Welsh is one of the oldest languages in Europe. It has evolved from the main language spoken in Wales, England, and Southern Scotland—Brythonic—around the time of 43 AD. Between 400-700 AD, Welsh began to emerge as a distinctive language, and there are still remnants of early Welsh poetry surviving from this period.
Today, there exist language laws for the development and continuance of the language, such as the 1993 Welsh Language Act and Welsh Government’s 2003 Iaith Pawb – A National Action Plan for a Bilingual Wales. The 1911 census recorded the highest number of Welsh speakers – 977,366, 43.5% of the population of Wales. Now, only about 21% of the entire Welsh population of Wales can speak the native language, but it remains an integral part of the identity of Wales.
The Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the 2nd longest name of a place globally. The name of the town translates in English to “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave.” It is clear, gives direction, and is expressed only in one word. What happens when you translate Welsh words into English? You end up with long Welsh words broken up into simplified English words, using the processes of direct translation and transcreation.
Over 700,000 Welsh speakers live in the United Kingdom, and is widely spoken as a language of the UK as well. About 562,016 Welsh speakers live in Wales at about 19% of the Welsh population, according to the 2011 Census. The Welsh-speaking community is concentrated in the north and the west of Wales, but fluent Welsh speakers live throughout the country of Wales. Learn more about how to reach these types of speakers (in both Wales and the UK) by getting in touch with us for your translation needs.