Following disappointment that Harold Camping’s predications did not come true (so I am going to have do to all this marking and mow the lawn after all…) came further disappointment with the announcement that the Y Byd project has finally been brought to an end. It is easy to suggest that it was a lack of political will or the economic down-turn that is responsible, but I do wonder if it reflects something wider and more concerning – are Welsh-speakers maybe becoming complacent about the language? It is perhaps easy to think that all is well with the language – the census suggests it is on the up, Welsh-medium education is in great demand, and so on – all that campaigning has paid off, the language is saved and now we can relax?
Set this against the falling density of speakers in many areas, concerns around competence and confidence particularly in writing Welsh, the uncertain state of S4C and the failure of Y Byd.
The continuing survival of the language depends critically on the continued vigilance and active engagement of speakers (and non-speakers) in ensuring that survival. UNESCO classify the Welsh language as “vulnerable” – it is hard to imagine a time when this will not be the case (in a positive sense at least!). Perhaps we need a new Saunders Lewis and a new Tynged yr Iaith to issue the call to action.
Hmmm… all too gloomy, so let’s end on a positive note – new Welsh language newspaper launched, Clecs Camwy from Menter Patagonia… makes you think…