Letter: Treason against Welsh speakers

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Social Affairs Unit has come to the conclusion that the Welsh language should be allowed to die (report, 28 February). This is of course a logical conclusion, as being able to speak one of the oldest and richest languages of Europe could not possibly be of benefit to anyone.

It is also a waste of time learning a language which has a living literature reaching back to the seventh century, and why on earth should anyone want to learn a language which finds expression today in its own television channel and its own popular music culture, and which, in the National Eisteddfod, boasts the largest cultural festival in Europe?

A language which is still living and vibrant and in everyday use in many parts of Wales; a language which has a growing number of speakers and a growing number of parents seeking Welsh-medium education for their children, because, among other reasons, of its proven track record in achieving high academic standards, should obviously be "allowed to die" - because we can all speak English!

I wonder if the Social Affairs Unit is aware that a similar conclusion was reached by the Education Report of 1847, known ever since in Wales as Brad y llyfrau gleision ("The treason of the blue books"). A hundred and fifty years on, despite being periodically undermined and even sometimes persecuted, the Welsh language is still a living language.

It is not learning Welsh that blights children's lives, but the blinkered views of those who would impoverish their education by making it conform to the dictates of English linguistic and cultural imperialism.


Fareham, Hampshire