Talk:Welsh language

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Number system[edit]

The section on counting / number system claims a system based on 20's, my understanding (eg from the Usbourne Learn Welsh?? IIRC) is that the 20's system is prevalent in the North and the Chinese style one-ten-two (12, "twelve") is used more in the South. The former may be traditional, but the later is certainly used in schools, on buses and trains and in the post offices around here - never heard an actual Welsh speaker use it, but then people tend to use the international lingua franca of business in these parts. It would be interesting to note whether the National Curriculum for Wales mentions both counting systems and which it uses (particularly as the Chinese style is reportedly easier to pick up for kids) and whether this might standardise usage across the principality (I guess a similar reference for the language as a whole would be of interest). Pbhj (talk) 03:59, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

What you call the "Chinese" style is certainly easier to learn, but my dear departed Mam certainly regarded it as kiddies' talk and a sure sign of a dysgwr if an adult used it (this was back in the 70s). -- Arwel (talk) 00:16, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Please remember this is the English language Wikipedia, dysgwr means learner? Like I said it's the official method around South Wales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbhj (talkcontribs) 14:34, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
The number system based on 10s was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century in Welsh, per Gramadeg y Gymraeg, Peter Wynn Thomas, p295 (1996, University of Wales Press), as it is simpler than the system based on 20s. Both systems are still used. The ordinals, however, are still based on the 20s system. The system taught in schools for the cardinal numbers is indeed the system based on 10s (only) so eventually the older system should die out, except perhaps for some vestigial survivors, although native speakers have not been in any hurry to ditch the older system - having both systems seems to have worked for a century and a half!
The distinction made between North and South is in this case oversimplistic - you will find the 20's system used in everyday speech amongst native speakers all over Wales. The industrial South is perhaps somewhat different in that the proportion of native speakers from other parts of Wales relative to native speakers originally from the South is high. Also the proportion of children in Welsh medium schools in the industrial South who don't hear Welsh from native speakers at home has also been high for a long time. So current language patterns in the industrial South can differ somewhat to patterns elsewhere. Lloffiwr (talk) 21:35, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree, the 'traditonal system' is still used very widely in south Wales. ALL south wales dialects have it recorded as the normal system of counting, however the influence of schools across Wales has lead to a decline in this system. There is no such thing as an 'official system' in south Wales or in any part of Wales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by EoinBach (talkcontribs) 01:03, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that the usage is highly context dependent. So the 'traditional' system is always used in certain contexts (dates, ages, time, ordinals etc.) while the 'new' system is always used in others (mathematics etc.), with some generational differences, I'm sure, and some contexts where either could be used. (And years are named differently, too.) But the article only mentions the use of the decimal system in Patagonia.
One of my tutors the other day mentioned that children in Welsh schools (i.e. Welsh medium schools) initially perform better in maths than their counterparts in English medium schools because the Welsh decimal system is easier than the English one. (e.g. 'eleven' is just 'one ten one' etc.) --Dienw (talk) 14:34, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


I believe that "formal" and "literary" Welsh are also commonly distinguished although I haven't got far enough in learning Welsh to have been formally introduced to the latter yet.

One of the biggest differences between the formal (and literary) and colloquial registers is the use of concise impersonal verb forms where "cael" would be used in colloquial speech.

  • telir fi for dw i'n cael fy nhalu/caf i fy nhalu (I am/will be paid)
  • talwyd fi for ces i fy nhalu (I was paid)
  • telid fi for ro'n i'n cael fy nhalu (I used to be paid)

Why pick the different endings in the third person plural out? There are similar differences in at least the first person plural as well. There are a lot of similar differences here - in the actual pronouns, in inflected prepositions, in the verb stems and in the endings. Maybe it would be better to make a more general comment and then just give an example (such as the third person plural ending change mentioned at present). It's worth noting that some of the differences shown in the article really reflect nothing but silent letters in speech.

I think the variation in verb forms used in this article makes it more confusing than necessary. That is, it includes "rydw i", "dwi" and "dw i", for example, which may not obviously look related to somebody with no knowledge of the language.

What's mentioned and what's not seems rather arbitrary to me but it is hard to say without knowing more about the history of the article and the intentions of the authors. It might, though, be worth mentioning the use of 'wedi' when discussing tenses since this is very common in speech. And it might be worth noting that the tenses in Welsh don't correspond exactly to those in English without going into the details of the complexities. (For example, af i is not exactly "I'll go". It's considered the "continuous present" rather than a future tense, even in the colloquial register. And both bues i and ro'n i tend to be translated the same way because English, unlike Welsh, doesn't distinguish these tenses.)

It isn't true that inflected forms of verbs are "invariably" used in formal/literary Welsh. Elsewhere the article correctly notes that they are much more commonly used in these registers, but there are certainly cases of the periphrastic forms in the 1955 Bible, for example. (I can't say about the 1588 version but I'm assuming the formal/literary registers covered here are intended to modern.)

