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Drakeford’s Twitter handle change to Prif Weinidog ‘showcases Welsh to the world’

27 Oct 2021 2 minute read
Mark Drakeford. The First Minister’s changed Twitter tag

The First Minister changing his Twitter handle from @fmwales to @PrifWeinidog, “showcases our language to a worldwide audience”, according to the Welsh Government.

Mark Drakeford made the change to the account, which has over 125,000 followers, last week.

The move been viewed as the Prif Weinidog trying to normalise the use of his Welsh language title – which is a direct translation of Prime Minister rather than First Minister.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government told BBC Cymru Fyw: “The previous handle (@fmwales) wasn’t bilingual therefore we changed it in order to comply with Welsh language standards. This is a good way of showcasing our language to a worldwide audience.”

This move follows the normalisation of the Welsh language name Senedd following the switch from Assembly / Cynulliad in May of last year.

Most of the Welsh Government’s Twitter accounts in Welsh and English. For example @LlywodraethCym a @WelshGovernment; @LlCIechydaGofal a @WGHealthandCare.

Social media expert Owen Williams said: “This is a deliberate and planned change by Mark Drakeford’s office.

“Changing a Twitter handle, like a verified account requires asking for a discussion with Twitter to ensure that the verified blue tick isn’t lost.

“It’s a significant step not using ‘Prif Weinidog Cymru’ but instead ‘Prif Weinidog’, which is a term we’re more familiar using with Boris Johnson.”

Siân Gwenllian AS, Plaid Cymru’s Welsh language spokesperson said: “Every move to normalise the Welsh language is to be welcomed. The Welsh Government can and should do a lot more to promote the Welsh language and to increase the number of speakers.”

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