Free Welsh translation service passes one million word milestone
A free Welsh translation and advice service is celebrating translating one million words.
Helo Blod Launched in March 2020 to support the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy and offers businesses and charities up to 500 words a month translated, free of charge.
The service also offers text checking of up to 1000 words as well as practical advice, guidance, and support to help businesses use more Welsh, including providing bilingual signage.
Over the past two years, 1,121 businesses across Wales have used Helo Blod, either online or by phone, with the service proving popular among cafes, shops, professional services and food and drink producers looking to use more Welsh into their website content, product signage, social media posts or advertising.
Helo Blod merchandise is also available free to businesses– including Welsh open/closed door signs, tote bags, colouring pads and Iaith Gwaith badges, helping businesses make the use of Welsh language more prominent in their premises.
Purah Beeswax Candles, a sustainable candle company based in Carmarthenshire, has been using Helo Blod for over a year.
Owner Helen Louise Williams, who sells her candles online and has over 20 stockists across Wales, used Helo Blod’s online service to translate her social media channels and product descriptions to reach a larger bilingual audience and connect with her customers.
In the past months Helen has continued to use the service to introduce Welsh labelling into her store.
Helen said: “70% of my customers are based in Wales, and I think it’s only right that I use the language of the country that I sell to.
“After introducing more Welsh to my online and physical stores my customer base has grown significantly, and I feel as though I can connect with my customers in a whole new way.
“Although I speak Welsh, I can only speak it at a very basic level, and I wouldn’t have been able to use it as effectively and confidently as I had without the support of Helo Blod. The service has filled that gap.”
Another business that has experienced the benefits of Helo Blod firsthand is Bookshop Montgomery who opened its doors to the community in 2018 and has since, with the support of Helo Blod, changed their bookstore name to be bilingual to reflect both the Welsh and English language presence in the area.
Previously called ‘Eaves and Lord’, the shop is now called ‘The Bookshop Montgomery – Siop Lyfrau Trefaldwyn’.
Barry Lorde, co-owner of The Bookshop Montgomery said: “My favourite thing about the online service is the fact that it’s so easy to use. The business has benefitted in terms of giving us more confidence to make Welsh more visible in the business through bilingual signage, Welsh books, Welsh music in the shop, and now through having a bilingual shop name.”
Co-owner Richard Eaves added: “By adding more Welsh to our business, we have been attracting more Welsh speaking customers.
“I think that it’s important to recognise and respect the importance of Welsh in connection with the history of Wales and its culture and be able to communicate with people in their first language.”
Celebrating the milestone announcement alongside Helo Blod, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “Helo Blod, our free Welsh translation and advice service for businesses and charities, has helped thousands of people to use more Welsh in their daily lives.
Just using a little Welsh can help you spread your message further, turn customers into regulars and bring communities together.
Businesses can say helo to Blod on 03000 25 88 88 or by searching ‘helo blod’
For even more information, watch the Helo Blod video here……..
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