--Dienw (talk) 15:25, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

There was a 1955 Welsh Bible? I only knew about the 1588 (and its 1620 revision) and the 1988 versions. Our article doesn't mention a 1955 version. —Angr 15:37, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The distinction of "Colloquial Welsh" and "Literary Welsh" is at best a useful guide to registers, at worst a misleading categorisation which encourages slackness in language use. Gareth King is wrong in his extreme view that they might be considered separate languages (as cited in this article), and his arguments are little more than sophistry. You could do similar thing with English, and suggest that "If ah wuz gunna do va'" is "Colloquial English" while "Were I to commit myself to that" is "Literary English" - such differences are merely questions of register, sociolect and orthography. Most differences between "CW" and "LW" consist in what teachers of most other languages would simply label spelling mistakes (e.g. absense of word-final -f, elision of verbal particles, simplification of non-accentuated diphthongs; elision of dental fricatives. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gwybedyn (talkcontribs) 11:15, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Literary Welsh is a pro-drop language that tends to inflect its contentful verbs directly. Colloquial Welsh is a non-pro-drop language that almost exclusively uses periphrasis, inflecting auxiliary verbs and combining them with the nonfinite verbal noun. These are highly significant differences in syntax – by no means "merely register, sociolect and orthography" – and register differences in English pale in comparison. +Angr 13:09, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Periphrasis is far from absent from the written language of any period. Here is one easy example from the Bible: "Boed i chwi, sydd â chariad yn wreiddyn a sylfaen eich bywyd, gael eich galluogi..." (Paul to the Effesians, 3:18). That is anything but "Colloquial" in register. Here's another example taken at random from the web: " fel yr oeddid yn dod yn fwy hysbys yn llenyddiaeth y cyfnod a flaenorodd ei gyfnod ef, deuai'n fwyfwy tebygol fod rhai o wreiddiau barddoniaeth serch a barddoniaeth natur Dafydd ym marddoniaeth ei flaenorwyr..."
Such examples could be multiplied endlessly: periphrasis is present in both formal and informal registers and is far from being an indicator of separate languages. The spoken language frequently uses inflected verbs nonperiphrastically, as all the following show - "des i adre' am chwech"; "weles i'r ffilm ddo^"; "yfon ni ddigon i feddwi eliffant"; "ffonia' i ti fory, iawn?"; "wela' i chi wedyn". These could all be rephrased periphrastically, of course, but that is not the point. The recent habit of over-using 'gwneud' as an auxiliary verb (especially visible in online news reports) is unwarranted and stylistically poor - Welsh, as any language, has various possibilities of expression for good reasons, among them flexibility and avoidance of monotony.
You are of course correct that in speech pronouns are used more frequently (and differently), but that is a rather small and singular point (in any case, cf. the use of the pronoun in the first citation above). Arguing for 'CW' vs 'LW' on this basis is much like arguing for a 'Literary English' on the basis of its more frequent usage of the subjunctive, its less frequent use of fillers such as 'like', 'y'know', etc., or its more consistent representation of consonants (as in my previous comment).
I repeat that the majority of differences between so-called 'colloquial' and 'literary' Welsh are of register, etc., and in the example I gave previously the differences are indeed *merely* as I stated. The drawing of a distinct 'language' line between the registers does violence to the language and injustice to its users (especially those younger users who are at risk of being miseducated into speaking - and writing - merely an impoverished patois).
It is one language in all its richness.Gwybedyn (talk) 09:14, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
It's rather a red herring to say that the differences are "merely" of register. Register just means that two or more different language varieties are used dependent on context. It says nothing about how different they have to be. Imagine a country where one language (say French) is used in some contexts, and another (say Swahili) is used in others. This would be a matter of register. It doesn't matter that the two language varieties used are unrelated. Nor, incidentally, is this just a hypothetical example distant from reality. This kind of bilingual situation is actually relatively common.
It's also something of a meaningless debate whether or not literary and colloquial Welsh are separate languages or two forms of the same language. There just isn't a principled way of making the distinction. It's like asking how many grains of sand make a pile. The important point about what Gareth King said is that the differences between the kind of Welsh you get in colloquial contexts and the kind of Welsh you get in literary contexts are notably greater than with English and with many other languages.
And of course both periphrasis and nonperiphrasis are used both in colloquial and literary Welsh; but there is a notable trend towards more periphrasis in the colloquial varieties than in the literary varieties.
All that's really being said is that there are reasonably large differences between the forms of Welsh used in colloquial registers and the forms used in literary registers. This is a fact, but it isn't a negative fact, nor a fact unique to Welsh, or to minority languages. It's just something interesting about Welsh. garik (talk) 10:49, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and to give some perspective on the separate languages question: it's probably true to say that the differences between colloquial and literary Welsh are greater than between some Romance languages, but smaller than between some forms of Arabic.
In any case, I think, Gwybeden, you may be inferring too much from the claim that they could be treated as separate languages. They could be, but that doesn't mean anything bad. We should still expect school leavers to be able to both write formal letters and chat to the milkman, just as we expect the same for English in England (and Wales). Saying that they're far enough apart to be considered separate languages has no bearing whatsoever on that. garik (talk) 11:06, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
One further point of grammar: "Gwybed-YN" is a masculine noun in either 'colloquial' or 'literary' Welsh. Perhaps you are indeed thinking of a different language, Garik ;) Gwybedyn (talk) 09:50, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Neu efallai mai "typo" oedd hi (neu "thinko", fel maen nhw'n deud/ys dywedir — meddylo, tybed?)... Mae'n ddrwg iawn gen i, beth bynnag! garik (talk) 07:20, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Garik, on the English Language wikipedia you are required to use English Language. You are allowed to talk about other languages here but you must do it in the appropriate language. If I remember I'll check and see if it's appropriate to delete comments made in the wrong language, I assume it is as it is effectively spam. Pbhj (talk) 16:04, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

As a user with basic Welsh, I can assure Pbhj that there's no need to delete the above message on a misplaced assumption of spamming - it's a gracious apology for making a typo in Gwybedyn's name, and wondering how you'd say "thinko" in Welsh, that's all. BencherliteTalk 16:18, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Spoken in borderlands of England?[edit]

Does anyone have any figures for this? I think it needs to be a significant population, if your Auntie lives in Hereford and speaks Welsh when you visit that doesn't count ;0) Welsh is barely spoken at all in the South East of Wales. Perhaps the Middle/North East is different? Specific towns and numbers of Welsh speakers need to support such a claim IMO. The only relevant stats I could find were from the 2006 Labour Force survey showing 0.4% of UK population speak Welsh at home vs. 93.7 English. Non-indigenous languages aren't queried and are only grouped as 5.4% "Other". I suspect Urdu would be a large percentages of this. Pbhj (talk) 11:13, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

I doubt you'll find a specific number of speakers on the boarders between England and Wales (how for do these boarders stretch? Yards, metres, miles?). I resent your remark "Welsh is barely spoken at all in the South East of Wales;" I come from South-East Wales, and speak Welsh! Mid-Wales is scarcely populated, though both Mid and North Wales have a high percentage of Welsh speakers. Xxglennxx (talk) 16:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
It certainly is spoken in England. In the last report I saw, some villages in England still had a Welsh-speaking majority. Mainly concentrated in Shropshire, close to Oswestry. I think it is likely that the language may no longer be the majority language anywhere in England, but there are certainly a number of villages in England where the percentage of Welsh-speakers remains much higher than the average percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales.JdeJ (talk) 19:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Reference a specific village in which more people speak Welsh day to day than English then we can at least have a marker. (talk) 01:58, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd also like to see a reference for this. A village that's similar to, say, Aberffraw in Ynys Môn, which is 81% Welsh-speaking :D Xxglennxx (talk) 17:39, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
JdeJ, you seem to be saying two things: first, that you've seen a report suggesting that, in some villages in England—mainly in Shropshire—more than 50% of people speak Welsh. I find this really interesting, and would love to see the report! However, you also say "I think it is likely that the language may no longer be the majority language anywhere in England". So how old is the report you saw? And if it's recent, what makes you think things have changed? Then you say that there are "certainly a number of villages [roughly how many?] in England where the percentage of Welsh-speakers remains much higher than the average percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales." So that means well over 20% (I suppose at least 30%?). Do you have evidence you can cite for this? In any case, I don't think, as the anonymous user suggests, that we need to find an English village where "more people speak Welsh day to day than English". If we can find a village in England where more than 20% of the people can speak Welsh, even if as a second language, then I think that's interesting enough! garik (talk) 18:38, 11 January 2010(UTC)

Canada, the US, Australia[edit]

