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‘Frustrating’: Commissioner speaks out on Amazon rejecting Welsh language reviews

28 Jan 2022 4 minutes Read
Hyderus at the top of the Amazon charts

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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Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Welsh people have got to stop using Amazon if they don’t recognise the welsh language stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

What Ismyname
What Ismyname
3 months ago

When I research products on Amazon UK, I always look at the reviews. Frequently I find some in French, German, Italian and Spanish. If this is permitted on the Amazon UK site, there is absolutely no justification for refusing reviews in Welsh!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

Amazon must understand that Welsh is the native language of Wales and is equal under Welsh Law to English. It seems Jeff Bazos’s tax avoiding Behemoth is a law unto itself, who assume their Anti-Welsh policy is acceptable. Well it isn’t! May I remind Amazon that Welsh speakers are customers too and deserve the same respect shown to other users whose first language is not English. And less they forget. Wales contributes to their company’s success having an Amazon distribution centre in Swansea. I suggest both Welsh & non-Welsh speakers flood Amazon with complaints on their website, Twitter wherever they… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Y Cymro
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago

Shop local…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

It is Amazon’s long stated mission to be the only shop in the world but you also want a Welsh high street, you can’t have both…

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
3 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Yes indeed. Bear in mind that any purchase by Welsh folk on Amazon represents leakage of funds from Wales to a nasty US international company. So by all means use their site to find stuff and then do some careful searhing for the product from a non Amazon suppliers. Sadly one cannot get everything from Welsh suppliers but much can be be bought local.

Dwyfor ap Llynfell
Dwyfor ap Llynfell
3 months ago

Totally agree we need Welsn reviews on Amazon. We need everything in Welsh. Does anyone know of a Welsh porn site. Asking for a friend you understand.

Richard
Richard
3 months ago

Aled needs to start taking a leaf 🍂 out of the actions of the former Welsh Language Board Private Sector Panel. My late board colleagues Eddie Rae and Gwilym Owen occasionally used their Tory old boys and business high level networks to ‘ reach the parts others could not reach ‘ to encourage change. They found those sympathetic or welsh connected folk on these islands and across the world 🌎 in business and banking who were able to offer a word or a shove towards understanding the benefits of choice and indeed business opportunities linking in with our language.. Wales… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard
Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Current Tories and the Welsh language are like oil and water. The Tories are determined to aggressively assert their one language, one nation crap. They don’t care about Cymru or Cymraeg!

Finn Aptomos.
Finn Aptomos.
3 months ago

Don’t buy anything if th

Penderyn
Penderyn
3 months ago

Weird why American corporations are so English Imperialist…..almost as if they were an old branch of the English empire…..wait

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