Celebrating the Welsh language on St David’s Day

By Activ People HR

Today is Saint David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales who died on 1st March 589 AD. As a technology business based in Wales it was important for us to add Welsh as the 10th foreign language edition of our suite of flexible online HR solutions.

We work with firms around the world, including lots of Welsh businesses that want to be able to use our software in their native language. This is timely as the Welsh language is having somewhat of a revival and the Welsh Government has set two ambitious targets by 2050.

This is to reach a million Welsh speakers, and to double the percentage of the population who use Welsh daily[i].  If this is achieved more employees in Wales will be speaking Welsh and we wanted to support this vision in our own way by including it as a language option.

To celebrate St David’s Day here are some interesting facts about the Welsh language:

It’s one of the oldest languages in Europe and evolved from Brythonic, the main language spoken in Wales, England and Southern Scotland when the Romans invaded in 43AD[ii].Welsh began to emerge as a distinctive language sometime between 400 and 700 AD – and early Welsh poetry survives from this period[iii]. The Welsh alphabet has two more vowels than English – ‘y’ and ‘w’, plus the double-letter digraphs count as one because they make one sound – ‘ch’, ‘dd’, ‘ll’, ‘th’, ‘ff’ and ‘rh’[iv]The letters K, Q, V, X and Z are not included in the Welsh alphabet, but are sometimes found in borrowed words[v]The 58-letter name of a Welsh village on Anglesey is famous as the longest place name in Europe – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch[vi].Whilst this village name is 58 letters, it is only 50 letters in Welsh as the‘ll’ ‘ng’ and ‘ch’ are treated as single letters.Welsh is spoken in Patagonia in South America where there are bilingual primary schools. This was because a small group of Welsh people established a colony there over 150 years ago to help preserve the Welsh language and culture[vii].Visitors to Patagonia can experience a traditional Welsh tea in the village of Gaiman in Patagonia which has the highest concentration of Welsh speakers in the region[viii].

As well as Welsh our software is translated into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese and is used by HR teams in over 50 countries to digitise their HR processes and improve efficiency, accuracy and reporting.

Products such as Activ Absence enable firms to track absence, record holiday leave and manage flexible and remote working.

Activ Appraisals makes it easy, flexible and effective way of managing staff performance reviews no matter where people are working, and Activ Training ensures staff have the right training and certifications for their role and that these are kept up to date.

We also have Activ Timesheets to track and record time for all employees no matter where they are working, Activ Documents to store documents centrally and Activ Handbook, a central platform for creating policies, standards, and control procedures.

If you are a Welsh business and are interested in a demonstration of these products please get in touch.

[i] https://www.ewc.wales/site/index.php/en/about/blog-archive/1475-aled-roberts-a-million-welsh-speakers-the-role-of-the-education-sector.html

[ii] https://learnwelsh.cymru/about-us/welsh-language-fast-facts/#:~:text=Welsh%20is%20one%20of%20the,poetry%20survives%20from%20this%20period.

[iii] https://learnwelsh.cymru/about-us/welsh-language-fast-facts/#:~:text=Welsh%20is%20one%20of%20the,poetry%20survives%20from%20this%20period.

[iv] https://www.businesslanguageservices.co.uk/general/language-news/8-myths-about-the-welsh-language/

[v] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Welsh_pronunciation#:~:text=The%20letters%20K%2C%20Q%2C%20V,sometimes%20found%20in%20borrowed%20words.

[vi] https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Llanfairpwllgwyngyll#:~:text=Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch%20(llan%2Dvire%2Dpooll,White%20Hazel%20near%20a%20Rapid

[vii] https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-History-of-Patagonia/

[viii] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33682690

The post Celebrating the Welsh language on St David’s Day appeared first on HR News.

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