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Brythonic languages facts for kids

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Linguistic classification: Indo-European

The Brythonic languages are a language family of the Celtic languages. They are spoken in Brittany, Wales and Cornwall. While going extinct in the rest of the British Isles, the (recognised) regions include: Cumbria and Scotland, while still debated, Common Brittonic was widely spoken across England.

There are three Brythonic languages:

And three extinct languages

  • Cumbric
  • Common Brittonic
  • Pictish (debated as to whether Pictish was a Brythonic Language)

Native speakers

Cornish (Kernowek) is an extinct language. A Cornish revival movement introduced the language to 557 people. Cornish is mainly a L2 (second language) for most, if not all, Cornish speakers.

Breton (Brezhoneg) is spoken mostly in Brittany, With small communities of speakers in North-West regional France, although it is "severely endangered" .

Welsh (Cymraeg) is spoken by around 20% of the total population of Wales. Welsh has over 700,000 speakers in the whole of the United Kingdom. Welsh and English are both official languages in Wales.

  • Pictish: extinct by the twelfth century AD. It is not clear whether it was a Brythonic Language.
  • Common Brittonic fell out of common use by the 6th century A.D after forming into: old welsh, Cumbric, Cornish and (Perhaps) Pictish.
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