsh in school as the teachers would have hoped.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? If someone keeps telling you to do something over and over again, you’re more likely to rebel against it. I think. Well, that’s what they tell me anyway.
The more the teachers told me “Siaradwch Gymraeg” (or “speak Welsh” to the non-Welsh speakers), the less likely I was going to after they walked away. I may be alone here, but it’s what happened, even if I knew I was doing it or not.
It only hit me as I was gracing the final steps of studying my A Levels that I realised that I lost heap loads of possibilities to speak Welsh. I tried to speak the lingo as often as I could before the final day. But alas, I lost the chances. I am now in university, and the only one in my course that can speak fluent Welsh. It also makes me feel bad that I have not submitted any articles in Welsh to Clic or its sister sites, as I have no confidence whatsoever in writing in Welsh.
Why am I giving you all this information? So what, I speak Welsh, what is it leading too?
Well, I was having a discussion with some fellow humanoids a couple of whiles ago, and one member of this discussion brought up a rather bizarre point. They stated heir belief that the Welsh Assembly Government should end its crusade to bring the Welsh language back to life and concentrate on giving the youth of today some grammar and punctuation lessons via the English language.
They added that everything dies sometime or another, and it would be better for the Welsh language to end sooner rather than later.
And I’m sat there thinking What?
That makes utterly no sense to me whatsoever.
Yes, just over a fifth of Wales’ population can fluently speak Welsh, with the majority of those living in Anglesey and Gwynedd, but it’s growing more and more every year. The amount of Welsh speakers in Wales rose from 508,098 in 1991 to 582,368 in 2001. Granted, it does help that a lot of young people aged between five and fifteen can speak the language (40.8%, to be exact). That means more young people are studying in the language.
Surely that means that the youth of today will carry the flag to make all of Wales fully Welsh? Not if I had the mentality I mentioned before.
If it was a dying language, then I might have agreed with the unnamed acquaintance that I had this discussion with. If all the statistics stated that the amount of Welsh speakers was falling every ten years, then I might be more lenient towards them when they say that the Welsh Assembly Government should concentrate on English grammar. But it’s not falling. It’s growing. And, hopefully, it will grow even more than the last census in 2001. Though, we’ll have to wait to see what the statistics of this years census will tell us about the Welsh language.
I do understand, on the other hand, why they did state what they stated. It is important to give the youth of Wales a good education. It’s also important to give them good grammar. But, in all honesty, is it worth sacrificing a language that gives Wales a whole new dimension for the sake of giving the youth a better understanding of the English language?
I do not.
I thank ye, world.
Past Dear World articles from CrazyDistortion Sub-Editor include:
Drink & Drugs
Facebook’s NSPCC Campaign
X Factor And The Christmas Number One