For some reason, these countries were listed in the infobox. While it is true that we can find speakers of almost any language in almost any country, that is not a reason to list every country in the world in the infobox for every language. The numbers listed for Canada, the US and Australia in the infobox here were below the numbers for French speakers, Swedish speakers, Spanish speakers etc. in the same countries.Jeppiz (talk) 23:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Just had a quick check to make sure I'm not saying too much, but Australia is absent from the infoboxes for French, Swedish and Spanish, the US absent from the infoboxes for both Swedish and French (despite more than 100.000 native French speakers and 1.6 million total French speakers in the US compared with less than 3.000 for Welsh).Jeppiz (talk) 23:12, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Without wanting to sound blunt - what's your point? Xxglennxx (talk) 09:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
His point is that there are so few speakers of Welsh in Canada, the US, and Australia that it is not worth mentioning those countries as places where Welsh is spoken in the infobox, and I agree. And it's not just absolute numbers - the absolute number of Welsh speakers in Argentina is probably pretty tiny too - but that there is no coherent community of Welsh speakers in those countries. +Angr 09:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Angr, that was precisely my point :-) Jeppiz (talk) 18:05, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
It surely is of use - and interest - to note where Welsh-speakers are around the world, especially where these are using the language in, e.g., their families or cultural pursuits. Numbers of Welsh-speakers are going to be "pretty tiny" wherever they're found (even in Wales), but that should be no justification for ignoring them. People are raising their children to speak Welsh in, e.g. the USA, Australia, and this is of obvious socio-linguistic interest, as it would be for any lesser-used language. Gwybedyn (talk) 11:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Gwybedyn, no one is ignoring the fact that there are people who might speak a traditional Welsh Language outside of Wales and Patagonia in day-to-day parlance. It is simply not notable enough to receive a mention here. If there were, say, a whole town of Welsh speakers in USA then this would be of note. Even if there were a region where material is published in Welsh as a second or third language for that region. Pbhj (talk) 16:21, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
But there have been very large communities. In Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Kansas. Still spoken in some churches in these communities. Add the USA back to the list. There were many Welsh speakers in Maritime Canada as well, and still some today. Add Canada back as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
It may well be noteworthy. Do any reliable sources mention it? If so, please either add text to the article with the reference(s), or if you aren't sure how, note here what you think should be included, together with a link to the source(s) and someone will take a look. Daicaregos (talk) 19:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Done. Added sources from the US and Canadian governments. However, it seems that the majority of Welsh speakers in Canada are no longer in the Maritimes.

There used to be significant Welsh community in Ipswich, Queensland Australia. I'm sure there would have been Welsh communities around other mining areas of Australia as well. They have probably become less pronounced though in recent years. Unfortunately I'm having a difficult time finding reputable sources of such information. Spuzzdawg (talk) 10:30, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. There is some more information about the Welsh in that area here, and we have this article - but really there needs to be a lot more work done on developing and expanding that article. I'll give it some thought - my great-uncle, whose parents were Welsh-speaking, emigrated to Queensland. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:44, 8 June 2011 (UTC)


Missing the dark green legend for (I assume) 37.5 to 50 % speakers. Tiddy (talk) 05:56, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that too, and asked about it some years ago. In fact, there are no counties in Wales where the number of Welsh speakers is in that range. Every county has either less than 37.5% or more than 50% Welsh speakers. +Angr 07:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Lead image.[edit]

It appears to have six different colours but only five different percentages?

Ceredigion appears to be incorrectly coloured. --Frank Fontaine (talk) 19:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

You're right. I've replaced it with a better image where the two counties in question have the same color. +Angr 14:03, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Excellent... --Frank Fontaine (talk) 18:23, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Still looks like six different shades but only five different percentage ranges to me! (talk) 11:02, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Anon is right. Ceredigion is miscolo(u)red. It has a colo(u)r assigned to no percentage range. (signed without being logged in - signing the comment again) Dylansmrjones (talk) 13:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Yep. File:Siaradwyr y Gymraeg ym Mhrif Ardaloedd Cymru2a.svg has a color problem that File:Siaradwyr y Gymraeg ym Mhrif Ardaloedd Cymru.png doesn't have. Until someone corrects the SVG, we should continue to use the PNG. +Angr 09:11, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm no good at rendering these maps, but I find this 'county' level map way too crude. Is there a way of requesting new maps with ward levels, like this, or better still like the one on this PDF (bottom left hand side)?--Rhyswynne (talk) 21:24, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Percentage question[edit]

It says this - The most recent census figures (2001) presented in "Main Statistics about Welsh"[5] by the Welsh Language Board, indicate 582,400 (20.8% of the population of Wales in households or communal establishments) were able to speak Welsh and 457,946 (16.3%) can speak, read and write it. These 2001 figures mark a substantial - 9% - decline when compared with the figures of 508,100 (18.7%) for 1991. Where has the -9% substantial decline nonsense come from?

457,946 is over 9% (in fact, almost 10%) less than 508,100. +Angr 19:29, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Problem with comparison is that the same questions were not asked in 1991 and 2001. I'm not 100% of my facts here, but in 1991 I don't thing the various 'skills' (speak, read, write) were broken down into seperate questions, there was just one global one.--Rhyswynne (talk) 09:07, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes so where does this mark a substantial -9% decline the numbers speaking Welsh are increasing and the artiacle contradicts itself as when you go further down it says that there are more speaking Welsh than in 1991 and that is certainly the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adamjones416 (talkcontribs) 15:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Um, the official UK census body reports a 9% decline in Welsh as the language of the home and trumps your assertion. Sorry. There are however more potential speakers of the language as it is mandated in schools. Pbhj (talk) 16:26, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Are there any figures on how many speak Welsh, but not English? I'm just interested. (talk) 12:03, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

The census does not ask for speakers of "Welsh only". It is assumed that (with the exception of very young children and maybe a handful elderly people in remote areas) everybody speaks English.Unoffensive text or character (talk) 09:34, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, unfortunately I doubt you'll find any good stats on this. If you're just curious, as you say, and can put up with OR and anecdote for want of anything better, my own experience tells me that most children from all-Welsh-speaking families won't know much English before starting school. The elderly people in remote areas are dying off though. There are very few adults in Wales now who could be called non-English speakers, if any. On the other hand, you'll find a large number of Welsh speakers of all ages for whom English remains very much a second language, and not one they feel entirely confident in. A lot of Welsh speakers will not speak English often, and then only in fairly restricted contexts. Accent is not necessarily a good indicator of this. I knew a young guy from North Wales, who'd studied at Manchester, and who a lot of people took for English, but he admitted he still didn't feel like a native in the language. garik (talk) 14:32, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I met a native Welsh-speaking academic at the University of Dublin who admitted to feeling more comfortable speaking Irish than English. +Angr 15:02, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I see, more first language speakers than I realised then. (talk) 09:59, 27 March 2010 (UTC)


To quote from the article on Welsh phonology: "The vowels /ɨ̞/ and /ɨː/ occur only in Northern dialects; in Southern dialects they are replaced by /ɪ/ and /iː/ respectively." Isn't the fact that the high central vowels have completely disappeared in the southern dialects a rather major difference, worthy of mention? Jakob37 (talk) 04:12, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Notes section[edit]

A number of the references have no date -- can this be fixed? Jakob37 (talk) 04:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Inclusion of up-to-date information in introduction[edit]

A new report has been published in 2010 by the Welsh Language Board, here, which gives some more up-to-date information on use of the language. My assessment of the figures is that the numbers and proportion "able to speak Welsh" have risen since the early 1990s, but the numbers speaking fluently, particularly of older people, have fallen, as have the numbers of entirely Welsh-speaking households. At the same time, bilingual classes, Welsh language theatre performances and so forth seem to have increased. It appears very appropriate that this new information is included in the article - I've added it as an external link - but the overall picture that it gives is complex, as different indicators suggest different pictures, and therefore difficult to summarise. But, in my view, it leaves question marks about whether the simple statement "Welsh is therefore a growing language within Wales" is justified by the evidence. I will make no changes to the article before there is some further discussion and (hopefully) consensus here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:23, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


There are a lot of Welsh speakers in Argentina, can this be added to the infobox? (i dont know thenumbers)(Lihaas (talk) 00:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)).

