Greetings in a number of languages

Every language under the Sun

Parent & Teacher Guidance
Every language under the Sun

How many times have you heard that learning and speaking English is important? People used to say that you had to speak English 'to get on in the world'. But how true is that today I wonder?

The list below shows the distribution of five of the most popular official or first languages in the world.

  1. Mandarin (909 million)
  2. Spanish (460 million)
  3. English (379 million)
  4. Hindi (341 million)
  5. Arabic (315 million)

There is no mention of Welsh! Welsh is a minority language, a language spoken by a minority of the country's population. But believe it or not, there are 60 minority languages in Europe alone (not to mention the rest of the world), spoken by over 40 million people.

Welsh is a Celtic language. The term Celts  is used by historians and archaeologists for people who lived across a wide area including central and western Europe, with some extending as far as Asia Minor. The term is also used for modern nations that speak a Celtic language or spoke a Celtic language until fairly recently. The Celtic languages are divided into Brythonic – Welsh, Breton and Cornish – and Goidelic, namely Gaelic, Irish and Manx. The countries known as "Celtic countries" today are the six Celtic nations in north-west Europe – Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Brittany.

In August 2016 the First Minister published details of the Welsh Government's campaign to increase the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "We are a nation that prides itself on our bilingualism. Vibrant Welsh-speaking communities contribute to the diversity of the country, making Wales an incomparable founding country to live in or visit.

The Annual Population Survey published in June 2020 indicates that 28.5% of people aged three and over can speak Welsh. In terms of total population, this amounts to 861,700 people. So, on to the million!

A nation is a large group of people who live in one area or country with their own government, distinctive language, culture and traditions.
Distribution is how something is divided among a certain number.
Minority is the number representing much less than half of the total.
Mandarin is the language spoken in the northern and south-western areas of China.
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