The Welsh language has been used in parts of what is now Wales for over a thousand years. Welsh was at one point considered a dying language, but it has had quite a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Welsh is a language with a rich and varied history that is spoken by people in a number of countries around the world.
Welsh is generally thought to have been established in Britain, most likely during the Iron or Bronze Age. It is believed to have evolved, at least in part, from British. British itself is a Celtic language that was spoken by the Britons who first came to what is now England. Welsh is considered to have gone through some distinctive phrases in its development towards its current form. Old Welsh is the first truly recognizable version of the language that was recorded. A variety of poems have actually survived in to the modern days in this form of the language. After Old Welsh the language evolved in to what is considered Middle Welsh and then on to Early Modern Welsh. The current version of Welsh is considered Late Modern Welsh.
Welsh is one of the main language of Wales (part of Great Briton in the United Kingdom) along with English. Wales itself is actually called Cymru in the Welsh language. Welsh can most commonly be heard in the northern and western parts of Wales, though a high percentage of people in the rest of the country can at least understand some of the language. Along with Wales, Welsh is also spoken in some other countries around the world. The main other location that Welsh is spoken is the province of Chubut in Argentina. Several thousand people in this area speak Welsh fluently. In addition there are some native speakers of Welsh in the United States of America and Canada, as well as some in Australia and the rest of Great Britain. Roughly 770,000 people in the world speak Welsh, with some being considered native speakers and others considered to just have a basic understanding of the language.
Welsh was considered a dying language in the early 1900's, as most of the native speakers were switching to primarily using English, the more common language in the United Kingdom. Due to a number of initiatives, like requiring Welsh to be taught in schools, the number of Welsh speakers has gone up since that time. Welsh has been so popular in Wales in fact that with the 2011 Welsh Language Measure it was given its status as the official language of Wales. This is quite a distinction as it is the only language, outside of English, that is recognized in the United Kingdom.
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