It is there in the infobox already: speakers=750,000+: Wales: 611,000, England: 150,000, Chubut Province, Argentina: 5,000. Daicaregos (talk) 07:53, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Two points I would like to make in this regard; First, the fact that Welsh may be spoken in various regions seems rather irrelevant to me. Do we have to make mention of every region in the world where a particular language is spoken? Second, there seems to be some confusion about what the term "native to" actually means. Welsh is native to the British Isles, specifically Wales; it is not however, native to Argentina. To use an example to demonstrate the point, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is native to North America, specifically the Eastern. But despite existing in the British isles (due to introduction), it is not Native to Britain; the Red Squirrel is. Brough87 (talk) 10:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC) NB. copied to current discussion. Daicaregos (talk) 11:03, 5 October 2013 (UTC)


Forcible persecution of the Welsh language before the 19th century is not mentioned in the article. Possibly this silence is intended to avoid putting Henry, Elizabeth and the like in a bad light. Hitler also persecuted non-Teutonic languages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Readers are directed to the main article on the history of the language at the beginning of the History section by this: where the subject is covered in more depth. You are welcome to make comments to/help improve that article too. Daicaregos (talk) 09:39, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
The article mentioned only has the vague phrase "The legal status of Welsh was inferior to that of English...".
This confirms my claim that deliberate vagueness is being used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
This article concerns the Welsh language as it is now. It has only a very brief summary of the language's history, with a link to the main article, History of the Welsh language. It is at that article that any comments or improvements concerning the history of the language should be made. Daicaregos (talk) 13:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Informal Vote: Official Status of Welsh[edit]

Please see Talk:United_Kingdom#Informal_Vote:_Official_Status_of_Welsh where an informal vote is taking place on displaying the Welsh translation of "United Kingdom" at the top of the United Kingdom infobox. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:40, 28 December 2010 (UTC)


From the article: Welsh vocabulary draws mainly from original Brythonic words (wy "egg", carreg "stone"), with some loans from Latin (ffenestr "window" < Latin fenestra, gwin "wine" < Latin vinum), and "Anglo-Latin" fideo ("video").

Sorry, as much as I respect the right of those who speak the Welsh language to defend it, and to fight off the Anglophone hordes (like myself - though I'm a typical British mongrel, so far I've not discovered any Welsh ancestry), I think we have a rather pointy euphemism here: "Anglo-Latin". Is anyone actually going to claim that this word has managed to sneak into the Valleys by way of Rome and Schleswig-Holstein without passing through England? Not wishing to impose, I've not made the edit myself, but I'd suggest it might be a little more honest if it were done. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

There is this short list of Welsh words of English origin at Wiktionary, and at least one book on the subject. I'll amend the text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:33, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Actually, I think the new examples are better, in that they show how a 'loan word' will change as it is adopted. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Removal of "continuing struggles"[edit]

I removed the follow as I don't think it belongs in the article - or at least where it was put. The text "often faced with anti-Welsh sentiments within the Welsh-speaking heartlands" I think is POV. The piece is written free-style and again has POV.

Continuing struggles[edit]

Despite the recently granted official status of the Welsh language, Welsh-speakers are often faced with anti-Welsh sentiments within the Welsh-speaking heartlands. In April 2011, for example, the English owner of restaurant in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, prohibited her staff from speaking their native Welsh language during working hours, insisting that they should only speak English when at work.<ref>[ BBC News Article "Anglesey hotel bans kitchen staff from speaking Welsh"]</ref>. [redacted the next bit per WP:BLP] Also in 2011, the broadcasting company Town and Country Broadcasting, owners of Cardiganshire-based local radio station Radio Ceredigion, proposed that provision of Welsh-language songs on their radio station should be cut to 10% from 50%<ref>[ Wales Online Article "Language row erupts over radio station's bid to cut Welsh broadcasting"]</ref>. A row ensued with many local residents voicing concerns regarding Town and Country Broadcasting's track record of systematic anglicisation of other local radio stations within Wales, including Radio Sir Gâr and Scarlet FM. Ultimately, the proposal was rejected following a consultation conducted by the telecommunications regulatory authority Ofcom<ref>[ Wales Online Article "Ofcom rejects local radio station’s bid to cut Welsh language programming"]</ref>.

Agree this section is inappropriate; particularly as it claims as fact some criminal behaviour on the part of an identifiable person when we are still at police investigation stage not conviction, so I have redacted it here. We have original research, "recentism" and a claim about the LlanfairPG hotel that is not supported in full by the source (the source does not say that the owner was involved, referring instead to the general manager, who is not described by the article as English, and the apparent ban was not absolute as the article makes clear). BencherliteTalk 14:32, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Spoken version[edit]

I removed some clicks and snaps (and other noise) in the spoken article and uploaded the new version. -- Andrew Krizhanovsky (talk) 16:48, 14 August 2011 (UTC)


Perhaps we should include the United Kingdom, as we've already got Argentina listed. It would be less confusing for readers, as England & Wales are not sovereign states, whereas Argentina is. GoodDay (talk) 17:11, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a big problem with that, especially given that we elaborate below. garik (talk) 17:21, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The edit summary making removing the infobox fact that Welsh is spoken in Wales says: "This would be more understandible to readers. As Argentina is a sovereign state, unlike Wales & England" You think readers wouldn't understand that the Welsh language is spoken in Wales … because it and England are not sovereign states? What evidence do you have to support your theory? The fact is that Welsh is spoken in Wales. It is also, to a far lesser extent, spoken in England. It is not spoken in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Showing Welsh as being spoken in the UK would mislead readers, rather than be helpful to them. If you have a problem with how to show the way Welsh is spoken in Argentina, please address that, rather than changing that Welsh is spoken in Wales. Daicaregos (talk) 08:05, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Daicaregos. UK could imply that Welsh is also spoken on the Shankill Road and the Gorbals which is not the case. Welsh is spoken in Wales, however, would not confuse readers.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 09:16, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Good point by Jeanne. Also GoodDay, aren't you meant to be talking to your mentors about edits in this domain which you know will be opposed? This one was fairly harmless so no issue --Snowded TALK 09:40, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm convinced by Dai and Jeanne's points. garik (talk) 15:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why or when the terms British & United Kingdom became taboo on these articles. But, I'm already sensing hostility towards me & so I'm not going to bother fighting against 'the wall'. GoodDay (talk) 15:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's an issue of those terms being taboo. They are just too imprecise in this context. Sure you can narrow the scope of "UK" periphrastically but why bother when terms like Wales already exist with nearly perfect precision built-in? Dave (djkernen)|Talk to me|Please help! 15:36, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


