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Re: Language Revival and Revitalization (was: Ms. Gunn)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 10, 2002, 5:35
On Tuesday, July 9, 2002, at 03:45 , Keith Gaughan wrote:

> From: Steg Belsky [mailto:draqonfayir@JUNO.COM]
> Somehow i doubt that's how they did it in Wales, either. :-) >> So we know how Israel did it, how did Wales? Did they just send >> everybody off to an "wlpan" (i love that word) or something? > > Suprisingly close. The Welsh, inspired somewhat by the success > of the Israelis decided to start doing a similar sort of > total-immersion thingy. It was pretty successful.
Oh yes - the total immersion thingy still continues, i believe. There is a strong desire among many Welsh of the anglicized areas, particularly in the south east, to regain the "heritage". Welsh was still spoken in that area till well into the 19th century and lingered on in the chapels until the 20th.
> Welsh is > quite a healthy language these days, and getting stronger.
Yep - that is so. Welsh always retained a healthy L1 population in the north and parts of south Wales, especially in the old county of Carmarthenshire; and Elizabeth I in ordering the Bible and the Anglican 'Book of Common Prayer' to be translated into Welsh, gave it a literary standard which helped to hold the dialects together. So the modern revival in the anglicized parts of Wales started from far more favorable bases than attempts at Irish revival in Ireland. Queen Bess BTW had the translations made not out of any fondness for the Welsh language but for purely pragmatic reasons; she was an astute politician and realized that she had a much greater chance of getting the Welsh to accept her "media via" Anglican settlement if they had these things in their own language. She didn't want the Welsh to react against English by clinging to the 'old religion' as the Irish had done. But, whatever her motives, she did the Welsh a favor :) Ray.