Happy St.David’s Day!
On the 1st March each year, Welsh people across the quadrant celebrate the rich culture and identity of Wales. It does not usually involve any form of geek culture, but this year I decided to make Star Trek themed Welsh Cakes (using my newly acquired Delta Sheild cookie cutter) to mark how the Welsh language became further established into Star Trek canon in 2019, albeit in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ sort of way.
In Discovery Season 2 Episode 4 (DIS “An Obol for Charon”), I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Lt. Bryce (played by Ronnie Rowe Jr.) speaking Welsh on the bridge. Welsh!!
The scene, you will recall, was when the USS Discovery’s universal translator had gone awry after its encounter with the Sphere, and the crew were heard speaking many different Earth and alien languages, including Welsh. I had to rewind the scene a couple of times to make sure I hadn’t mis-heard, but there was no question about it. It was definitely Welsh that was being spoken.
Of all the different languages that they could have used, Welsh was certainly an unusual choice. I would love to know how the writing team made the decision to include our beautiful, ancient language on the show.
But this is not the only time Star Trek has recognised Wales. Memory Alpha tells us that there have been two other references to Wales in previous televised iterations of the franchise since its inception. 1) Montgomery Scott once sang a Welsh song called “Yr Hufen Melyn” (translation, “The Yellow Cream”) in the TAS episode “The Lorelei Signal”. 2) Janeway is partial to Welsh Rarebit, which her grandfather used to make for her as a child. Neelix, on the other hand, had never heard of it. (VOY: “Death Wish”/ Kathryn Janeway Autobiography, edited by Una McCormack).
As we are talking about the connections between Wales and Star Trek, I would be remiss not to mention the time when (back in 2015) a Welsh Government Minister responded to questions about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport in Klingon: “jang vIDa je due luq. ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS.” (translation: “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.”). I’ve heard that Welsh speakers have an advantage when learning Klingon, due to the two languages’ similar use of consonants such as “ll” & “ch”, but I haven’t yet tested that theory personally…
It was such a delight to see that Welsh, our little language of the heavens, had boldly made it into the 23rd century! Thank you to CBS – Diolch!
DYDD GWYL DEWI HAPUS, PAWB!