"No comprehensive grammar of formal literary Welsh exists in English"


The standard work was, and quite probably still is, J. Morris Jones, A Welsh Grammar Historical and Comparative, OUP 1913. Almost 500pp. Can be found online as its now out of copyright. There is also an abridged version that omits the historical material. (talk) 22:59, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

"States" in th infobox[edit]

What constitutes as "spoken in" in the infobox? I'm wondering as, really, any language can list every single (probably) country as being "spoken in". What are the conditions for inclusion? -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 13:28, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Good question. The template page is a little vague: "Countries in which it is mainly spoken." I can only assume this means, "The countries where most of its speakers are", since "The countries where it is the main language" would leave a number of languages with nowhere to call home. But as for what criteria there are (i.e. what percentage of a language's speakers there need to be in the country), I'm as uncertain as you are. You should really raise the question at the template talk page or at the Wikiproject Languages talk page. Bear in mind there may already be discussion there about this. It's worth checking the archives. garik (talk) 20:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Monoglot Welsh speakers[edit]

The article says that "there are still monoglot Welsh speakers" (though rather vaguely declining to give any estimates of numbers), changed in this edit from "monoglot Welsh speakers are now virtually non-existent" followed by a few qualifications. However, the source for the new claim stops at 1981 as far as I can tell, which is now of course 30 years ago, during which time clearly many older speakers will have died. In contrast,

  • [1] talks of "the disappearance of the last monoglot Welsh speakers by the time of the 1991 census"
  • [2] says "there are no longer monoglot Welsh speakers"
  • [3] says "there are no adult monoglot Welsh speakers nowadays"
  • [4] says "There are almost certainly no monoglot Welsh speakers, at least not over the age of about four or five"
  • [5] says "there are no monoglot Welsh speakers in Wales nowadays" (talk) 03:16, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Teaching the Mother Tongue in a Multilingual Europe by Witold Tulasiewicz, Anthony Adamssays (1998) says : "All of these [Welsh] speakers are bilingual, the last monoglot Welsh speaker probably having died in the 1960s" Hogyn Lleol ★ (chat) 17:19, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Probably depends a bit on the definition of monoglot. My experience was of have very great difficulty is managing in English, which I would say was monoglot in practice. However if the sources say it, then that is what we go with. ----Snowded TALK 18:09, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be great if someone could find a source to support what I believe is indeed almost certainly the case: That there are still some adult Welsh speakers who have great difficulty getting by in English. But yes, in the absence of such a source, we should go with what the sources we have say. garik (talk) 18:19, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
This report, from a local newspaper, gives several examples of monoglot Welsh speakers in Llŷn in 1968 - all were aged over 80 at that time. There may well be more recent examples in other areas like Anglesey or Carmarthenshire. Of course, we are talking about adults - there will be many monoglot children now, in households where Welsh is the first language. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:52, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
A recent report on the need for Welsh language provision in care homes here, discusses Altzheimers sufferers who cannot understand English, having reverted to their first language. Daicaregos (talk) 21:58, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

States in the infobox[edit]

We need to keep the states in the infobox consistent. At the moment we have one sovereign state (Argentina) and one administrative division (Wales). We should either have both sovereign states (UK & ARG) or both administrative divisions (Wales & Chubut). The current mix is inconsistent. --RaviC (talk) 07:26, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

It has already been discussed here, most recently just two sections above, might be worth adding to that converasation/discussion. I tend to agree that with what you propose (either option).--Rhyswynne (talk) 08:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
It seems fine as it is. Welsh is spoken in Wales. And Welsh is spoken in Argentina. Fine so far. Template:Infobox language says of the 'region' parameter: "region=geographic region in which it is mainly spoken ← you do not have to define both this and states; use this parameter for a single statement about geographic distribution." Which is what has been done here. Daicaregos (talk) 08:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
But Welsh is not spoken really anywhere else in Argentina. Therefore only Chubut should be placed in the infobox. England, Scotland and NI collectively have many more Welsh speakers than Argentina sans Chubut. --RaviC (talk) 18:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Which is pretty much what it says under the 'Region' parameter. The guidelines at the template have been followed here. If I understand you correctly, you suggest ignoring those guidelines here. I would be against that proposal. It may be better to discuss any variation in those guidelines at the template talk page. Daicaregos (talk) 08:53, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at the 'States' parameter of the infobox. It is defined as countries in which it is mainly spoken. Wales isn't a sovereign country per se, but a devolved region of the UK. So it shouldn't be listed amongst a sovereign nation. Let's get some input on this from others though. --RaviC (talk) 15:10, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
The parameter says nothing about "sovereign" countries or nations. It says "countries", and "countries" need not be sovereign. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:26, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll continue this debate when others have had a chance to comment as well, since you and I are never going to reach a consensus ourselves on this matter. --RaviC (talk) 15:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
A concensus already exists. Your WP:Bold move was reverted per WP:BRD. Are you saying now that two editors have noted the template's guidelines have been followed, you are waiting for someone to agree with you before continuing the discussion? I reiterate my advice; It may be better to discuss any variation to the template's guidelines at the template talk page. Daicaregos (talk) 16:10, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Right now, no-one other than you or I are discussing this issue. That is the only reason I have stopped this discussion. There was no overall consensus, the second editor, if I am not mistaken, agreeing with my suggestion. However, please note that the usage here of Wales as a country on this page is an anomaly to the others - Scots, Cornish, Irish and Gaelic use the UK in that box. --RaviC (talk) 17:37, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
You are mistaken. Daicaregos (talk) 19:45, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I also support the use of Wales over the UK - it's just more precise in this context.HammerFilmFan (talk) 06:20, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


From the article:

However, it is more common nowadays in speech to use the verbnoun together with the inflected form of gwneud ("to do"), so "I went" can be Mi es i or Mi wnes i fynd. Mi is an example of a preverbal particle; such particles are common in Welsh.

