Welcome to the Self-Access Centre materials database

The SAC is here to pro­vide you with op­por­tu­ni­ties to study Welsh out­side class time. If you need ad­vice and guid­ance on what to study, you should talk to your class tu­tor, who will help you iden­tify your strengths and weak­nesses and make rec­om­men­da­tions on what to study. 

A bit about the language

Welsh is a lan­guage com­pletely sep­a­rate from Eng­lish. A mem­ber of the Celtic fam­ily of lan­guages, it is the old­est spo­ken lan­guage in Great Britain, and one of the old­est spo­ken lan­guages in Eu­rope (com­pet­ing for the ti­tle with Irish and Basque), and its older form be­ing the lan­guage that gave us many place names across the is­land, in­clud­ing Lon­don, Thames, Dover, and Kent. It is still a com­mu­nity lan­guage spo­ken in Wales, used in all as­pects of life in Wales, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment, me­dia, mu­sic, and ed­u­ca­tion, as well as be­ing the every­day lan­guage in towns, vil­lages, and com­mu­ni­ties through­out Wales. It is the sec­ond most spo­ken lan­guage in the United King­dom, and along with Eng­lish and Scot­tish Gaelic, an of­fi­cial lan­guage of the United King­dom, with in­creas­ing use and recog­ni­tion in the Eu­ro­pean Union, too.

It was used as a code lan­guage in the First World War. J R R Tolkien was so in­spired by Welsh, he based his lan­guage, Elvish, on Welsh, and once re­marked that Welsh "is the se­nior lan­guage of the men of Britain" in an ad­dress at Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity.

It has had an in­flu­ence on Eng­lish, not just on the di­alect of Eng­lish spo­ken in Wales, but on the stan­dard lan­guage spo­ken through­out the world, with gram­mat­i­cal fea­tures like tag ques­tions (e.g. It's rain­ing, isn't it ?), and words like penguin , corgi , and Tudor com­ing from Welsh. Other cul­tural in­flu­ences to have orig­i­nated in Wales in­clude trick or treat­ing at Hal­lowe'en, male voice choirs, and eisteddfodau (lit­er­ary and mu­si­cal com­pe­ti­tions that take place in many places through­out the An­glo-Amer­i­can world).

The Na­tional Eisteddfod of Wales is the largest cul­tural and folk event in Eu­rope, with mu­sic, singing, free-verse, and po­etry com­pe­ti­tions hap­pen­ing over sev­eral days. Many in­flu­en­tial peo­ple speak, or have spo­ken Welsh, in­clud­ing Eliz­a­beth I, David Lloyd-George, Dy­lan Thomas, the for­mer Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury Dr Rowan Williams, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Ifans, and Huw Ed­wards. Welsh is spo­ken by many im­mi­grant fam­i­lies in Eng­land, Canada, the United States, and Aus­tralia. It is also a com­mu­nity lan­guage, used as the every­day lan­guage and medium of ed­u­ca­tion in vil­lages in the Patag­o­nia re­gion of Ar­gen­tina.