One World, Many Voices

Language Communities

Welsh

You have to struggle consciously for your identity. Not because you’re better than anybody else or because your culture is any greater. That’s not it. It just happens to be yours. You make sense of your life in terms of that culture.
— Meredydd Evans, Welsh Historian and Musician, Wales

Welsh is a Celtic language spoken primarily in Wales. The Welsh language was once heading towards extinction, but now is a model of successful language revitalization. Spoken by over 20% of Wales' population of 3 million, Welsh is increasingly used in social media, schooling, poetry, and musical performance, and also spoken in everyday life with great pride. One factor that has contributed positively to the revitalization of Welsh has been its compulsory study in primary schools.

This presentation was made possible by the Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru.


Click to watch video

Meredydd Evans: The Power of the Welsh Language and Cultural Identity

Click to watch video

Arfon Gwilym, Robin Huw Bowen, and Sioned Webb sing a traditional plygain carol in Welsh

Click to watch video

Accordionist Gito Davies, recorded in Lorient, France, during field research for the 2009 Wales Smithsonian Cymru Festival program.


Festival Participants:

Gwyneth Glyn (singer-songwriter, poet)
Ifor ap Glyn (poet, broadcaster)
Twm Morys (poet, musician, singer)
Owen Saer (language teacher, choir director)

Click to enlarge and view captions Click to enlarge and view captions

Click to enlarge and view captions

Related Audio

Highlights from the One World, Many Voices program
Highlights from the One World, Many Voices program

Welsh Poetry and Song