The popularity of Wales as a vacation destination and weekend retreat, especially near the border with England, has created a new, nonpermanent population. There are approximately 500,000 Welsh speakers today and, due to a renewed interest in the language and culture, this number may increase.
, the Britons referred to themselves as Cymry, the country as Cymru, and the language as Cymraeg.
The words "Wales" and "Welsh" are Saxon in origin and were used by the invading Germanic tribe to denote people who spoke a different language.
Tales that had traditionally been handed down orally were recorded, both in Welsh and English, and a new generation of Welsh writers emerged. Wales is a part of the United Kingdom and is located in a wide peninsula in the western portion of the island of Great Britain.
The island of Anglesey is also considered a part of Wales and is separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait.
Welsh intellectuals in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries wrote extensively on the subject of Welsh culture, promoting the language as the key to preserving national identity.
Welsh literature, poetry, and music flourished in the nineteenth century as literacy rates and the availability of printed material increased.
English is still the main language of everyday use with both Welsh and English appearing on signs.
In some areas, Welsh is used exclusively and the number of Welsh publications is increasing.
At the same time, many Welsh people from rural areas left to find work in London or abroad.
This large-scale migration of non-Welsh-speaking workers greatly accelerated the disappearance of Welsh-speaking communities.
Wales is surrounded by water on three sides: to the north, the Irish Sea; to the south, the Bristol Channel; and to the west, Saint George's Channel and Cardigan Bay.