Languages of Wales
Gujarati is one of India’s fifteen official languages and the state language of Gujarat in the north-west of the country. An estimated 47 million people worldwide speak the language. It was the first language of Mahatma Gandhi and has a literary tradition dating back to the tenth century. There are many Gujarati speakers in the UK, the main settlements being in the Midlands, the northern textile towns and Greater London. Some came direct from India in the 1950s and 1960s, but many came to the UK via East Africa, particularly after the expulsion of the South Asian population from Uganda in 1972. Gujarati-speaking pupils have been reported in schools in Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea/Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen, and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Listen to Dinesh Patel talk about his interesting linguistic background. Born in Kenya, he was brought up speaking Gujerati, Hindi, Swahili and learnt English at school. After attending university in England in the early 1970s, he came to Caernarfon to work and married a local girl. His home language is now Welsh, and the Welsh he speaks is very much influenced by the local dialect of Caernarfon town - 'Cofi' Welsh.