About 2000 years ago the people of Britain and Ireland spoke two Celtic dialects – Goidelic in Ireland and Brythonic in Britain. By about the fifth century those dialects had begun to evolve into new dialects.
Goidleic developed into Gaelic; that language further devloped into three sister languages – Irish Gaelic (Gaelige) in Ireland, Scots Gaelic (Gàidhlig) in Scotland and Manx (Gaelg) in the Isle of Man.
Brythonic became two dialects. In Wales and the ‘Old North’ – North of England and the south of Scotland – the language became Welsh (Cymraeg). The earliest examples of Welsh poetry come from the Old North.
In the south-west of Britain the language became Cornish (Kernewek). People from this area later moved to and settled in north-west France, in Brittany, where the language further developed into Breton (Brezonek).
Today, the Welsh language is the strongest of the six Celtic languages; Welsh and English are both the official languages of Wales.