1 in 5 Welsh speakers ‘prevented’ from speaking the language with someone else
One in five Welsh speakers have been prevented from speaking the language with someone else who wants to speak it, according to a new report.
The figure was included in the Welsh Speakers’ Omnibus Survey in November 2020, as part of ‘Stepping Forward’, the Welsh Language Commissioner’s latest assurance report.
The report said: “20% of Welsh speakers noted that someone had prevented them from speaking Welsh with someone else who also wanted to speak Welsh – a 5% increase in the percentage who reported experiencing interference last year.”
In the report, the Commissioner, Aled Roberts, shared his views on how public organisations operate when it comes to the Welsh language, and the experiences of service users.
This year’s report was based on evidence from organisations about how the pandemic has impacted their ability to provide Welsh language services, and a national survey of Welsh speakers about their experiences of using the services.
According to Roberts, Covid-19 has highlighted the gap between organisations with good arrangements to provide Welsh language services and those without adequate arrangements
Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts said: “Covid-19 has forced us all to live our day-to-day lives in different ways, and public organisations have had to adapt quickly to a ‘new normal’. T
“The pandemic highlighted the already emerging gap between well-compliant organisations and those without adequate arrangements.
“Some organisations took the opportunity to innovate while others took a step back. Overall, it became clear that organisations need to do more to promote their Welsh language services to increase their use.
“This report is not intended to point the finger, rather to highlight the lessons to be learned to enable organisations to take steps to strengthen their Welsh language provision and to increase their use in the future.”
Other results in the Welsh Speakers’ Omnibus Survey included:
- 82% of Welsh speakers agreed that they are usually able to deal with public organisations in Welsh if they wish to do so.
- 70% of Welsh speakers surveyed agreed that the Welsh language services of public organisations were improving – an increase of 6% over two years.
- That 35% of Welsh speakers believed that opportunities to use the Welsh language with public organisations were increasing and 45% felt that they remained the same – a 2% decrease from last year in those who agreed that there was an increase.
Aled Roberts added: “Despite all the challenges this year, the research shows continuity in the pattern that Welsh speakers’ experiences have improved since language rights were established through Welsh language standards.
“But these experiences need to be further improved, and to enable me to place standards on more organisations, the Welsh Government must prepare standards and introduce regulations.”
“I have submitted a schedule for the Government to consider for taking this work forward as soon as possible, and I look forward to seeing their plans.”