Official measures promoting growth of Welsh:- 1965 Hughes-Parry Report on status of Welsh 1967 First Welsh Language Act (‘equal validity’) 1967 Gittins Report Primary Education in Wales – aim of full national bilinguality 1972 Bowen Report on roadsigns 1973 Council for Welsh Language 1979 Radio Cymru: 126 hours weekly in Welsh 1978 Council Report: Future for Welsh Language 1982 S4C Welsh-medium TV channel: 34 hrs p. wk in Welsh 1988 Welsh Language Advisory Board 1988 Education Act – Welsh in core curriculum 1993 Second Welsh Language Act 1993 Welsh Language Board 1998 Government of Wales Act – language powers devolved
Welsh speakers by age-group: 1971-81-91-2001 Censuses
Gaelic speakers by age-group: 1971-81-91-2001 Censuses
Welsh speakers 1971-81-91-2001: age-group as % of all speakers
Gaelic speakers 1971-81-91- 2001: age-group as % of all speakers
Welsh speakers 1971-81-91-2001: as % total in each age-group
Gaelic speakers 1971-81-91-2001: as % of total in each age-group
Welsh and Gaelic language viability 1971-81-91-2001 censuses: Age profile of speakers: The Gaelic language group has steadily aged: the proportion of speakers 65+ increased 1971-91, and only marginally decreased 1991-2001: 22.7% 24.4% 25.2% 24.5 % The ageing of Welsh language-group has decreased: : the proportion of speakers 65+ has steadily fallen: 31.0% 27.4% 22.6% 16.9%
Welsh and Gaelic language-viability 1971-81-91-2001 censuses Youth profile of speakers: Proportion of Gaelic speakers aged 3-15 years declined: from 1971-91 – but has increased between 1991-2001: 11.8% 11.9% 10.7% 12.7% and similarly numerically: 9,991 9,454 7,092 7,435 Proportion of Welsh speakers aged 3-15 years has steadily and substantially increased: 14.3% 16.5% 26.3% 31.7% and numerically: 77,560 83,900 113,,236 184,407
Welsh and Gaelic language viability: 1971-81-91-2001 Censuses Potential viability: Proportion of Gaelic speakers aged 3 - 24 years has remained virtually static: 21.3% 21.9% 20.5% 21.9% Proportion of Welsh speakers aged 3- 24 years has markedly increased: 25.6% 29.1% 34.0% 43.7% Note: at least 33.3 % is basic for language-group reproduction.
Welsh language viability: implications for Gaelic language-planning The success of Welsh language viability was built upon: Popular movements to secure language for youth Urdd 1922+, in home Undeb Cenedlaethol 1913+, and culture Undeb Cymru Fydd 1939+: much development interwar. A playgroups movement: Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, from 1971, followed by rapid growth; Welsh-medium units and schools (primary from 1939 and 1947, secondary from 1956) followed by rapid growth; Legislation for status (1967, 1993), and language in education (1944, 1988); Effective presence in the mass-media: Radio Cymru 1978+, S4C 1982+.
Welsh and Gaelic speakers youth profiles: 1971-81-91-2001 Censuses – 3-15 years as % of all speakers
Welsh and Gaelic speakers age profiles: 1971-81-91-2001 Censuses - 65s and over as % of all speakers
Welsh and Gaelic speakers 1971-81-91-2001: by % in age-groups
Language viability – some conclusions: Welsh has benefited from legislation, administrative measures and provisions in education and the media, which Gaelic has almost entirely lacked. As a result of this: The Welsh language-group is increasingly youthful and by 1991 regained the potential for effective viability. Gaelic has been very largely without the measures enjoyed by Welsh: language and education acts, a language-planning authority (until now), appropriate scale of educational provision, administrative support, and dedicated broadcast media. Without these measures Gaelic will be unable to build the necessary cultural infrastructure that every language group needs to maintain itself in today’s world. Scotland – like Wales – now has devolved powers on language, and therefore has the same means to provide for language needs as Wales.