Historians see clues in the prose of the earliest Welsh poets, writing between the fifth and eighth centuries.
They pinpoint Early Welsh, Breton and Cornish as being related. Wales was one of the first countries to use its own language to create laws, and the word Cymry was used to describe its people as long ago as the seventh century. Norman invaders brought French to the valleys, and their British followers introduced English. You can imagine Owain Glyndwr, who had instigated a revolt at the start of the 15th century, turning in his grave against the ruling.
Then there was the Act of Uniformity of , which demanded all acts of public worship be conducted in English, and the somewhat contradictory legislation of Elizabeth I, who wanted churches to carry Welsh versions of the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible. But more than a fifth of the population of modern Cymru can speak or use Welsh, and that figure doubles among children, helped by two major education acts passed during the s.
There are also plenty of newspapers, regional radio stations and road signs in both English and Welsh. If you've missed the day, don't worry - Welsh language music can and should! Here's our man Huw Stephens to explain a little more about the day And the phrases you should look out for?
Graham Norton. The Wall. John Lanchester.
2. Technical Change and Cultural Narrative at the National Library of Wales
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Live and Kicking: The Impact and Sustainability of Digital Collections in the Humanities
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History and Heritage attractions in Mid Wales
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