Ar y dechrau cyntaf, dyma Duw yn creu y bydysawd a’r ddaear. Roedd y ddaear yn anhrefn gwag, ac roedd hi’n hollol dywyll dros y dŵr dwfn. Ond roedd Ysbryd Duw yn hofran dros wyneb y dŵr. A dwedodd Duw, “Dw i eisiau golau!” a daeth golau i fod. Roedd Duw yn gweld bod hyn yn dda, a dyma Duw yn gwahanu’r golau oddi wrth y tywyllwch. Rhoddodd Duw yr enw “dydd” i’r golau a’r enw “nos” i’r tywyllwch, ac roedd nos a dydd ar y diwrnod cyntaf.

The text above is an example of Welsh (Cymraeg or y Gymraeg), a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales (Cymru). The varieties of Brythonic spoken in different parts of Britain, and by Brythonic-speaking migrants to Brittany, began to develop into separate languages: Welsh in Wales, Cornish in Cornwall, Breton in Brittany and Cumbric in Cumbria.

As a child my family would spend our holidays in South Wales, my father having been born and raised on Penrhyn Gŵyr – The Gower Peninsula – home to menhirs from the Bronze Age and crumbling medieval castles.

I remember my grandfather’s soft, lilting welsh accent, and my aunt speaking the mysterious-sounding, ancient language. I remember the beauty of the countryside and the rugged coastline with names perfectly suited to a schoolboy’s imagination: The Mumbles, Worms Head, Arthur’s Stone. I was fascinated as a boy by the fierce-looking red dragon on the national flag, and I imagined my ancestors now lost in the mists of time: Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Romans, Normans, Druids, Celts. 


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