Why are there so few words in English that are derived from Welsh?
Wikipedia mentions only 11.
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Language origin specialists theorize that the proportion of loanwords in a language is a function of both the length of exposure to and the social status of the borrowed language.
English words borrowed from Celt are less than one hundred and probably more around 60.
However, the exposure of English to Welsh is long (449 AD to present) but the Welsh language had a lower status from the Saxon point of view.
Remember the double meaning of Wilisc in OE, the Saxon word for Celt (=> Welsh): it means both "foreigner" and "slave" (see the forms Wyel: slave, servant or Wylen: female slave).
The existing Celtic/Gaelic languages on the British Isles are considerably older than (Modern) English is.
They are native languages to the region. However, when England was first (and repeatedly) conquered (by the Saxons, the Nordic and the Normans), The Celtic regions were avoided and some of the midland natives fled to the extremities (Wales, Scotland, Ireland) and these areas remained largely untroubled by invasion.
There was a time when the districts of England were quite separate and there were many different native languages present (i.e. Manx, Cumbric, Cornish, Salopian). As the different occupations of England came and went, the language united and altered around them. Many of the original languages are now considered extinct.
Going back, you will find periods where the majority of English citizens spoke French and others where they spoke German (an old version of, at least), etcetera; Over time these languages all formed as one.
During these many transformations, the Gaelic and Celtic regions continued rather independently and their distinct languages are a mark of this. It is only in relatively recent times that any real interaction between those and English has occurred and as they have interacted, English has dominated, with the number Gaelic speakers in decline as English language takes over.
(Interestingly though, the Welsh are probably the most zealous in keeping their original languages alive, when compared with the others.)
Therefore, you will see that English, though one of the most widespread languages in the world, is really just a mixed bag of Latin, French, German Greek and old Norse but it is something quite separate from Welsh, Irish and Scottish as those nations were not involved in its political history.
Hope this helps.
Wales didn't conquer/settle England (well sort of by proxy with Henry Tudor)
There wasn't a great deal of trade or much contact compared to with other countries.
It's art and culture has been a bit more'for consumption on the premises' than Ireland's export of writers and poets.
.... and of course because nobody else can understand or pronounce a word of it ....
Probably because Welsh is a modern language which was refreshed/reinvented (depending on your cultural view) during the 19th century, and so had no opportunity to affect any other language. If you meant 'the Brythonic language spoken before the Roman conquest', that's a good question; but that had no more in common with modern Welsh than the language of the Viking Hrolf of Normandy had in common with modern French.
Not only are there few words of Celtic origin in English, but there are precious few place names in England of Celtic origin. This makes no sense when examining how cultures and languages spread throughout the world. For instance, in America there are thousands of place names derived from Native American languages in almost every state. About half of the states in the US have Indian names (Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut, Dakotas, Minnesota, Massachusetts...) in spite of the fact that these were a subjugated, technologically and numerically inferior peoples. This has been taken by some to suggest that some of the original inhabitants of England were not Celtic but Germanic (e.g. the Belgae — although they are reputed to be either Celtic or Germanic). Makes sense to me. If that were so, it would suggest that the Welsh and Picts and Caledonians were isolated from the English population even further back in time than in Caesar's day and might explain why when the Jutes and Saxons invaded they melded their languages with the primarily Germanic speaking inhabitants. This is supported by modern-day genetic analyses.
This theory, which I am really just cribbing, is discussed by Stephen Oppenheimer in his book "The Origins of the British".
The reason is very likely, despite the plethora of modern day books which describe the original inhabitants of Britain as "celtic", there is no compelling evidence that Celts were ever the original inhabitants of Britain. Indeed, as Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer shows, there was NO suggestion at the time of the Roman invasion that the area that is today England was celtic. Only a few loanwords today exist derived from Celtic and almost no placenames exist in modern day England that are Celtic in Origin. Even Caesar described two different societies inhabiting England, one speaking Celtic on the western border of England and another society inhabiting what is modern day England which he described as speaking an entirely different language. The Anglo-Saxon myth is pretty much debunked too, as it is more likely that the language spoken in England before Rome "invaded" was ancient, possibly much older than Celtic, and was already a germanic or more succinctly a scandinavian language.
A form of English was spoken by the Southern British before the Romans arrived, a form of Belgic German, it is more than likely that the Celts and English arrived in the British isles at the same time.
The English did not allow the Celts to settle, this is probably the reason there are hardly any Celtic place names in England.