Menter Iaith Maldwyn
Who are we?
Menter Iaith Maldwyn is a local organisation - one of 24 language initiatives covering the whole of Wales.
What can we offer...
The linguistic and sociological nature of Montgomeryshire is very varied. In fact, Montgomeryshire / Powys can be compared to Wales on a smaller scale. In the western communities, Welsh continues to be a community language, whilst in the rest of Montgomeryshire, the Welsh language is starting to recover ground thanks to the efforts of schools, tutors and enthusiastic volunteers. Recently Menter Maldwyn has started to establish Area Working Groups in order to empower these communities in the context of Menter Maldwyn’s work in their locality. To date, two working committees have been established – one in Dyffryn Tanat with the name 'Cymdeithas Adloniant Tanat' [Tanat Entertainment Society] who are very busy arranging various evenings of entertainment in their area. The other is in the Llanfair Caereinion area, under the name of ‘CwmNi’ [a play on the words “Our Valley” but which also means “Company” in Welsh], whose first event will take place in February 2007.
The State of the Language in Montgomeryshire
According to the 2001 Census, 23.8% of the population of Montgomeryshire (total: 13,677) speak Welsh. Machynlleth is the town with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers - 1,124 (i.e. 54.2% of its population). It could be said that Machynlleth, with this majority, is the heart of Welsh society in Montgomeryshire. But there are also very strong Welsh communities in the north west of the county in communities such as Cadfarch 62.5%, Glantwymyn 58.4%, Llanbrynmair 53.8%, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant 54.8%, Llangynog 49.5%, Penybontfawr 56.3%, Llanfihangel 64.3%, Banwy 61.7% and Llanerfyl 58.1% which all have a high percentage of Welsh speakers, and here the social enthusiasm is seen at its best. There appears to be an increase in the number of young people speaking the language. The growth in enthusiasm towards the Welsh Language is also evident from the opening of the first Welsh medium Primary School in Montgomeryshire - Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd in Newtown – which opened in September 2001.
English is the prevalent language in the Severn Valley and in the eastern communities of Montgomeryshire in North Powys. Despite this, the number of Welsh speakers in these areas has been increasing steadily, and especially in the larger towns where they now constitute fairly substantial minorities, which are themselves continuing to grow in numbers. One example of this is the 1,543 Welsh speakers in Newtown, which, although this only represents 15% of the town’s population, is actually a greater number than the 1,124 Welsh speakers in Machynlleth, which represents 54% of that town’s total population.
2001 Census – Welsh Speakers
Menter Iaith Maldwyn
Phone:- 01686 610 010