Language of the Week: Welsh

Daffodil flower and leek vegetables over distressed wooden background, symbols of Wales.

Did you know that Welsh is now one of the 111 languages available to learn with uTalk? And as it was Saint David’s Day yesterday, we’ve chosen Welsh as our language of the week.

1st March each year is when the Welsh celebrate the patron Saint of Wales, who died on that day in or around 569 AD. People all around the globe mark the day by wearing the national emblems, either a leek or a daffodil, and there are parades and various music and cultural events to celebrate the holiday.

St David was buried in the Cathedral of St David’s in Pembrokeshire, which has now become a popular place of pilgrimage.

Here are some fun facts and figures about the Welsh language and Wales (Cymru):

  • Arsenal footballer Aaron Ramsay, and singers Connie Fisher, Rhydian Roberts, Cerys Mathews and Duffy all speak Welsh, as do actors Ioan Gruffudd and Matthew Rhys.
  • The Welsh alphabet does not include the letters J, K, V, X and Y.
  • The Welsh Motto is: ‘Cymru am byth’ (pronounced come-ree am-bith), which means Wales for ever, or long live Wales.
  • 21% of the population in Wales speak Welsh, and 20% of primary school children are taught in Welsh.
  • The village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest place name in Britain. Anyone want to have a go at pronouncing it?!
  • The national animal of Wales is the Dragon, which appears on the country’s flag.
Welsh flag - green and white background with a big red dragon on the front - waving in front of a sunset.
  • Welsh is a Celtic language and was one of the earliest written languages in Europe.
  • Since 1865, there’s been a Welsh colony in Patagonia, Argentina. The people there speak Patagonian Welsh, which is different to the Welsh spoken in Wales. This year is the colony’s 150th anniversary.
  • Wales is said to contain more castles per square mile than any other country in the world.
  • A traditional dish in Wales is laverbread, which is made from seaweed (have you ever tried it?)

Did you celebrate St David’s Day yesterday? Tell us about it in the comments!

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