Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 11:15 UK

Welsh rated same as green issues

Translation of the word Welsh
The survey was conducted by the Welsh Language Board

More than half of people in Wales feel securing the Welsh language's future is as important as protecting the environment, according to a survey.

The Welsh Language Board research found 54% of people thought preserving the language was as important an issue as the environment.

And 64% thought it important that parents spoke Welsh to their children.

The Welsh Language Board said the results were encouraging and showed improvements in terms of attitude.

Almost 70% thought that future generations would be thankful their parents ensured the future of the Welsh language, the survey found.

The Welsh Language Board said the results are encouraging.

The study, conducted by Beaufort Research in November 2008, questioned 1,011 people living in Wales over the age of 16.

Of these, 11% said they were fluent Welsh speakers, 14% said they could speak Welsh and those remaining were English speaking only.

Chief executive of the board Meirion Prys Jones said the figures showed a great deal of support for the Welsh language among young people.

"It is good to see more and more young people think that the Welsh language is something that they can use and develop for the future," he said.

"It is encouraging to see that there has been this change in attitude over the last 10 years.

"It's true that the future of the language is safer but what we are seeing here are improvements in terms of attitudes to the language itself.

"The challenge that faces us now is to move using that bedrock of support into a situation where more and more young people learn the language, have education through the medium of Welsh and are able to use the language in a social context."

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