Have more Celtic languages flourish to the present day

That would help but you would need industrial jobs in the Irish-speaking areas and less emigration from the Irish-speaking areas to save the language.
Also having national schools teach in Irish too would help after they were started in 1831.
This is the biggest factor of all. Schools are the simplest way to cause (or prevent) language shift. A child that is literate in his native language is much less likely to lose it than one who can only speak and can't read/write in it.

OTOH Industrialism is a double edged sword : it could keep Irish speakers at home, but also invite non-speakers to move in.
 
Avoid the roman conquest of Britain. The chances of ending with a celtic britain are very high. Brittonic languages in modern England/Scotland will survive.
As a consequence, Brittany will probably not exist and will be latinized instead.
 
This is the biggest factor of all. Schools are the simplest way to cause (or prevent) language shift. A child that is literate in his native language is much less likely to lose it than one who can only speak and can't read/write in it.

OTOH Industrialism is a double edged sword
Industrial jobs helped save the welsh language due to industrial jobs and you could join the police and only be able to speak welsh.
 
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Industrial jobs helped save the welsh language due to industrial jobs and you could join the police and only be able to speak welsh.
But aren't most of those jobs in the south of Wales, where the Welsh language is weakest?

IIRC in Spain, industrialism in Catalonia and the Basque country led to an influx of monolingual Spanish speakers in those regions.

In any event, economic factors are not enough. There needs to be state support, especially in education.
 
Even in Iceland the language is endangered of becoming a margin langue or extinct.
 
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But aren't most of those jobs in the south of Wales, where the Welsh language is weakest?

IIRC in Spain, industrialism in Catalonia and the Basque country led to an influx of monolingual Spanish speakers in those regions.

In any event, economic factors are not enough. There needs to be state support, especially in education.
There were slate mines in the north and was spoken in Argentina.
 
IDK how true this is, but IIRC, one of the reasons why Welsh did so well, when Irish or Scots Gaelic didn't, was that it was used a lot more commonly in churches and in Sunday Schools.

I suppose the fact that there wasn't such a massive outflow of Welsh speakers compared to Irish or Scots Gaelic speakers helped as well. Sure, there was plenty of Welsh emigration, but not so much that it ripped the heart out of the Welsh-speaking areas.
But aren't most of those jobs in the south of Wales, where the Welsh language is weakest?

IIRC in Spain, industrialism in Catalonia and the Basque country led to an influx of monolingual Spanish speakers in those regions.
That's pretty much the reason why the Welsh Valleys had an influx of English speakers during the 19th century - coal, lots of it, and good quality at that.

For instance, the Rev. W. Awdry made a point of this in The Railway Series - Henry's boiler was unusually small for his size*, so he got good Welsh coal for fuel until he had an engine refit.

However, nowadays - in my part of Wales, at least - you pretty much have to speak Welsh to get any kind of job in the public sector.



*he's one of the bigger engines.
 
Avoid the roman conquest of Britain. The chances of ending with a celtic britain are very high. Brittonic languages in modern England/Scotland will survive.
As a consequence, Brittany will probably not exist and will be latinized instead.

Even better: Avoid conquest of Gaul.
 
or have Ireland, Scotland and wales remain independent

For Ireland and Wales you need such POD which allows them unite as strong nations. IDK about Wales but Ireland could remain as independent if Brian Boru manages to unite the country. Scotland could easily be independent but wasn't it already quiet scottified already by 16th century and Gaelic speakers pushed to remote regions?
 
For Ireland and Wales you need such POD which allows them unite as strong nations. IDK about Wales but Ireland could remain as independent if Brian Boru manages to unite the country. Scotland could easily be independent but wasn't it already quiet scottified already by 16th century and Gaelic speakers pushed to remote regions?
For a more recent POD you could have Hugh O'Neill win the Nine Years War, the war was a very close-run affair OTL until the Irish screwed up badly at the Battle of Kinsale by organising a poorly prepared attack at the urging of the Spanish garrison when they had the English army surrounded and could've starved them out.
 
There are a few different sides of the issue, but they mostly boil down to the fact that most of the Celtic languages were suppressed to at least a minor extent by the states under which they lived, or that large die-offs or emigrations ended up weakening the foundation of the language (sometimes in multiple countries as with Irish) so economically and professionally it was no longer as useful and necessary.

