Guardian criticised after suggesting Welsh language is pointless
The Guardian newspaper has been criticised after one of its columnists suggested that the Welsh language was pointless.
In an argument about a Candian fitness regime, the writer compares learning the Welsh language to running on the spot.
“The jumps, I am more or less convinced, are there to keep you counting your steps, which distracts you from how hard and existentially pointless it is to run on the spot. All that energy spent, no distance covered: it’s like eating cottage cheese or learning Welsh,” she writes.
Zoe Williams is a Welsh writer who lives in London. She has been a Guardian columnist since 2000 and has contributed to a range of politics shows including the BBC’s Question Time and Newsnight.
The comments about the Welsh language were criticised online.
Writing on Twitter, Guto Aaron asked: “Hands up who is surprised to see the bastion of the left that is the Guardian once again falling back on using Welsh as a butt of a joke?”
Rob Humphreys said that Guardian Weekend “appears to have an editor who has gone all culturally Brexit – in same issue we had the ‘escape to Preseli to convert a farmhouse’ piece with no mention of Wales or Welsh language”.
The Guardian has previously come under fire for comments about the Welsh language. Last year another Guardian columnist was criticised for ‘mocking’ Welsh in an article about antisemitism.
The newspaper also had to defend an article in 2017 which asked whether a Welsh-medium education harmed children.
Zoe Williams has however suggested in the past that the Welsh language was not pointless, suggesting that it had given Welsh speakers “a more internationalist outlook”.