“No less peculiar” – Jan Morris on Nant Gwrtheyrn

Capel Seilo Nant Gwrtheyrn

Fear not, Jan Morris, “universally considered one of the greatest living travel writers”, has not turned to the Dark Side. After the silliness of yesterday’s Telegraph article on Duffy, I thought it’d make a pleasant change to recalibrate our persecution complexes with an article by someone who knows what she’s talking about:

The language is still spoken in the villages above, beyond the conifer woods, because the Llyn Peninsula is one of the Welshest parts of all Wales. Even there, though, it is constantly under threat, as the colossal forces of Anglophone globalism, expressed through television and e-mail, newspapers and popular trend, bludgeon all indigenous cultures everywhere. It is said that of the 6,000-odd languages spoken in the world today, half will be dead by the end of the century, and not long ago Welsh seemed obviously doomed too. There were less than three million people in Wales, and more than 40 million in England, and whereas English was one of the greatest of all the world languages, Welsh was spoken only by a third even of the Welsh themselves. Thousands of English people had settled in Wales, seldom bothering to learn Welsh, while the mass of the Welsh themselves found it advantageous to use the lingua franca of half the world, so accessible and so seductive a few miles away across the English border.

[Diolch i heddgwynfor am y ddolen, ac i papalamour am y llun.]


About Nic Dafis

Yn wreiddiol o'r Waun, Wrecsam, bellach yn byw ger Llangrannog, Ceredigion. Gweithio fel tiwtor Cymraeg i oedolion.
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2 Responses to “No less peculiar” – Jan Morris on Nant Gwrtheyrn

  1. C Gruff says:

    Sad to say, I went there not so long ago, and I must admit it’s possibly the worst place I have ever been to learn Welsh, unfortunately the other people on the course felt the same way too. Very isolated and no permanent residents, it’s not an immersive experience, ancient materials and run down teaching facilities, bit of an isolated experience, you really need a car too.

    It’s a real shame, but I suppose the idea worked at the time 80s? I would think that people are now better off doing the Summer School in Aberystwyth or things that are run, down in Cardiff. You’ll have a better chance of actually speaking to someone at all.

    Great place for a day trip though!

  2. Jonathan says:

    It is perhaps a sign of Nant G’s success in the first two thirds of it’s existence that many other Language Centres, courses etc now exist.
    naturally any course is only as good as the tuors, materials and students attending.
    I went there during 20002 and 2003 for several courses under tutor Howar Edwards. The course and tutor was great. Howard now works in Llanrwst for Popeth Cymraeg. Nowadays there are scores of day schools, summer schools etc in Wales and beyond. The Assembly has established 6 language centres around Wales mostly based on Univeristy sites.
    There have been One Day Schools over the border in England in London, Birmingham, Basingstoke and Derby as well as classes elsewhere.
    Pob lwc i bawb sy’n dysgu Cymraeg.

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