The True Language of Wales

OK, well I reckon it’s time for the Welsh to finally own up.

Nid ydy’r Cymraeg yr iath gwir o’r ardal Cymru. Ac, mwy drwg, roedd y Celtaidd wedi colli yr iath cyntaf o’r pobl sy’n byw yna. Cymraeg ydy iath sy’n dod hefo’r Celtaidd or, wel, pwy sy’n gwybod? Nid es o ei enni yn y Gymru, yn siwr.

Welsh isn’t the true language of the Wales region. And, worse, it was the Celts who lost the first language of the people who lived here. Welsh is a language that came with the Celts from, well, who knows. It was not born in Wales, that’s for sure.

Ar ol y amser oer, y gyffnod ia, pam ddim byd ‘dy byw yn Bridain, dim byd wedi byw yma wrth o hugain mil flwyddyn, ond nid ynys oedd o. “Ewrop Gorllewyn” oedd Bridain ac rhwng Lloeger ac Ewrop oedd “Doggerland”, wlad mawr o Hull i Copenhagen ac i’r De i Galais a Dover. Wlad yr unnig maint i Bridain heddiw. Wel, pobl ‘dy dod mewn yr haf – heliwrau i gael fwyd ac i fyw mewn tyau Haf, mae’n bosib.

After the cold period, the era of ice, when nothing lived in Britain, when no-one had lived here for around twenty thousand years, it was not an island. Britain was West Europe and between England and Europe was “Doggerland”, a big country from Hull to Copenhagen and South to Calais and Dover. A country the same size as Britain. Well, people came in the summer – hunters to get food and to live in “summer houses”, possibly. (Not from B&Q but it’s a traditional name, known to archaeologists, is the Ty Haf).

Ar ol ychydig mil flwyddyn y tywydd oedd mwy gynnes ac roedd yn posib i pobol yn byw yn yr ardal rwy’n enwi Bridain. Ond roedd Doggerland yna eto. Am tri mil flwyddyn neu mwy. Felli llawer o bobl wedi byw yn Bridain cyn roedd ynys. Ar ol chwe’ mil flwyddyn Y Mor Gogledd wedi gwneud gan y tywydd tlws a gynnes. Yr hen bobol o Bridain es ei eni. Nid oedd Celtaidd, ond maen nhw di byw yma am chwech neu saith mil flwyddyn cyn y Celtaidd yn gyrraedd. Beth oedd ei iath? Lle ydy’o yn nawr? Os na dipyn bach o’r hen iath mewn “Yr Cymraeg” sydd yn siarad heddiw? ‘Dwi’m yn gwybod, i ddwaed y gwir, ‘dwi’m yn gwybod ond rwy’n meddwl mae’r pobol lleol, mewn y hen dinasiau bychan mewn yr Cefn Wlad, sy’n siarad i’r hen pobol ac yn siarad hefo’r gaeriau brin a hen iawn. O, mae’n possib!

After a few thousand years the climate was warmer and it was possible to live in the area we call Britain. But Doggerland was still there. For three thousand years or more. So, many people were able to live in Britain before it was an island. After six thousand years the North Sea was made by a fairer, warmer climate. The old people of Britain were born. They were not Celts but they lived here for six or seven thousand years before the Celts arrived. What was their language? Where are they now? Is there a little bit of the old language in the Welsh that is spoken today? I don’t know, to tell the truth, I don’t know but I think there are local people, in the little, old villages in the countryside, who talk to the old people with rare and very old words. Oh, it’s possible!

I write and I write and perhaps I use some of those phrases too, as I learned my Welsh , such as it is, in odd, rural places. How much has been sent down through time from those earliest settlers is so hard to assess but there are differences twixt the Celtic tongues. Perhaps some of those can be worked back to already spread out populations in stone age, way, way pre-Celtic Britain. It’s a truth that really must be addressed as it lays waste to the manner in which languages are forced to clash today so needlessly. Is language the last bastion of tribalism – when we lost our tribes eons ago?


About greencentre

Non grant supported hence independent scientist, green activist, writer and forest planter.
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