Welsh in decline

Welsh in decline

Краткое содержание. Причины упадка  роли валлийского языка  в жизни  Уэльса очевидны.  Во-первых, многие молодые люди  из деревень переезжают  на учебу и в поисках работы в большие города или в соседнюю Англию, где они забывают родной валлийский язык. Во-вторых, тяжело постоянно говорить на родном языке в обществе, где доминирует английский , поэтому хотя валлийские дети и  изучают валлийский  в школе, после школы они переходят на английский язык. В-третьих, тексты-сообщения и  общение онлайн традиционно происходит на международном языке- английском.

Однако, в Уэльсе существует много активистов, борющихся за сохранение валлийского языка.  Инициативные группы  организуют кампании в защиту языка, и ищут способы заинтересовать молодежь не забывать родной язык. Интересно, например, многие местные команды регби на тренировках и в общении используют только валлийский язык. Здесь уместно заметить, что регби является национальной игрой валлийцев.

 Read the abridged articles below and do the exercise.

Heini Gruffudd, a Welsh language  activist,  an author and  linguist, says that  people have believed that Welsh would die out for hundreds of years; with all the pressures it has faced, its survival is a bit of a miracle.

Nowadays there are obvious problems for the decline.  The rural economy prompts young people to move to towns and over the border into England. As a result, many people, particularly the young, regard speaking Welsh in societies dominated by English to be a bit of an effort. It's very difficult when you're living next to a language superpower; the young people are bombarded by English whether it be in computer games or on social media.

There is no doubt that this is a crucial  time for the language in traditional Welsh-speaking heartlands, both in south-west Wales and across the country. 

The latest surveys  revealed  that, for example, , in the Welsh-speaking stronghold of Carmarthenshire, there were five electoral divisions where more than 70% of the people spoke the language in 2001. Now there are none.

Or, for instance, In Pontyberem – such a hotspot that it is commonly believed to be the inspiration for the long-running Welsh-language soap opera Pobol y Cwm, or People of the Valley, which helped launch the career of actor Ioan Gruffudd – the number of speakers has dropped from almost three-quarters at the turn of the century to 69%.

The older people do speak Welsh in everyday life  but lots of the young ones don't. They can speak it. They learn it in school, but they choose not to use Welsh.

Campaighn groups and societies  such as Dyfodol i'r Iaith  or  Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, struggle to give people more opportunities to speak the Welsh language. They are  calling for more pressure to be put on bodies and companies to make sure people have the right to speak, and to be spoken to, in Welsh in all settings from the high street to the hospital.

Exercise 1.  Find the equivalents in the text to the phrases below. Check with the Answer Key.

  1. regression
  2. bastion
  3. vitally important
  4. prevail over
  5. central and the most important part of the country
  6. environment, surrounding
  7. to begin


  1. 1-The decline, 2-stronghold, 3-crucial,  4-to dominate, 5-heatlands,  6-setting, 7-launch

Полный текст статьи можно прочитать на вебсайте  британской газеты The  Guardian



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