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Vibrancy of the Welsh language

For the last few weeks we've had the pleasure of the company of James from Coleg Meirion Dwyfor Dolgellau in our Engagement department. James is with us two days a week for a three month period.

As part of his placement we asked him to think about one of our Special Qualities - 'The Vibrancy of the Welsh Language' and come up with some facts to post on our website and social media.

All of the National Parks in Wales, Scotland and England have a clearly defined list of ‘Special Qualities’. They set out what makes the area special and unique. The combination of these Special Qualities are the core of designation as a National Park. 

The vibrancy of Welsh is most obvious in Eryri as it continues to be the choice of language in many social and professional environments. It is evident in local place names, the wildlife and history there in and is therefore intrinsic to the uniqueness of our cultural and natural heritage.

Welsh is one of the oldest living languages in Europe. Breton and Cornish are closely related, with Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx originating from the same source. It is an indigenous language of the British Isles, that has had to compete with Latin, Norman-French and English. Although having declined at moments in our history, Welsh has survived, often against all the odds, and now has protected status via Welsh Government legislation. There is a growing awareness of the benefits of a ‘bilingual brain’ with a wider recognition that Welsh lies at the heart of what makes Wales and Snowdonia unique and that it is a priceless asset to be nurtured for the whole of the nation.

History and culture is everywhere in Snowdonia and Welsh is spoken by 58% of our population with the percentage as high as 85% in some communities.

Here are some of the facts James researched for us about the Welsh language . . .