Wales (Welsh: Cymru) is a principality and one of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom (others are England, Scotland & Northern Ireland). Wales is located in the south-west of Great Britain, and is bordered by England to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's Channel in the west, and the Irish Sea to the north.
Wales has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was conquered by King Edward I of England. The capital of Wales since 1955 has been Cardiff , although Caernarfon is the location where the Prince of Wales is invested. In 1999, the National Assembly for Wales was formed, which has limited domestic powers and cannot make law.
The Welsh language (Cymraeg or y Gymraeg), is a member of the Brythonic branch of Celtic spoken natively in the western part of Britain known as Wales (Cymru), and in the Chubut Valley, a Welsh immigrant colony in the Patagonia region of Argentina.
The 2001 census gives a figure of 20.5% of the population of Wales as Welsh speakers, out of a population of about 3 million. Welsh as a first language is largely concentrated in the less urban north and west of Wales, principally Gwynedd, Denbighshire, Anglesey (Ynys Môn), Carmarthenshire, North Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and parts of western Glamorgan, although first-language and other fluent speakers can be found throughout Wales.
Local councils and the Welsh Assembly use Welsh as an official language, issuing official literature and publicity in Welsh versions and all road signs in Wales should be in English and Welsh, including the Welsh versions of place names.
Counties of Wales
Anglesey Isle of Anglesey ( Ynys Môn )
Bridgend ( Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr )
Caerphilly ( Caerffili )
Cardiff ( Caerdydd )
Carmarthenshire ( Sir Gaerfyrddin )
Denbighshire ( Sir Ddinbych )
Flintshire ( Sir y Fflint )
Merthyr Tydfil ( Merthyr Tudful )
Monmouthshire ( Sir Fynwy )
Neath Port Talbot ( Castell-nedd Port Talbot )
Newport ( Casnewydd )
Pembrokeshire - ( Sir Benfro )
Rhondda Cynon Taff ( Rhondda Cynon Tâf )
Swansea ( Abertawe )
Torfaen ( Tor-faen )
Vale of Glamorgan ( Bro Morgannwg )
Wrexham ( Wrecsam )
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