Petition calls for Wenglish to be an official language in Wales
A PETITION to recognise "Wenglish" as an official language in Wales has been set up.
It has appeared on the National Assembly's Senedd petition pages, calling for recognition of our local dialect — like Scots in Scotland.
The petition, submitted by Adam Rhys Davies, says: "We call upon the Welsh Government to make Wenglish a recognised, official language in Wales like Scots is in Scotland."
It adds: "Wenglish refers to the dialects of English spoken in Wales by Welsh people. The dialects are significantly influenced by Welsh grammar and often include words derived from Welsh.
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"In addition to the distinctive words and grammar, there are a variety of accents found across Wales from the Cardiff dialect to that of the South Wales Valleys and to West Wales."
It may sound funny, but according to Dr Robert Penhallurick, who teaches linguistics at Swansea University, Wenglish (or Welsh-English) is actually one of the oldest variations of English in the world.
He said people were speaking English in Gower as far back as around 1,000 years ago when it was brought over from English counties such as Somerset.
And a dialect has been evolving in Wales ever since — with north and south variations.
"There are no official languages of the UK, much like the US," he said.
"So I do not think there's a particular need for an official language in Wales.
"However, as a means for drawing attention to the way Welsh-English is rather neglected in public discussions, and being under valued, I can see there's an advantage to it. Maybe that's what this petition is trying to do."
Dr Penhallurick, who is not a fan of the term Wenglish, said the dialect had been heavily influenced by Welsh, particularly with sentence structure, and words had been borrowed from the mother tongue.
In Wenglish the sentence is often swapped around, for example: "In Swansea, I am."
Dr Penhallurick, who has written a textbook about the English language, added: "Welsh-English has been influenced from its translation from Welsh to English.
"I am not a Welsh speaker, but I believe the focus of the sentence being at the front of the sentence is common in Welsh.
"Many of the characteristics of English are taken from wherever it is spoken across the world, such as in the US, India or New Zealand — English is particularly adaptable."
He added: "English has been seen a certain way as an historic threat to Welsh — a fair point — but it's a resource we should be proud of because it (Welsh-English) is such an old and established dialect.
"We should promote it more."