Any solution to it would have to be complex and systems-based, it's not something a single choice could have changed. For what it's worth, here's a few points on the more realistic side:

Britain: Bibles and Assimilation Policies- In the past discussions, I've seen people claim that if the Gaelic speakers of Ireland and Scotland had converted to Protestantism and started using vernacular bibles, their language would have been preserved. Unfortunately, that was usually an argument made by English people that didn't acknowledge that the radicalized partisanship between Catholic Ireland and the Highlands versus the more Anglicized areas was a two-sided affair. Had the British Empire actually pushed a Gaelic-language bible as part of their campaign to spread the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches to Ireland, that could have better preserved the language and served their needs, but they also had their own beliefs about the superiority or necessity of conversion to English language and culture and enforced that decision as well. The Welsh conversion and use of its language in Church was helpful, but it was more out of the policy of greater neglect and less recent hostility between the Welsh and English by comparison.

If the Church of England in Ireland were actually attempting to be an Irish Protestant Church rather than an institution for and by the English and Anglicized elite, then yes, it could have assisted with preserving Irish as a language. However, such an actually locally responsive church would be more responsive to Irish and Highlander issues, which would lead towards divisions and conflicts between lower level priests who support the peasants versus the English landlords and their exploitative land policies, and that could spell trouble in other ways. Still, I think it's a valid way to get Gaelic to survive more and change politics radically in Ireland and northern Scotland, but I'm not sure how you would actually get the CoI to actually change in that manner.

(Not to say the Catholic Church was blameless in the decline of Gaelic either. There were political reasons for the gradual emphasizing of English in the vernacular conversations in Ireland and the US to Irish congregations, not least of which was convenience for the Church and it being more politically accepted by assimilationist establishments in the US and Britain, and it emphasized the Catholic identity and loyalty as their cultural keystone which kept the Church influential in those nations)

France: Avoid Excessive Centralization- The slow death of Breton is partially economic issues, but is far more an issue of politics. For a very long time, the French state has pursued a policy of unitary government and centralization, especially in the area of language. There's a reason they're one of the only nations with a government-created group that deliberately creates its own versions of words to avoid using loan words from other languages (ordinateur and all that). Any way that the French state can be made more federal or decentralized at least in the area of education and public services would have massive knock-on effects to history, but could also be great in preserving the use of minority languages such as Breton, as well as Occitan and Basque. French history is very much not my area of expertise, though.

Economic Changes- The easiest would probably be to somehow bolster the economic prospects of Celtic-speaking areas before assimilation and industrialization can really chip away at the prevalence of those languages.

For Ireland, the easiest answer is to avoid the Potato Blights somehow and thus keep far more Irish speakers around in Ireland, though I think an equally reasonable way to grow the Irish economy would be to do something about the absentee landlords that owned the majority of Irish rural land and so kept a lot of wealth out of the hands of the locals. A more home-built Irish economy will have a much greater sector of public life done in the local language, and if that's able to get off the ground before English spreads too much into everyone's lives, then that would certainly mean a larger presence of the Irish language in public services, education, and at least certain sectors of the economy that make it useful to learn or at least understand.

For Wales, you already had that with a lot of the coal industry, but as @Analytical Engine mentioned, in later periods that led to English-language workers coming to the area and weakening the language as they brought a dominant language when searching for work. Still, Welsh managed to survive that and succeed until such time as state support for the language became politically viable, and it's kind of our go-to example in this. Still, I am sure there were other reforms or policies that could've led to a greater amount of native Welsh participation in some other sectors of the economy that could've helped it survive a bit better as well, you just end up needing to be more specific than I'm capable of discussing.

For Scotland and Brittany, I'm just not educated enough to speculate here. I know Scotland had some issues with landlords and land clearances and so on that further weakened the more Gaelic-speaking areas and helped drive emigration, at least some of which were results of rebellions and some were retributive on the part of the state, so avoiding those would potentially have allowed for more economic growth in those areas (though the Highlands are also kind of shit for anything but rural lifestyles until North Sea oil jobs are available due to technological advancements, and rural areas declining in economic importance and the young going to the city and losing their first language in succeeding generations is a very common trend across the entire world). Zero idea about economic prospects in Brittany that could've been discovered or exploited earlier in a way that would bolster Breton as a language.

More fantastic/very pre-1900 ideas
If you want more Celtic languages that were already extinct for a long time to survive, without changing too much of history, your best option is to have more of them take a Caucasus approach: in other words, get them into mountain valleys where they're isolated enough that people leave them alone, but they'll always be a pretty small population in comparison to the big nations around them. They're still in danger of being assimilated and forgotten in successive generations due to economic and cultural pressure from the majority, but they have a longer chance to survive and potentially carve out a niche or gain state support in more enlightened times. Some suggestions:

Galatians in the Caucusus- The Celtic language of Anatolia is a bit vague historically. If they migrated or were deliberately expulsed or relocated until eventually ending up in the Caucusus, they have a good chance of surviving to the modern day alongside other languages and cultures that survive like the Scythian-descended Alans, the Caucasus Greeks, and so on. They'd be a tiny population, but they'd be around and potentially still speaking a descendant of their original language.

