‘Frustrating’: Commissioner speaks out on Amazon rejecting Welsh language reviews
Aled Roberts has spoken out on the “very frustrating” situation for businesses and customers of Amazon rejecting Welsh language reviews.
The Welsh Language Commissioner has responded to reports of complains from customers who have been unable to leave a review in Welsh of the board game Hyderus? on the e-commerce platform.
Amazon has said that it is only possible for customers to leave Welsh language reviews on books that have been written in the language.
The Welsh Language Commissioner’s office has written to Amazon’s Director of Public Policy in the UK & Ireland about its policy of not allowing Welsh language reviews of products other than books.
In a statement to Nation.Cymru, the Commissioner revealed that he has offered to meet with the American tech company in order to provide “advice and guidance on how to develop Welsh language services”.
Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, told Nation.Cymru: “The Welsh language has legal status as an official language in Wales, meaning that people in Wales may live their lives through the medium of Welsh.
“Many private organisations in Wales offer their services in Welsh, such as utility companies, banks, and supermarkets as they see this as a way of respecting the public in Wales and of attracting new customers.
“People in Wales have come to expect this as the norm. It is very frustrating for the businesses selling products on Amazon as for the customers to be unable to review products in their language of choice.
“Allowing customers to review products in Welsh would also benefit Amazon itself as a company which profits from selling Welsh language products.
“I have offered to meet with Amazon to offer advice and guidance on how to develop Welsh language services.”
‘Top of Amazon’s bestseller list’
The Welsh language board game Hyderus? surged to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list in the run-up to Christmas, when the bilingual family quiz about Wales sold over 3,000 copies
Confident? which was created by couple Ceri Price from Llanelli and Natalie Podd from London was already sold in five languages and six editions across the world, before they decided to launch the Welsh edition.
Co-owner Ceri Price told BBC CymruFyw: “Amazon is a huge company and it’s hard to get through to them to fix something like this.
“They have allowed us to post (the item) but that took them a while.
“They have let us post a bilingual video, but they were telling us for a long time that we need subtitles in things like that.
“But with the reviews, so we can interact with customers, the reviews need to be in Welsh too – it’s frustrating.
He added: “Amazon know about this so it’s heartbreaking that they haven’t fixed it already.
“We’ve heard about people who are vocal enough to speak about it, but perhaps more have tried and have failed.
“We just want them to fix it – being able to post in Welsh should be basic.
“They’re really slow, taking weeks to get a reply. It’s a very small problem for them, but for us it’s really important.”
He also suggested that Welsh was being treated to other languages.
“On some products, Amazon show international reviews in different languages with the option to translate to English. Therefore it shouldn’t be hard to receive reviews in Welsh for every product.
“We will keep on trying with Amazon, and if it’s important to the public they should contact Amazon too. The more people who get in touch there bigger chance there is that they’ll do something about it.”
Amazon has previously been criticised for the way it treats Welsh language book reviews.
After being asked why a Welsh language book review was rejected in March 2021 an Amazon spokesperson told Nation.Cymru: “This was due to a technical error for which we apologise. It has now been resolved.”
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