New to Wales: New to Cymraeg

Recently moved to Wales, buying a holiday home or thinking of moving here? Read on…  

We’ve all started to appreciate nature and the great outdoors more especially in the last couple of years. Many people have decided to buy a property in Wales’ beautiful rural and coastal communities.

A Welsh community  

Cymuned – community – is an important word here in Wales, whether in a bustling coastal town, a post-industrial valley or a quiet rural hamlet, bringing everyone together. The Welsh language plays a vital part in these communities – in the playground and classroom, in the names of our mountains, lakes, streets and houses and in the local pub, shop and parish hall.

The cost of ‘cymuned’

The rising cost of properties in these popular areas are pricing out local young people who want to continue living in a Welsh community and raise a family in Cymraeg. Empty houses create empty communities. So, if you’re buying a second home or a holiday home, consider the amount of time you will be spending in the area. Will the property be empty for most of the year? If so, we ask you to consider how this will affect our Welsh communities before you go ahead with the purchase.

Croeso cynnes

Link to Diogelwn – an initiative to safeguard Welsh names, can be found below. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain – Do the little things – a sentence attributed to Dewi Sant / St David.

Still planning on moving? We’d like to give you a croeso cynnes – a warm welcome – to the Welsh language and our Welsh community. Here are some useful information that will come in handy for the big move…

  • Over 883,000 people in Wales speak Welsh. In some communities popular with second home buyers, 75% + of the population speak Welsh.
  • It’s growing… all school children in Wales either speak Welsh, either as their first language or learn Welsh as soon as they start school. In Gwynedd and Mon / Anglesey and other parts of Wales, school age children and young people who move to the area will study at a Language Immersion Centre to develop their Welsh language skills to help them transition into Welsh medium education at their new local schools.
  • In demand… all public sector organisations in Wales are legally bound to provide services in both Welsh and English and many private companies do so because it’s good for business. This makes Welsh-speaking employees a very attractive asset to companies.
  • It creates new opportunities – double the number of languages, double the opportunities!
  • It gives you the best of both worlds… It can help people to feel a sense of belonging to Wales, able to enjoy Radio Cymru, S4C, the Eisteddfod and community events, papurau bro (community newspapers) and enjoy over 1,500 years of Welsh literature and music.
  • Welsh is a young language… Despite its age (Welsh was spoken in the 6th century in most of Britain), statistics show that a third of our young people speak Welsh.
  • A USP… The tourist and hospitality industry recognises the importance of offering unique experiences such as having two languages and a sense of the local history and culture.

Place names

As well as mountains, lakes, villages and streets – many houses and farms have historical and culturally significant names that often refer to the landscape or past industry. These link to the area’s heritage, so we ask you not to change house names and to enjoy the unique links your property has to its surroundings. You can also protect your house’s Welsh name for future owners through a scheme called Diogelwn. Find our more here

Become part of the Cymraeg family

If you’re moving into a Welsh community, you will be able to appreciate the experience so much more by learning just a little Welsh. Here are a few phrases to get you started:

‘ch’ like in ‘loch’ ‘th’ as in ‘thin’

Take the next step….

Say Something in Welsh – Learn Welsh online, one sentence at a time

Duolingo – Join the 424,000 others learning Welsh on the popular app

Dysgu Cymraeg – Join a class and learn together

Nant Gwrtheyrn – Make a trip of it and learn on a retreat

Clwb Cwtsh – Learn together as a family

Enjoy the language…  

You can immerse yourself in the language by joining events in your new community. Contact the local Menter Iaith to see what’s on. Not sure which Menter Iaith is in your area? Visit (dolen berthnasol o’n gwefan). You can also enjoy the language at home with S4C – Wales’ own television channel and BBC Radio Cymru – our national radio station. Both offer a great array of shows and podcasts especially for Welsh learners.

  • Welcoming packs
  • Language awareness
  • Local events
  • Volunteering – we have an exciting project co working with other partners on “Volunteering and the Welsh Language 2022” so that everyone can recognise local opportunities, interested? E mail:

Our calls 

The Mentrau Iaith are calling for more powers to regulate the housing market in these areas to protect the language from further threats. You can read more here: Our maniffesto.