- Y Fro Gymraeg
Y Fro Gymraeg (literally 'The Welsh Language Area') is a name often used to refer to the linguistic area in
Waleswhere the Welsh languageis maintained by the majority or a large part of the population; it is the heartland of the Welsh language and comparable in that respect to the Gàidhealtachdof Scotland and Gaeltachtof Ireland. However, unlike its equivalent in Ireland, Y Fro Gymraeg does not at present have official government recognition.
The recognition of a "powerhouse"
The importance of the Fro Gymraeg powerhouse to the rest of Wales was formulated over a few months by a Bangor college lecturer,
Owain Owainin January 1964, when he published in his " Tafod y Ddraig" magazine a map outlining the Fro. [ [http://www.owainowain.net/ygwleidydd/YFroGymraeg/yfroGymraegEiHun.htm "Tafod y Ddraig" / "The Dragon's Tongue", Vol 4; January 1964] ] In an article dated the 12th of November 1964, he wrote: "If we do not win the battle for the Fro Gymraeg, then we can not win the battle for Wales". ("Enillwn y Fro Gymraeg, ac fe enillir Cymru, ac oni enillir y Fro Gymraeg, nid Cymru a enillir".)
This stress on the importance of protecting the Fro Gymraeg became an important element in the policy of the
Welsh Language Society("Cymdeithas yr Iaith") and would later be reflected in the activities of other language movements such as Cymuned.
Areas within Y Fro Gymraeg
A substantial portion of four Welsh counties lies within the " Fro Gymraeg", which also includes other communities from surrounding counties. The four main counties with a majority of Welsh-speaking inhabitants are
Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire("Sir Gaerfyrddin" in Welsh), Ceredigionand Anglesey("Ynys Môn"), while surrounding areas often included in the Fro include Neath Port Talbot("Castell-nedd Port Talbot"), parts of western Powys, northern Pembrokeshire("Sir Benfro"), and parts of Conwy, Denbighshire("Sir Ddinbych"), Flintshire("Sir y Fflint") and Swansea("Abertawe").
Education in the Fro Gymraeg
It is often argued that
Welsh medium educationis the major contributor to the revival of the language. Education in the Fro Gymraeg is generally through the medium of Welsh, which accounts for about 70% of the school timetable, on average. Although this is a fairly high figure, some argue that more needs to be done to ensure that all pupils within the region receive their education through the medium of Welsh.
Public services and roadsigns
In the Fro Gymraeg road signs appear with the Welsh name first. This even occurs in non-predominantly Welsh speaking areas to increase the profile of the language.
Official publications in general are bilingual, usually with Welsh appearing first, within the Fro Gymraeg because of the increased and evident use of the language in these fields.
Gàidhealtachd-- the Scottish Gaelic speaking areas of Scotland
Gaeltacht-- the Irish speaking areas of Ireland
List of Welsh principal areas by percentage Welsh language
* [http://www.byig-wlb.org.uk/photo%20library/lluniau%27r%20wefan/20080228%20gc%20census%20map%202001.jpgMap of percentage of people who said they could speak Welsh (2001)]
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