Is this the same as the verbal noun? If so, then I think the latter should be used, since it seems like a more standard term. FilipeS (talk) 11:24, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Verbnoun (Welsh berfenw) is the standard term used in discussing Welsh grammar. I'm not informed enough, however, to say whether anyone distinguishes between verbnouns and verbal nouns. But I'd suggest linking "verbnoun" to "verbal noun" as a fairly neat solution. garik (talk) 14:00, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
It depends on the speaker and the context; to me, "Gwnes i fynd" etc is informal and is grammatically incorrect; "Es i" is the standard and accepted form. I've even had children in school write (and say) "Gwnes i gwneud"... -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 14:33, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't see the relevance of your point to the question of whether or not verbnouns and verbal nouns are different things and what we should call them here, Xxglennxx.
(As a native Welsh speaker and a linguist, I also don't understand why you consider gwnes i fynd to be "grammatically incorrect". It would be out of place in a formal register, but that's not the same thing at all.) garik (talk) 15:39, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
We're drifting off the point here, I know, but as with Garik above, we may not say "wnes i fynd" but that doessn't make it "incorrect". As for children in school saying "wnes i wneud ...", there are many many adults who use that form, including presenters on Radio Cymru. Hogyn Lleol ★ (chat) 16:04, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Although I should note that, when I first read Xxglennxx's post, I read it as, "It depends on the speaker and the context to me; "Gwnes i fynd" etc is informal and is grammatically incorrect." Now I see that he wrote "... to me, 'Gwnes i fynd' etc is ... grammatically incorrect." Which is a different matter altogether; many things are ungrammatical to me that are grammatical to other speakers. Apologies for the misreading. garik (talk) 17:22, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

The point I'm making is "Gwnes i fynd" is grammatically incorrect when forming the past tense in the formal-concise; it can be described as a "helping verb" in the first instance; once "Gwnes i" is learnt, all that's needed then is the second verb, such as "siarad" to have "gwnes i siarad" instead of "siaradais i" and having to learn all of the stems when conjugating. I'm not saying that people don't say, as they do; I do. Though if we are going to mention it, we need to say that it is aching to more colloquialism than standard form. This isn't an argument, it's just the way the language is. Such as saying "O ble ydych chi'n dod?" instead of "Ble ydych chi'n dod o?" Yes, I know that people SAY the latter, but it's incorrect. This is the point I'm making with the above - and we've probably gone way off the subject now! :P -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 12:36, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
But the point I'm making is that I don't see what justification there can be to sweepingly describe any construction as "grammatically incorrect" that is regularly used by native speakers. A language is a set of conventions and is defined by how its speakers use it. Sure it's perfectly reasonably to codify an artificial standard for use in certain circumstances (typically formal writing and broadcasting) and say that x or y is correct or incorrect with respect to that standard, provided you remember that that standard is simply one dialect of the language and that its rules shouldn't be taken to apply to the rest of the language. The fact remains that if native speakers regularly use some construction, then that by definition that construction cannot be incorrect with respect to those speakers' native dialects (at least). So "Ble dych chi'n dod o?" is indeed incorrect in certain contexts, but is perfectly correct in others. I think this is actually what you're saying, but I wanted to be clear.
In other news, does anyone have any view on whether verbnouns are distinguishable from verbal nouns? garik (talk) 13:33, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Whether or not it's used by native speakers is retentive. "Who're you talking to?" is said by native speakers of English, but it's still grammatically incorrect (a sentence shouldn't end with a preposition). Yes, a language is a set of conventions, and spoken language is defined by how its speakers use it (colloquially or though dialect), but this can be very different to written language (see my previous statement above about differentiating). Yes, you're correct in what you say about what I said earlier - which is where we need to differentiate between the common, standard, accepted form (eg, "O ble ydych chi'n dod?") and the colloquial accepted form ("Ble chi'n dod o?"). -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 14:38, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
"a sentence shouldn't end with a preposition". I'm afraid this is a myth, unless by "grammatically incorrect" you mean "something some people arbitrarily disapprove of". (You may want to read Language Log on this; here is one of many posts that discuss preposition stranding). Besides, the very fact that native English speakers regularly say "Who're you talking to?" means that this is grammatically sound English, at least for certain dialects and registers.
And I'm sorry, but written language is just as much defined by how its users use it. As I said before, we can establish (and have established, for both Welsh and English) a standard dialect, with a particular (more or less arbitrarily chosen) set of rules that we expect to be used in certain contexts (typically, but not exclusively written ones), but the rules of this standard cannot be said to apply to the language as a whole. We shouldn't (even if people often do) slip into saying "bad English" when we mean "not Standard English". Furthermore, it's unreasonable to expect all writing (or speech) to conform to that standard. I'm also not sure what you mean by "retentive".
Anyway, this is still off-topic, and we should close this conversation or move it back to the main question: Can verbnouns be distinguished from verbal nouns? garik (talk) 23:23, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if verbnouns be distinguished from verbal nouns. Or, and, sorry; I meant "irrelevant" - where "retentive" came from I've no idea! -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 20:31, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
No worries. I frequently do things like that. My feeling is that verbnouns can't be distinguished from verbal nouns in any very useful way. Sure they don't behave in Welsh exactly as verbal nouns behave in some other languages, but this is true of any part of speech you might care to mention. But the use of the term in the context of Welsh is well established, so I'd still vote for saying "verbnoun", but linking to verbal noun. garik (talk) 15:51, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Welsh speakers in England, shown in Infobox[edit]

The information box states there are 150,000 Welsh speakers in England. I cannot seem to find any accurate data that supports this, which is the reason why I added official data from the ONS which gives a figure of 8,248 people living in England whose first language is Welsh from the 2011 census. I feel it is important to stress there is no way of measuring different levels of ability of Welsh outside Wales as there is in Wales. The citation provided does not explain how it arrived at the figure of 150,000 speakers which seems grossly inflated and the article itself is nine years old. The data from the 2011 census is significant in my opinion, as it is more accurate and up to date. Shropshire70 (talk) 13:27, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

If they live their lives in England, what do you expect their main language to be? It's hard enough to live one's life in Welsh in Wales. With respect to the reference citing the number of Welsh speakers in England, if you consider the United Nations to be an unreliable source perhaps it would be best to refer it to the reliable sources noticeboard. Any speculation as to whether the citation provided seems grossly inflated is irrelevant per WP:RS. I agree that the data from the 2011 census is significant and would support its inclusion in the article text. But that's too much detail for an infobox, and so have reverted. Please do not re-insert this data into the infobox until a consensus has been achieved here. Daicaregos (talk) 14:01, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The figure of 150,000 is actually in this document which seems to be copyrighted by Minority Rights Group International, rather than being produced by the UN itself. There seems to me to be no good reason to exclude either figure - they are not incompatible with each other, but may reflect a difference between those who speak it as a first language, and others who know the language but mainly speak English. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I would like to emphasise that I was trying to improve the article rather than hinder it. Indeed, I will add to the main body of text, but I think it would be helpful to add the 2011 census figures in the infobox for clarity. The reverter states "that's too much detail for an infobox", yet the infobox details how many fluent speakers of the 562,000 in Wales there are. I see no reason for not adding clarity to the speakers outside Wales given the release of official data. I would also add that I respect the United Nations as a source, but equally that that document does not give an explanation as to how they arrive at the "estimated" 150,000 figure of Welsh speakers.Shropshire70 (talk) 23:09, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I reiterate that the figure of 8,248 is for those using Welsh in England as their main language. This is misleading in the context of the number of Welsh speakers and their fluency. Speaking a language as a “main language” does not preclude speaking another language fluently. Supporting the 150,000 figure, evidence given to the Westminster parliament by S4C says (5.2.2) “The 2001 census indicated that there are 158,000 Welsh speakers living outside Wales in the UK. ” That number of Welsh speakers in England seems quite likely: The Statistics for Wales bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on the Welsh Language says “2011 Census results show that there were 507,000 Welsh born people living in England.” Information shown in the Infobox currently is quite sufficient, and does not need to include misleading data. Daicaregos (talk) 09:26, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
But you have not explained why you think that the referenced census figure of 8,248 speaking it as a first language in England should be excluded from the article. Why do you think a census figure is "misleading"? If necessary, a fuller explanation can be given in the text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:37, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Is it now accepted that the 150,000 figure should be shown in the infobox? I do not think that the 8,248 figure should be excluded from the article. Indeed, should you care to read my post above, you will see I support its inclusion in the article text. By the way, the 8,248 figure is for the main language spoken, not their first language. That's why it's misleading. Daicaregos (talk) 16:10, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the priority should be to ensure that accurate figures should be contained in the article text, with an explanation of any apparent inconsistencies between figures. The content of the infobox should follow from that, but if there is continuing disagreement over the definition of "speakers" it would be better handled at Template talk:Infobox language, where I think similar questions have been discussed in the past. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:23, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


