I've always loved languages and I'm half Irish, so I like the fact that at least one Celtic language, Welsh, is fairly healthy and will survive a bit longer. While I was in Wales at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival this weekend, I listened for a while to the BBC Cymru radio just to hear what Welsh sounded like. It's a pretty language, and I was pleased to hear a few people, including children, speaking it in Hay. In English, they really did have that Welsh lilt that I had so often heard imitated.
The Welsh program I was listening to was a sort of poetry recital with a live audience-- the Welsh still have their bards. Several people seemed to get up to read their own few lines to great applause. Every once in a while everyone burst out laughing at one of the lines recited by an older man who seemed to be the main draw.
John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, has been in what the British call a spot of trouble recently over his philandering. The Welsh must be interested too, because at one point I heard the words "John Prescott" in the middle of all that Welsh, followed by the rhyme of "in 1982" with