Actual Helvetians- As the Rhaet-Romansch prove, it would've been possible for a Celtic-speaking community to survive and persist in the Alps and maintain their language until the modern day. Personally, I'd also put them in an area that is or could have become part of Switzerland, where their local canton could do all or at least many of its functions in the Celtic language and thus allow them to continue to exist.

Iberia and the Pyrenees- Much more PODs needed here and split in two directions, but hear me out. The Andalusian conquest of Iberia pushed most Christian states north of Toledo into the mountainous northern coast. IOTL, the previous inhabitants had already been assimilated into Roman culture and then the Germanic tribal conquerors were in turn assimilated by their subjects, but we also have an example of the Basque surviving in the mountains. A Celtic people that managed to avoid Roman assimilation due to being out of the way somewhere in Galicia or in the Pyrenees could potentially have survived. At that point, though, you've got twin pressures from the Andalus and the Christian Iberians who would both want to get them under their control and wouldn't have much trust in anything perceived as too foreign, so them surviving into the modern day is a real challenge unless they become very useful in some way that neither side pushes too much when they're in power.

Still, I think you could squeak out something weird like a Celtic-speaking Andorra if you put your mind to it.
 
Well, I thought of @LSCatilina's suggestions from an earlier thread:
Depends of what you call "Gauls"

Celtic Gauls with the littlest roman influence : Make Ambiorix succed to defeat the Romans army with the help of Germans. Killing Cesar is a bonus.

Ambiorix was the Che Guevara of the Gaul : never captured in battle (in fact, at the difference of Che, never captured at all), seen as a hero by his men and as a bastard by his foes (contrary to Vercingetorix that he praise, Cesar always hated Ambiorix that he never suceed to really defeat).

The Southern Gaul is quite un-receltizable : Pilnus consider the province as another Italy by the culture and the prosperity.

Celtic Gaul with a certain roman influence : Vercingetorix's victory. Vercingetorix didn't much serached to crush the Romans to make them quit the Gaul. No decisive battle of any kind.

A victory of Vercingetorix would certainly allow Caesar or the Romans if the Iulius is dead, to preserve many alliances in Gaul and maybe some territories in Aquitaine and Helvetia.

Northern and Southern Gallo-Roman (the northern gave the french, the southern the occitan) : Succesfull "Gallic Empire". You need the crush of the Roman Empire and no Aurelianus, but it could make it.

Be careful, the so-called "Gallic Empire" ,ever considered itself as "Gaul" and even less "celtic". It was a Roman Empire, with senate, coins, using latin, etc.

The better equivalent would be the Byzantine Empire, that considered itself Roman during all its history.

Northern Gallo-Roman : Defeat of Clovis at Soissons, Syagrius control Northern Gaul from Loire to Rhine.
The first two scenarios are the best to apply in relation to this thread, particularly in the continental side.
 
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There's a reason they're one of the only nations with a government-created group that deliberately creates its own versions of words to avoid using loan words from other languages (ordinateur and all that).
Many, many countries have language academies. These include some countries that grant recognition to minority languages. That the Académie française exists is not necessarily related to the policy of suppressing the regional languages.
 
Perhaps you could have something happen with Saint Brendan and discovering the Americas. The Brythonic Celts establish a colony that prospers and grows to a point that much of the eastern seaboard of North America is speaking in a Celtic language.
 
France: Avoid Excessive Centralization- The slow death of Breton is partially economic issues, but is far more an issue of politics. For a very long time, the French state has pursued a policy of unitary government and centralization, especially in the area of language. There's a reason they're one of the only nations with a government-created group that deliberately creates its own versions of words to avoid using loan words from other languages (ordinateur and all that). Any way that the French state can be made more federal or decentralized at least in the area of education and public services would have massive knock-on effects to history, but could also be great in preserving the use of minority languages such as Breton, as well as Occitan and Basque. French history is very much not my area of expertise, though.
Yes, centralisation is the main reason why regional languages are waning. During the French Revolution, revolutionaries were opposed to the use of regional languages and throughout the 19th century, children were punished if they spoke regional languages at school.
Zero idea about economic prospects in Brittany that could've been discovered or exploited earlier in a way that would bolster Breton as a language.
I don't know much about the economic side of things but I seem to remember reading that Brittany was one of the richest provinces of France. I know that the pays de Retz was an important source of income because of the salt marshes and the County of Nantes was a crossroad of trade routes (that's why Henry II was determined to control it); of course, this is in Eastern Brittany, so a less Breton-speaking area, although there were still native speakers in the 19th century (the last ones died in the 1960s/70s).

Here are maps showing the evolution of the Breton language in Brittany.
https://www.geobreizh.bzh/langue-bretonne/
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reculbreton.jpg?uselang=fr
 
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