As a totally foreign non-speaker of anything Celtic, I happened to be passing through in researching a little matter of spelling. I encountered this fraction of text: " the case of homographs, where the vowel is short in one word and long in the other: e.g. man "place" vs mân "fine", "small"." Does it need editing to make sense? I suspect so, but am not equipped to do so.

Also, while I am in the neighbourhood, I was trying to find out about such spellings as names of the form ffrench. I see that capitalised forms such as Ffrench are increasingly common, but understand that there was originally no capital. Is, or was, the "ff" form regarded as a misspelling, or just a lapse in propriety or literacy? Are there similar examples of proper nouns starting with lower case? Thanks, anyone who can help. JonRichfield (talk) 14:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Hello. I'm not sure I understand what changes you propose. The sentence you refer to is this one "The most common diacritic is the circumflex, which disambiguates long vowels, most often in the case of homographs, where the vowel is short in one word and long in the other: e.g. man "place" vs mân "fine", "small"." It is factually correct, and I find it quite clear. What is it that doesn't make sense? As for 'Ff' it is a standard spelling in names, certainly not a misspelling.Jeppiz (talk) 14:29, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
As above, on reading the whole sentence it seems to make total sense to me. Re. your second point, capitals have always been used for proper names, and where the word starts with an "ff" (a single letter in Welsh) it is spelled as, for instance, "Ffrainc", "Ffrengig", "Ffrancon" or "Ffion" (not FFion). Hogyn Lleol ★ (chat) 15:28, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I think JonRichfield is confused because there are two entirely distinct origins for names beginning with a double f. Some of these names are English (e.g. fforde, ffrith, ffrench), and the doubling of the f in these was originally a kind of alternative for capitalisation; you can read about them here. Some of them are Welsh (e.g. Ffion), and the double f in these is simply a matter of Welsh orthography, in which Ff represents the sound /f/ and F represents the sound /v/. In this case the initial letter is traditionally capitalised (i.e. Ffion, not ffion) just as in other proper names. garik (talk) 15:44, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

OOOOkay! Many thanks and apologies. Garik, thanks for the pointer to the ff site and your own explanation, which between them have demystified or perhaps demistified years of idle speculation. I have now accordingly joined QI. To all three of you, apologies for my misreading of the puzzling text. I doubt that many readers who would make such a silly mistake would visit that article, but in case you would like to hurl the halt of understanding over that intellectual stile, it might help to reword the text as something like "...e.g. man (Welsh for "place") vs mân "fine" or "small"." Seated here in the corner under my dunce cap however, I can hardly insist.

Incidentally, I am South African, and some years ago I encountered the claim that there is a Welsh expression to the effect that it is raining "old ladies with cudgels" rather than "cats and dogs". Now, the same saying, close enough for jazz, occurs in Afrikaans. The local rationale (don't know about Wales) is that when a large raindrop hits a water surface, the splash has two components: the curved sheet of water that might suggest a crinoline, and the central rebounding drop that suggests a cudgel. No one I have discussed the matter with could confirm whether some Welsh survivor of one of the Boer wars had imported the expression to Wales, or originally imported the Welsh expression to South Africa. Any ideas? Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 17:28, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

@JonRichfield You're probably thinking of Mae'n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn (it's raining old women and sticks), as the Welsh equivalent of raining cats and dogs. Sadly, as to its origin, I cannot help. Daicaregos (talk) 13:14, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


I noticed this edit recently. Yes, the text that was deleted is unsourced, but is it really POV? I should think it's obvious that Welsh Not is bigotry. I am quite biased myself here however, so I'll not edit the section for fear of rendering it non-neutral. Cathfolant 22:04, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

The text removed (Many tried in vain to get rid of this bigotry.) is clearly against WP:NPOV. It also fails WP:VERIFY, WP:EDITORIAL, WP:LABEL and WP:WEASEL. I would not support its reinstatement, unless it can be attributed to a WP:RS. The current text should be sufficient for readers to form their own opinion on the policy, which is more powerful than their being told what to think. Daicaregos (talk) 13:18, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I see, thanks. Sorry. Cathfolant 19:33, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

De jure. . .[edit]

"Please do not change this to say "other than English" (or similar). English is only de facto official; it is not de jure official anywhere in the UK." Very interesting, and sounds like a good point, if a trifle pedantic. But is this WP:OR and therefore inadmissible? Or can one of the proponents come up with reliable verification, please? Bjenks (talk) 02:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

WP:OR rules don't apply to notes like these, which are simply comments for other editors rather than parts of the article. In this case, more than one editor has come along assuming that English must also be de jure official in the UK, when in fact it's not. Should you doubt this claim, here are a couple of reasonably reliable sources: (although the claim that English is not de jure official because there's no formal constitution can't be quite right; the government could still pass a law to make it official).
There's even a current petition to make it legally official:
Uh, huh! and there were 7 signatures on it when I looked! So, not much of an issue. I doubt whether the many English dialects spoken in the UK could be codified safely enough to become a legislated language! (What useful purpose could be served by such a thing, anyway? Ach y fi!) In my youth, naval officer pals told me only two versions were allowable at pompous Dartmouth--"Standard English of the South" and "educated Scottish brogue". Cheers, Bjenks (talk) 18:11, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
ych a fi, I think you'll find. [6] Martinevans123 (talk) 21:02, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the different legal status between Welsh and English is quite interesting and notable (the fact that editors keep coming along and thinking "that can't be right" implies as much to me), and not simply a point of pedantry. garik (talk) 14:39, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
"I doubt whether the many English dialects spoken in the UK could be codified safely enough to become a legislated language!" It's possible you've misunderstood what it means for a language to be de jure official (but probably more likely that I'm taking your point far too seriously at the end of a long day). You're right that no one very much cares about making English official in the UK. garik (talk) 22:18, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
It's also possible that User:Bjenks holds the wholly mistaken belief that Welsh is a "dialect" rather than an entirely separate and unrelated language. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
A possible speculation, but not really the case, look you! :) Bjenks (talk) 04:45, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
[7] it's not really a word, it's actually a "Middle-Welsh fossil-form phrase". lol Martinevans123 (talk) 21:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Native to Argentina[edit]

