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New S4C series journeys through the history of the Welsh language

07 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Sean_Fletcher on Stori’r Iaith

A new S4C series which starts tomorrow (8 February) will examine the history of the Welsh language and the unique relationship presenters Sean Fletcher, Lisa Jên, Alex Jones and Elis James have with it

In the first episode of Stori’r Iaith, TV and radio presenter Sean Fletcher will explore the origins of the Welsh language and how it has developed to the present day.

Sean learned Welsh after meeting his wife and admits that he didn’t know the language even existed before they met.

The Welsh language is a cornerstone in her family, and Sean says he felt it was important for him to learn the language.

“I learned Welsh out of love and respect for her,” said Sean, “As a father, I can’t imagine not speaking the children’s language…I don’t want to miss out on family conversations.”

In the season opener, Sean discovers how the Welsh language developed from Brythonic over a thousand and a half years ago and marvels at some of the earliest examples of the language, including the Cadfan stone in Tywyn, the National Library’s valuable manuscripts and the laws of Hywel Dda.

Ben Davies

During his journey, Sean will also meet individuals who have brought the language on to the world stage, including Wales football star Ben Davies.

The Spurs defender was the first ever person to speak Welsh at a press conference in the World Cup and in the programme admits he chooses to ignore those who question why he uses Welsh when he can speak English.

“We choose to speak Welsh in our interviews, we choose to use the language and we want to carry that on,” he said.

Sean will also look at the border between England and Wales and the Welshness that exists in villages, towns, and cities in that area.

Sean also traces his own family history in Zimbabwe and is open about the fact that his mother didn’t pass on the language and culture of her country to him, something that he has found difficult at times.

“Twenty years ago, when I started my journey with the Welsh language, I had no idea that it

would become such an important part of my life,” Sean said.

“Learning Welsh has given me confidence. It has opened a door to Welsh culture and if you live in Wales, why wouldn’t you want to learn the language?”

Stori’r Iaith is broadcast at 9PM on Wednesday evening and the first episode also features singer and influencer Bronwen Lewis, professor and historian Dr Dylan Foster Evans, the historian Llewelyn Hopwood, the historians Daniel Huws and Gruffudd Antur, poet and historian Sara Louise Wheeler, the teacher Stephen Rule and historian Dr Sara Elin Roberts.


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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
7 months ago

Lookin forward to this!
Top boy is Sean…parch!!

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
7 months ago

Let’s make a programme about the history of the language – the place where they believe it belongs. – while the Welsh heartlands are slowly drowning and disappearing like another Tryweryn! Put the programme on S4C where only a handfull of people will watch. We can only pray it will ignite some spark in someone to learn the language to keep the flame alive because the leaders are like wingless dragons who breathe nothing but hot air rather than fire.

Riki
Riki
7 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Indeed! Claiming they want a million speakers by 2050 while refusing to safeguard place names shows exactly what they are doing…as you said, it’s all hot air, designed to please both those who want to save the language and those east of here who want it gone.

Riki
Riki
7 months ago

Didn’t know the language was Foreign to this island ? What’s with the Term Welsh?! It’s Cymraeg, or if must, BRITISH!

Suzywong
Suzywong
7 months ago

When are tv channels going to stop pushing diversity on our programmes consistently……Why is being white and Welsh not allowed

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