On Saturday I was crossing the Second Severn Crossing into Wales and, of course, I stopped at the toll booth to pay the crossing toll. The man operating the booth greeted me with a fairly cheery, "Hello" and I replied likewise, paid, thanked him and drove off. As we left, Lulu said, "Why didn't you say thank you in Welsh?" and I replied "Because I didn't know if he spoke Welsh".

I know I've mentioned this previously, but it still strikes me as odd. I'm entering Wales, but I can't guarantee that the (presumably) Welshman I'm talking to can speak the language of his nation. Later in the supermarket, the same thing. The (very clearly) Welsh lady greeted me, we had a chat about the weather and Cardiff in general, I thanked her and I left. Again, it would have been great to practice a bit of Welsh with her, even a "S'mae!" or "Prynhawn da", but again I couldn't be sure that she'd be able to speak Welsh.

Funnily enough I'd have been more confident that younger people spoke the language than older people, due to the push that's been made in recent years with teaching it in schools and some schools being entirely Welsh medium. This is in contrast to other indiginous languages of the UK, such as Scottish Gaelic, where the vast majority of speakers are older people and the languages are, quite literally, dying out.

The Welsh government is pushing for 1,000,000 Welsh speakers by 2050, and DuoLingo reports more users than that learning Welsh now, although I don't know how many live in the UK, so hopefully it won't be too long before I can know beforehand that it's safe to speak Welsh to a Welshman in Wales!