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Welsh language

Brittonic language spoken natively in Wales / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Welsh (Cymraeg [kəmˈraːiɡ] i or y Gymraeg ɡəmˈraːiɡ]) is a Celtic language of the Brittonic subgroup that is native to the Welsh people. Welsh is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa (the Welsh colony in Chubut Province, Argentina).[6]

Quick facts: Welsh, Pronunciation, Region, Ethnicity, Spea...
Cymraeg, y Gymraeg
RegionUnited Kingdom (Wales, England), Argentina (Chubut Province)
Early forms
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1cy
ISO 639-2wel (B)
cym (T)
ISO 639-3cym
Welsh-speaking population in Wales according to the 2021 census
Welsh is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)[5]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Video of a Welsh speaker.

It is spoken by smaller numbers of people in Canada and the United States descended from Welsh immigrants, within their households (especially in Nova Scotia). Historically, it has also been known in English as "British",[7] "Cambrian",[8] "Cambric"[9] and "Cymric".[10]

The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 gave the Welsh language official status in Wales.[11] Welsh and English are de jure official languages of the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd,[12] with Welsh being the only de jure official language in any part of the United Kingdom, with English being de facto official.

According to the 2021 census, the Welsh-speaking population of Wales aged three or older was 538,300 (17.8%) and nearly three quarters of the population in Wales said they had no Welsh language skills.[13] Other estimates suggest that 906,800 people (29.7%) aged three or older in Wales could speak Welsh in March 2023.[14] Almost half of all Welsh speakers consider themselves fluent, while 21 per cent are able to speak a reasonable amount.[15]

The Welsh government plans to increase the number of Welsh-language speakers to one million by 2050. Since 1980, the number of children attending Welsh-medium schools has increased, while the number going to Welsh bilingual and dual-medium schools has decreased.[16] Welsh is considered the least endangered Celtic language by UNESCO.[17]