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North Wales interactive maps to promote Welsh language launched

06 Oct 2022 4 minute read
The Welsh Placenames Map may be accessed by going to the Gwynedd Council website.

Two new maps to promote the use of the Welsh language in Gwynedd have been launched by Gwynedd Council’s Language Unit.

The first map is the Gwynedd Welsh Language Clubs and Activities map which can be accessed by going to the Gwynedd Council website.

“We are very lucky here in Gwynedd that so many volunteers organise and carry out regular activities in our communities, and done so naturally through the medium of Welsh,” Gwenllian Williams, Gwynedd Council’s language adviser, said. 

“These groups and clubs are key to maintaining the Welsh language as a living community language.

“This map is a way of recognising and helping to share information about these groups and clubs and making sure that people know where to find different activities within their communities.”

It will be possible for any group, club or society that meets regularly to record their activity and meeting location on the map by filling in a questionnaire. 

The information will then appear on the public map, so that members of the public can search for information by area or type of activity.

The council is inviting anyone who is responsible for a group or club within their community to give their details on the map by filling in the form which can be found on the Gwynedd Council website.

Welsh Placenames

The second map, the Welsh Placenames Map, can also be accessed by going to the Gwynedd Council website.

This map has been created in order to develop a living record of verbal, informal names on locations and geographical features throughout Gwynedd. 

It is part of the council’s Indigenous Place Names Project, and is an attempt to create an easy to use resource which will enable groups, schools and individuals to memorise and preserve some of those unique names that exist on a local level.

Gwynedd Council’s Place Names Project Officer Mei Mac said: “There are a large number of old names for streets, areas, geographical features, bridges and so on that are not on official maps. Yet they are used verbally every day within our communities. They are interesting names and like any place name contain a rich reference to local history and heritage.”

Presently anyone can view the map, but for the time being it will only be possible to contribute to the map by contacting the Language Unit directly on [email protected] or by calling 01286 679629/679469.

With an emphasis on the new Curriculum for Wales on learning about the local area, this map can also be a valuable resource for teachers in order to carry out activities within the class and with the community. 

Mei Mac, Gwynedd Council’s Place Names Project Officer is pictured showing pupils at Ysgol Sarn Bach the new Placenames Map. Picture: Gwynedd Council.

Recently the pupils of Ysgol Sarn Bach set out to carry out a project to trial the map.

Head of Ysgol Sarn Bach Nina Williams said: “The children of Ysgol Sarn Bach have benefited greatly from working on the ‘Enwau ar Fap’ [Names on a Map] project and have really enjoyed learning about their local heritage. A lot of local names are remembered and retained by the school’s children because of it and being part of this project has given the children a real sense of identity.”

Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Welsh language Councillor Menna Jones, said: “The two maps are an exciting development that will promote the use of the Welsh language in our communities. The Welsh Placenames map is an opportunity for us to try to protect colloquial Welsh place names and ensure that they are remembered for generations to come.

“The Welsh activities map will help the people of Gwynedd to discover various Welsh-medium activities that are available throughout the county from surfing lessons to a local history society. I encourage everyone to contribute information to the maps and use them.”

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