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Campaigners call on Welsh Government to ensure ‘everyday’ use of the Welsh language is accessible to all

03 Jan 2022 4 minutes Read

 

Campaigners have launched a new video calling on the Welsh Government to focus on ensuring that the Welsh language is accessible as a medium of everyday communication for everyone in Wales.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith‘s video ‘More than a Million – Welsh Language Citizenship for All’ is a reference to the Welsh Government’s stated aim of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Mabli Siriol Jones, said that in addition to ensuring that one million people were able speak the Welsh language, the government needed to ensure that there were opportunities for all to speak it every day.

“From the single mother who wants to learn Welsh, to the young couple who can’t afford to buy a house and the sixth form pupil who’s in the process of choosing their career path: the people of Wales want more opportunities to learn and use the language in their daily lives,” she said.

“The Welsh language belongs to all of these people and to everyone living in Wales, without exception — we want to see everyone being able to live in Welsh.

“We are therefore calling on the Welsh Government to fully adopt our ‘More than a Million — Welsh Language Citizenship for All’ vision. This means deepening the current agenda by focusing on the everyday use of the language in our communities, workplaces and public services, and extending the Welsh language to everyone, not just the lucky few.

“We know that people face barriers in accessing the language — including geographical, economic, and class barriers — and that these affect certain groups in particular, including deprived communities, migrants and people of colour.

“The right structures and policies aren’t in place to ensure that everyone has meaningful access to learn, enjoy and use our national language. This pattern is a matter of social injustice that must be tackled – Welsh language citizenship needs to be extended to everyone.

“The other side of this coin is the failure to maintain, support and create Welsh language spaces; it is far too often said that Welsh is not an inclusive language. This results in a perception among Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers alike that maintaining spaces—from geographical communities, to workplaces, to events—that are entirely Welsh in language is unacceptable.

“Therefore, ensuring real access to the language for all is an essential part of the task of increasing the number of spaces where Welsh is the medium of communication.”

‘Vision’

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that they were inviting the people of Wales to ‘join the campaign for the language’ in their new video.

The video, created by Cadi Dafydd Jones, follows the stories of Elinor, Rhydian, Siân and Sarah as they all try to live their lives through the medium of Welsh. But the costs of Welsh lessons and the lack of Welsh language spaces are a barrier for Elinor, a single mother, while the housing crisis and lack of Welsh-medium apprenticeships threaten to force Rhydian, Siân and Sarah to leave their communities, taking the language with them.

Mabli Siriol Jones said that aims included securing a home for all in their own community, free Welsh lessons, Welsh-medium apprenticeships and increasing the language’s presence online.

“The Government has the power to turn this vision into a reality, and we will work over the next few years to ensure that they do so,” she said.

“I would like to invite the people of Wales, regardless of their ability in Welsh, to join us in the campaign for the language and achieving our ‘More than a Million’ vision.”

Cymdeithas yr Iaith launched its ‘More than a Million – Welsh Language Citizenship for All‘ document last year before the Senedd elections.

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Erisian
Erisian
25 days ago

I am a learner. But I currently live in the Llandridod Wells area and never hear of word of Welsh. Come to think I it, I barely hear a Welsh accent!
Larger shops and supermarkets like Tesco should offer Desgiau Talu Cymraeg.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
25 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Pob lwc ar y dysgu, Erisian!

I hope the ATMs and phone boxes at least have some Cymraeg for you. Here (in leafy Middle England) all the Santander bank branches offer trilingual ATMs (third option of course is Spanish) and the phone boxes (yes, they still exist despite mobile technology) also have options in Cymraeg.

If none of this applies to you in Llandrindod, I suggest you complain to your MS and/or Language Commissioner.

Pob hwyl!

🙂

W Davies
W Davies
25 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

No need to fund welsh language. English is our main language and this bullying and forcing a language that the majority don’t speak is just promoting a dead language. Its dangerous too. I travel on roads and at the top is welsh followed by our main language. English. I am searching for the break to read and understand it. As I type this on htv is an advert in welsh. Why. Everyone here speaks English. It is bullying and a forcing of views. S4C is for welsh advertising, or perhaps its time to define that channel.

Twm Teth
25 days ago
Reply to  W Davies

Is that HTV WALES your viewing? If you don’t like driving on Welsh Roads with welsh language signage may I suggest the next time you get in your vehicle just drive in a easterly direction until you get to a country where you are able to understand the displayed road signage and take your antiquated attitude with you.

Theresa Green
Theresa Green
24 days ago
Reply to  Twm Teth

I’ve got an antiqated attitude too.Lets join the Society for it and kick out the xtremists that foist the antiquated language upon us.

Twm Teth
24 days ago
Reply to  Theresa Green

It’s a pity the society wasn’t strong enough when the extremists were beating school children in welsh schools for speaking in their own tongue. Thats what you call extreme. Yes kick the extremist out because they can’t get their heads around the fact Wales is a country with its own language,
Protect and encourage the native language of a country, Then it’s history and heritage is preserved for all to enjoy.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
24 days ago
Reply to  W Davies

The Blue Books have really done a number on you, haven’t they?
Promoting the Welsh language isn’t some unwanted social engineering project but a response to popular demand. Obviously there will be a few dinosaurs who cannot see its value, but opinion has changed in the country as a whole, and your comment reflects the view of a shrinking minority.

Theresa Green
Theresa Green
24 days ago
Reply to  W Davies

It would get more viewers if it was in English and it wouldn’t be so much of a drain on resources.

Theresa Green
Theresa Green
24 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Pointless unless as rarely is there a demand. If you want to speak the language then learn it. But don’t inflict it on others.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
24 days ago
Reply to  Theresa Green

You’re making a big assumption by attempting to speak for all settlers who have moved to Wales.By no means all are as bigoted or prejudiced as yourself, and many are supportive of this country’s culture, but I do accept that your opinion is a personal one that has its place as much as anyone else’s, however antiquated and unrepresentative it may be.

Twm Teth
24 days ago
Reply to  Theresa Green

Inflicting the welsh language on others IN Wales, can’t you see how absurd that sounds, no you wouldn’t would you.

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