Canada’s best-read newspaper publishes article in the Welsh language to mark Wales’ World Cup involvement
Canada’s most widely read newspaper has published an article in the Welsh language to note Wales’ World Cup involvement.
The Globe and Mail newspaper, which is regarded as Canada’s ‘newspaper of record’, published the article ‘Cymru’n paratoi am Gwpan Pêl-droed y Byd am y tro cyntaf ers 64 mlynedd’ yesterday alongside an English language version.
The article was been penned by James Griffiths, the Asia correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Hong Kong who is a Welsh speaker originally from Ynys Môn and the author of the recent book Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language.
The article notes that Wales has returned to the World Cup “just as Welsh language and culture are having a moment”.
The article quotes journalists Tom Coleman and Maxine Hughes, who has been involved in the making of Welcome to Wrexham.
“For almost a century, the Welsh language was actively suppressed by the British government, and Welsh identity was pushed to the margins,” the article says.
“This began to change in the 1980s — after decades of organizing and campaigning — and in 1997, Wales narrowly voted for a devolved parliament.
“During the last 20 years, the number of Welsh speakers has risen from around 500,000 to almost a million today, a remarkable change for a language that was once seen as on its way to extinction.
“The Welsh football team has embraced the increasing importance of the Welsh language, tying itself to Welsh identity in a way that the country’s rugby team – which has objectively been much more successful, for much longer – has never done.”
As well as its linguistic and political development the article also charts Wales’ football journey through Gary Speed’s period as manager, Euro 2016 and 2020 and to the present day.
The article can be read here.
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