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Use of Welsh on rise in daily living.

Byline: By HYWEL TREWYN

A NEW survey published today shows an increase in the number of Welsh speakers using the language daily.

The Welsh Language Board published a report on its 2004 Welsh Language Use Survey, which showed that 62% of those who speak Welsh and 88% of fluent speakers said they spoke Welsh daily.

However, the survey showed that, while the percentage of people able to speak Welsh had increased, the percentage and number of fluent speakers had decreased. Fifty seven percent of Welsh speakers considered themselves fluent.

In 1992, the corresponding figure, according to the Welsh Office's Welsh Social Survey, was 61%.

WLB chief executive Meirion Prys Jones said: "The survey results are positive on the whole and show that a high proportion of people who can speak Welsh use it on a daily basis. This shows that people are very willing and eager to use their Welsh in all aspects of their life and that's good to see.

"The survey shows that we need to concentrate on two areas in particular in order to further increase the use of Welsh.

"We need to build people's confidence and we need to develop the opportunities available for people to do so."

Minister for Culture, Sport and the Welsh Language, Alun Pugh, said: "The survey's results that show the level of Welsh language use on a daily basis are encouraging.

"Iaith Pawb, the Assembly Government's national action plan for a bilingual Wales, identified the need for more comprehensive data on the Welsh language. Studies like this one are invaluable in steering future policy. I'm pleased the additional money provided by Iaith Pawb has made this study possible."

A snapshot of the results shows:

21.7% (611,000) of all those aged three and over could speak Welsh. This compares with 20.8% in the 2001 Census.

57% (315,000) of Welsh speakers considered themselves fluent.

Of those who said they could speak Welsh, the percentage who considered themselves fluent increased with age. Of speakers aged three to 15, 44% were fluent, compared with 72% aged over 65.

Of those who could speak Welsh, 62% spoke Welsh daily, while 88% of fluent speakers said they spoke Welsh daily.

hyweltrewyn@dailypost.co.uk
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 9, 2006
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