Irish language commentators that appear from time to time in the News Letter might be interested in the following excerpt from The Daily Telegraph.
It appeared on January 8:
‘Welsh is not in danger of dying out, scientists have concluded after investigating how vulnerable languages are to extinction. Researchers at Canterbury University in New Zealand looked at how proficient populations were at speaking a language to work out if it was endangered or not.
‘About 30 per cent of the population of Wales speak the the language and 11 per cent are fluent.
‘The study published in The Royal Society Interface, showed that the language would be safe even if it dropped to just 6 per cent fluency. It predicted half the population would be proficient in Welsh by 2200.’
Welsh, which is related to Irish, evolved from the Celtic language spoken by ancient Celtic Britons from the Bronze Age, some linguists suggesting it was fully formed by 550 AD.
In a recent survey, by the Office for National Statistics, it is suggested that more than 800,000 Welsh residents speak Welsh.
It would appear that the Welsh language is facing a bright future.
Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh