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03-Apr-2020 21:30

Wales is very mountainous and has a rocky, irregular coastline with numerous bays, the largest of which is Cardigan Bay to the west.

The Cambrian Mountains, the most significant range, run north-south through central Wales.

Welsh, or Cymraeg, is a Celtic language belonging to the Brythonic group consisting of Breton, Welsh, and the extinct Cornish.

Western Celtic tribes first settled in the area during the Iron Age, bringing with them their language which survived both Roman and Anglo-Saxon occupation and influence, although some features of Latin were introduced into the language and have survived in modern Welsh.

English is still the main language of everyday use with both Welsh and English appearing on signs.

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Over time two linguistic groups emerged in Wales; the Welsh-speaking region known as the Y Fro Cymraeg to the north and west, where more than 80 percent of the population speaks Welsh, and the Anglo-Welsh area to the south and east where the number of Welsh speakers is below 10 percent and English is the majority language.

Up until 1900, however, almost half the population still spoke Welsh.