Brough87 objects to the inclusion of Argentina in the infobox on the grounds that "Welsh is not native to Argentina". Rather than keep reverting, I'll bring the discussion here. There has been a continuous community of Welsh speakers in the Chubut Valley since the mid 1800s. If you think "native to" means "originating in", then sure, Welsh isn't native to Argentina (although Argentinian Welsh is a distinct dialect of Welsh), but then nor is Spanish. Are you going to remove Latin America from the Spanish language infobox? More importantly, that's just an unnecessarily narrow definition of "native to". In this context what's meant is essentially that there is a significant and established community of native speakers who don't see themselves as recent immigrants. If Welsh isn't native to Argentina, then Spanish isn't native to Chile, English isn't native to Australia, and French isn't native to Canada. And if that's what you think, take your complaint to the template, not this article. garik (talk) 00:35, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree. And English isn't native to the US. Ghmyrtle (talk) 06:46, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree too. Argentina should be included in the infobox. Daicaregos (talk) 08:28, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
25,000 Welsh speakers in Argentina is hardly insignificant and, added to the fact that this enclave has endured since the 1860s, the inclusion of Argentina should be restored to the Info' box.
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 18:48, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

NB. Comment copied from Argentina section above: (Daicaregos (talk) 11:03, 5 October 2013 (UTC))

Two points I would like to make in this regard; First, the fact that Welsh may be spoken in various regions seems rather irrelevant to me. Do we have to make mention of every region in the world where a particular language is spoken? Second, there seems to be some confusion about what the term "native to" actually means. Welsh is native to the British Isles, specifically Wales; it is not however, native to Argentina. To use an example to demonstrate the point, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is native to North America, specifically the Eastern. But despite existing in the British isles (due to introduction), it is not Native to Britain; the Red Squirrel is. Brough87 (talk) 10:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
So you don't consider Spanish to be native to Argentina either? Fine. In that case you're likely to have a problem with a vast number of language articles on Wikipedia. Or rather, your problem is with the infobox itself, and you should take your discussion there. garik (talk) 18:30, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
garik No, Spanish is not native to Argentina or South America; but that does land me in any form of problem. The Spanish language article on Wikipedia (for example) does not have a line in the infobox that says: "Native to", and nor does the English one. My issue is not with the infobox itself, it is with this page. Brough87 (talk) 18:41, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I see, but that's just because they use the region variable rather than thestate (states) variable (for whatever reason). But the fact that using the state variable produces "native to" on the page is the result of how the infobox works, not any decision made on this article. So this leaves two questions: 1) For this article: Should we list Wales and Argentina under region rather than States? (This may have been discussed before.) 2) For the Infobox: Should the state (states) variable produce something other than "native to" on the page? In either case, you certainly don't have consensus to change this article yet. garik (talk) 20:06, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

I always found the "native to" rather awkward regardless of the language. What does it mean? It could mean the place the language originated. It could mean every place it is not an established language. It could mean any place the language is spoken (apparently). I do think Argentina belongs in the infobox if we compare with some other languages. The main problem, however, is not "Argentina" but the very idea of having a "native to" category. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeppiz (talkcontribs)

Yes, while I don't think Brough87's narrow definition of "native" is the only sensible one, I agree that the phrase is ambiguous and unhelpful here. But, as I say, that's an issue to take up at the template. The questions of whether we should include Argentina here (we should) and whether we use the region variable in the infobox are separate ones. garik (talk) 23:39, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. This edit here shows user Brough87's true colours. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 10:10, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. Brough87's insistence on promoting Englishness and Britishness over specific Celtic identities borders on WP:NOTHERE. AlexTiefling (talk) 16:15, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure these comments are making a useful contribution. Rather than discussing Brough87's motives, I suggest that we concentrate on the question of whether, and how, Argentina should be listed in the Infobox if there's even anything else to discuss on that question. If there's not, I propose that we end the discussion here. garik (talk) 18:09, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Why not say native to Patagonia? This seems far more specific and surely non-controversial. The numbers of native Welsh speakers in Argentina relative to their Spanish speaking population is a pin-prick. On the other hand, as most people should know (and everyone in Wales does know) the Welsh language is well-established in Patagonia. Sionk (talk) 10:52, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
First and formost, the definition of native is not "narrow" in any sense of the word. It just seems that you do not like the definition. In the case of my "motives", I do not promote Englishness or Britishness at all; rather I edit in line reality. If the Breton people are related to the Cornish, the Welsh, the Manx and even the Scots and Irish, then they must be related to the English. The English do not exist in some bubble outside of these groups. Brough87 (talk) 13:22, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Furthermore if I am guilty of WP:NOTHERE, you most certainly are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brough87 (talkcontribs) 13:24, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well, put it this way, your definition of "native" (which includes only countries in which the language in question originated) is narrower than that of most other people who've contributed to this discussion (who would include both countries in which the language originated and countries where it has a well established population of native speakers). I'm inclined to agree with you, incidentally, that if the Bretons are related to the Scots, Irish and Manx, then it's reasonable to say they're related to the English too. But—as I said above—I don't think that discussion contributes much to the present one. In any case, this article no longer contains the phrase "native to". I think the only discussion worth having on this topic is the one to be had at the infobox template itself. garik (talk) 15:12, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Regardless of the complexities of the issues here and any wider questions about the use of the infobox parameter as a whole, it is surely bizarre if not outright misleading, in any standard English-language use of the term, to describe the Welsh language as being "native" to Argentina or even to any specific area of it. N-HH talk/edits 21:57, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Would you also consider it bizarre to describe Spanish as "native" to Argentina, N-HH? If so, I can certainly see where you and Brough87 are coming from. I think that's a perfectly reasonable interpretation of "native to", but I don't think that's the only interpretation on the block. I think a lot of native English speakers would say that a language is native to a country if it's spoken natively there by a well established community. In other words, I'd say that many people would be happy to say that English and French are both native to Canada. Now, I'm happy to accept that the term is ambiguous here, as indeed the term "native" is with regard to people. For example, while phrase "native Canadian" is used to refer to a specific ethnic group, I think that most people would consider Alanis Morisette to be native to Canada (in spite of her lack of Inuit blood). In any case, the article no longer contains the phrase "native to", so I think we can move on (or take the debate to the Infobox template). garik (talk) 22:52, 11 October 2013 (UTC) edited by garik (talk) 22:57, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I would find such a claim about Spanish equally odd. As you say, the term "native to" can have varying meanings, ranging from "originates in" to "has a long-standing presence in" or "is found in", but to me, in this context, it tends towards the former; and, regardless of what I – or anyone else – might happen to read it as meaning, the point is of course that there is that ambiguity, which means it is best avoided. Ultimately, I was really just offering belated support for the removal of the term and category from the infobox as rendered here. N-HH talk/edits 09:04, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Cymräeg as an alternative spelling[edit]

Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru lists Cymräeg as an alternative spelling to Cymraeg. Should this be included in the article? -- (talk) 22:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

In which context? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:07, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
It does indeed list that spelling, but it's so rare I can't see any value to including it here. Garik (talk) 00:08, 27 June 2014 (UTC)