Silly Foreign Languages: WELSH


Welsh is the language of Wales (Cymru), a small and incomprehensible rugby-playing nation in north-west Europe.  We would support a boycott of the Six Nations until the Welsh stop speaking Welsh, as this foreign language gives them an unfair advantage on the field (and rugger is such a lower-class sport anyway), but in the meantime let us English celebrate their language so they stop talking it because of reverse psychology.
There are two types of Welsh:

1) Welsh Welsh (Cymraeg), the Celtic language of the ancients where people say things like “Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn”.  Was there really any need for a second language in Wales, when they already had English?!  The answer is Nos da.  If you know Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Cornish or Breton, you will understand Welsh better than I.

2) The Welsh-English language, which is essentially the same as Welsh Welsh: it is the complex-riddled, highly inhibited language of people as talk differently to the Queen, and therefore terrible.  It is simple linguistic theory: it is impossible to learn good English/Welsh if one works in coal, but in a palace your English will always sound intelligent-like, or at least we’ll pretend it does.   Even if you speak the Queen’s English, this is invalid if you move to Wales, as it lies outside the area of Core English and we won’t be able to hear you. [1]

Welsh Anglicisms
Luckily, most Welsh-speakers have also gained a smattering of English.  This means that they will be able to communicate with you, an Englishman, though if you act as I do then they probably won’t want to.  This English invasion, a benign and harmless invasion I hasten to add, has also led to Welsh’s being strengthened by lots of English words.

This is a strange case for us English linguo-whingers.   We dislike it when English is misused (i.e. to argue against us), but, if we hate the phrase “me and her went shopping”, imagine how much we must hate Welsh, an entirely separate language within the UK!  You would probably expect that we would want Welsh wiped out.

Surprisingly, however, we are very enthusiastic about the re-vival that Welsh has undergone, and hope that it vives for a lot longer, because Welsh now has its very own pedants!   This is excellent news for Wales.   In this article (pp7-8) we hear of one man’s struggle to point out and mock the Bad Welsh of the Manic Street Preachers (a “band”, whatever that is), who tried to raise the language’s profile but used slang, urgh!   And that is how you protect a language: by getting rid of slang (and words that used to be slang) until all that remains is good, clean Welshness.

But standard Welsh does contain double negatives.   As we mentioned when having a go at Spaniards, double negatives are a scourge that we must purge, regardless of whether this is a stupid idea or not.

Some people appear to have founded the Queen’s Welsh Society, condemning the Anglicism walk but allowing wâc, even though walk is spelled better as far as I can see.   The future solution to the Welsh question probably lies somewhere between saying “everything is allowed” and “nothing is allowed”, but I’m sure the QWS will sort it out, just as the QES sorted
 out English.

 

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