It could also be due to a hangover from children rebelling against Welsh at being punished for speaking English in Welsh-language schools.
Young people still make up the majority of Welsh speakers in the country, thanks largely to efforts to make the language compulsory in schools.
However, experts believe this upswing has plateaued despite the Welsh Government’s goal of making 40 per cent of schools in Wales Welsh by 2050, by which time 1 million people will be speaking the language.
Both goals have been branded as overly ambitious, particularly given the UK’s shortage of teachers and the dwindling number of Welsh speakers.
The survival of the language depends on it being used organically, but a Welsh Government source told The Telegraph that there are too many barriers pushing people towards English options.
Use of Welsh in everyday life
Poor translations, clumsy terminology, conditioning in English and fear of substandard service all play a part, says Prof. Chríost.
He told The Telegraph: “The language needs people to use it in their daily lives and not just in controlled settings like schools
“For me, one of the biggest challenges is making sure we have more people who can speak Welsh to speak the language when using public services.
“There is a huge gap between those populations who have the potential to speak Welsh while using public facilities and services and those who actually do.
“These services come with a cost, and the lack of use of these services rightly raises questions about whether or not they are cost-effective.”
The Welsh Government is understood to be looking to tear up its translation policy to end the current practice of translation from English for Welsh services on signs, websites and documents.
A source told The Telegraph: “Retrofit Welsh – you’re not hiding from anything.”
Speak Welsh at work
Dafydd Trystan, Chair of the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Board, said there needed to be more opportunities for young professionals to use Welsh in the workplace.
He said: “The problem is when you leave work or university there aren’t many areas of work where Welsh is used. Cardiff Council and Sport Wales there’s more but what about Starbucks and Tesco where you have Welsh speaking staff who don’t use the language?
The Swansea University study compared the reactions of minority and majority language speakers on social media.
The team assessed 800 native Welsh and English speakers aged 13 to 15 attending Welsh language schools across Wales.
It also assessed the psychological impact of social media use on bilingual Welsh-English speakers.
The data showed that native Welsh speakers’ desire to use social media in Welsh may be driven by a desire to increase self-esteem, achieve greater linguistic equality with English speakers, or connect with other Welsh speakers.
“The consequence of the switch of minority language speakers to the majority language threatens the continued vitality of minority languages and raises questions about the meaning of the minority language in the minds of minority language speakers,” said Dr. Jones.
Colleague Professor Phil Reed added: “The study shows that governments need to consider not only the impact of social media on mental health and well-being, but also its impact on the cultures of minority groups, which may be compelled to be important and stabilizing influences to give up in the pursuit of the digital interactions that are becoming increasingly necessary to everyday life.”
The findings are published in the journal Trends in Psychology.