Europe is rich in languages – there are over 200 European languages and many more spoken by citizens whose family origin is from other continents. This is an important resource to be recognised, used and cherished.
Why learn Welsh?
Thousands of adults are now learning Welsh – but why?
1. Over 582,000 people in Wales speak Welsh and over a million who understand, not to mention those who live and speak Welsh outside Wales.
2.It’s growing. All children in schools in Wales either speak or learn Welsh so it is going to be a language of the future.
3. It’s in demand. All public sector organisations in Wales are legally bound to provide services in both Welsh and English and many private companies do so because it’s good for business. This makes Welsh-speaking employees a very attractive asset to companies!
4.It’s a unique selling point. Tourist and hospitality industries throughout Europe are now realizing the importance of offering unique experiences. Having two languages and a sense of Welsh history and culture puts Wales in a strong position.
5.It creates new opportunities. Research shows that employees with bilingual skills are more likely to earn a salary 8-10% higher than workers without bilingual skills.
6. It opens new doors. Even learning a few words can increase your sense of awareness of what is around you. Understanding the names of streets and place names in your area and the reasons behind them can be extremely interesting and can open new doors.
7.It leads to more. There is a growing European research tradition showing that bilinguals tend to be more attuned to languages, more linguistically prepared to learn a third language.
8.It gives you the best of both worlds. It provides the opportunity to experience two different cultures, two worlds of experience. It can help people to feel a sense of belonging to Wales. Radio Cymru, S4C and the Eisteddfod – as well as hosts of local and community events can be enjoyed without translation equipment and subtitles.
9.It gives you twice as much. For example, those interested in literature and history will have access to a literary tradition spanning 1,500 years! Those interested in music will be able to enjoy a greater understanding of Welsh pop and rock, folk, choir and hymn music.
10. It keeps your mind fit. There are cognitive benefits to being bilingual – you are more creative, good at maths and a lateral thinker.
Information taken from Cardiff University – School of Welsh
Do you have an interesting reason for learning Welsh? Let us know about it, using the comments box below.
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