There is increasing evidence of the decline of the Welsh language as a lingua franca of areas traditionally thought of as Welsh speaking, coupled with a marked increase in the use of the language in more Anglicised areas. It’s a fairly easy phenomena to understand – as the % speakers fall below 75 to 70% it is normal for the languages of institutions such as the WI, Cricket Clubs, Young Farmers etc etc to change their primary language.
A good sort of test these days is to have a look at some websites. Because I’m interested, and the demographic is younger than average, I’l choose some Rugby and Soccer clubs to have a look at.
Firstly from the area of Industrial Eastern Carmarthenshire where the Westward drift of the language boundary continues, but still contains, by percentage, some of the most Welsh speaking communities in the World.
The Scarlets set a pretty good example with a website that seems almost entirely bilingual.
It’s less encouraging in the smaller clubs as Cydweli monoglot English, Y Tymbl not much better. Cwmllynfell slightly more content.
In North Pembrokeshire, another area under pressure, Crymych the best of the small clubs so far.
Further West in Cardiganshire we have Cardigan itself which make an effort, but the extremely disappointing Lampeter.
So some bad news in the South.
Moving North both Porthmadog Football and Bethesda RFC excellent whilst the contrast between the Caernarfon Rugby Club and Soccer clubs astonishing really.
Finally here’s Bethel FC which is the only one I can find to state a language policy:
“Bethel is a small village outside Caernarfon, Gwynedd, in North Wales. Our first language is Welsh and therefore our website is bilingual.”
So a bit of a contrast between North and South but some bad and some good news….Any good examples from Ireland?