The British Languages

I am glad to report that the new 'biometric' passports issued by the British government no longer have any French in them! Well worth the 1080 rials, thanks! Instead, and quite rightly, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic are the other British languages represented. Welsh (Cymraeg or y Gymraeg, pronounced [kəmˈrɑːɨɡ], [ə ɡəmˈrɑːɨɡ]), an Indo-Euopean language, is a member of the Brythonic branch of Celtic spoken natively in Wales (Cymru),spoken by about 750,000 people in England, along the Welsh border, and in the Welsh immigrant colony in Argentine Patagonia. There are also speakers of Welsh throughout the world, most notably in the rest of Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia. The Welsh alphabet has 28 letters: a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y Due to the increasing use of the English language the numbers of Welsh speakers had been declining for decades. However, following a number of measures, including the introduction of the Welsh Language Act 1993, Welsh has enjoyed a strong revival in recent years and has an equal status with English in the public sector in Wales. It competes with Breton (a close relative spoken in France) as the most spoken Celtic language. Scottish Gaelic, another Celtic language, is spoken by approx. 58,652 people in Scotland, 1.2% of the population. It is the version of Gaelic spoken in Northern Ireland. Gàidhlig is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. This branch also includes the Irish and Manx languages. It is distinct from the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages, which includes Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. Scottish, Manx and Irish Gaelic are all descended from Old Irish. The language is often described as Scottish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, or Gàidhlig to avoid confusion with the other two Goidelic languages. The modern Scottish Gaelic alphabet has 18 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U. In Scottish English, Gaelic is pronounced [ˈgaːlɪk]; outside Scotland, it is usually [ˈgeɪlɪk].

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