You gotta Love Thy Nighbour
Anyway, he's just launched a book called Neighbours from Hell?. The sub-heading 'English attitudes to the Welsh' explains what the book is about. Now, I haven't read the book, so I'm in no position to judge it. According the BBC, Mike Parker got the idea for the book after hearing one comment too many about the Welsh (by English folk)
The idea for the book came when I was reading some snide aside about the Welsh language in one of the London Sunday broadsheet newspapers, something along the lines of: "Welsh has no vowels and sounds like someone spitting".
It dawned on me that I'd read such comments many times before, when researching Welsh history, and that the same tired old cliches were passed down from generation to generation, like a particularly tiresome game of Chinese whispers.
Ok, it took until the 17th comment (out of 97), but soon the old "I walked into a pub and they all suddenly turn to Welsh" line is mentioned. Now I speak Welsh and have been frequenting pubs (legally) in Wales for the last 11 years and never come across this.
Or maybe they do realise that Welsh is still a living day-to-day language, but just don't like the fact. The following comment is quite is quite disturbing:
A long time ago our family visited Ireland. In the depths of the country we entered a restaurant where there were two other customers. Both ladies, both speaking Irish or Erse [Erse! wtf?], if that is the right term. As we entered, an obviously English family, they switched to English. We have always remembered their civility and politenessTherefore speaking Welsh (or Erse!) is uncivilised!
cymraeg, welsh, english, wales, language
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