New S4C series journeys through the history of the Welsh language
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.
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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