Dwi’n caru Cymraeg – I love Welsh: the reason we all want more CymraegPublished on 17 May 2021 by Amy Greenwood
Most people in the world – 60 to 75% by some estimates – speak more than one language.
If that includes you – well done! Researchers reckon that bilinguals have significant cognitive advantages over their monoglot counterparts. Better memory, perception, and ability to focus their attention. They have also found significant health benefits including, for example, faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia.
If that doesn’t include you, don’t worry. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it’s never too late to learn a language. And you know what? There’s never been a better time to make the rich, evocative and poetic Welsh language your linguistic challenge of choice.
According to the popular language learning app Duolingo, Welsh is now the fastest growing language in the U.K. with the number of new learners in 2020 up 44% on 2019. Welsh is now so popular it is the ninth most popular language to learn in the country. To date over 1.5 million people have started learning Welsh on Duolingo.
Learners say they want to learn one of the oldest languages in Europe not just simply to brain train – but because they have an interest in Welsh culture and heritage, and want to invest further in it.
Our top tips for learning Welsh? Start with the easy stuff. Everyone loves to be greeted in their own language because it shows the person you are greeting that you are interested in their culture and want to make a connection. And you can’t go wrong with a please and thank you! Check out some basic phrases below to get started, and maybe you can use them next time you holiday in Wales. Diolch yn fawr!
Croeso – welcome
Bore da – good morning
Diolch – thank you
Diolch yn fawr – thank you very much
Prynhawn da – good afternoon
Nos da – good night
If you’d like to find out more about Welsh language and culture, head to the Nant Gwrtheyrn heritage centre near Pwllheli, or the Porth y Swnt National Trust Centre near Aberdaron, both on Pen Llŷn / the Llŷn peninsula. Check out our holiday top five cottage picks on Pen Llŷn / the Llŷn Peninsula, here.