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Bringing Back the Welsh Language

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Bringing Back the Welsh Language

Bringing Back the Welsh Language

New Generation Rediscovers Native Tongue of Former Kingdom

Bringing Back the Welsh Language

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1554019/1571156" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Signs in both English and Welsh

Signs in both English and Welsh in the town of Cardiff. Jon Miller for 'Worlds of Difference' hide caption

toggle caption Jon Miller for 'Worlds of Difference'

Languages around the world are disappearing as fast as you can say "Yoba" or "Zarphatic." But in tiny Wales, where folks have been speaking English for centuries, a national effort to rescue the Welsh language is showing results.

As part of Worlds of Difference — a series on global cultural change created by Homelands Productions — reporter Jon Miller recently visited the Welsh countryside to spend time with people eager to learn their native tongue.

Ten years ago, after decades of grass-roots pressure, the British Parliament passed a sweeping language act that put Welsh on an equal footing with English.

The law has sparked a huge interest in learning Welsh. The latest census shows that for the first time, the number of people who say they can speak Welsh has risen to more than 20 percent.

The biggest jump was among children — about one-fourth of children in Wales are enrolled in Welsh language and culture schools.

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