ARGUS COMMENT: Let’s be sensible over Welsh

ARGUS COMMENT:  Let’s be sensible over Welsh

ARGUS COMMENT: Let’s be sensible over Welsh

First published in News
Last updated

THE WELSH Language Act is important for Wales as a whole in terms of protecting and promoting the language.

However, it does need to be implemented sensibly, especially in certain parts of the country.

We would argue that the further south east you travel in Wales, the more there is an argument for sensitive rather than draconian implementation of the law.

When we have the public sector, particularly local councils, under huge financial pressure, would we really want to see an authority like Newport having to provide all telephone services in both Welsh and English?

A report, in response to the Welsh Language Commissioner's investigation into proposed standards for the language in councils, says it would be impossible for such services to be delivered equally in Welsh and English in Newport.

We think that is entirely reasonable.

This is partly because of the current standards of Welsh language skills among staff, meaning significant investment would be needed if the target is enforced.

The council report argues that some of the standards proposed may be too stringent for local authorities in this corner of Wales.

And we have to agree.

The equal use of Welsh and English in the public sector in Wales may well be a laudable aim, but we would argue it is not something which is achievable in the current economic climate and it is not something which should leave councils fearing a fine or other punishment if it is unattainable.

Comments (13)

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1:17pm Thu 17 Apr 14

stow hill says...

Spot on.
Spot on. stow hill
  • Score: -8

1:38pm Thu 17 Apr 14

throwy1 says...

Do we want to see a Local Authority in South East Wales providing a service in Welsh? Yes certainly. The border between England and Wales both parochially and civilly is east of Chepstow not east of Cardiff.
Do we want to see a Local Authority in South East Wales providing a service in Welsh? Yes certainly. The border between England and Wales both parochially and civilly is east of Chepstow not east of Cardiff. throwy1
  • Score: 8

1:40pm Thu 17 Apr 14

BUDDAH WELSH says...

I think if certain people was not anti-Welsh so much thing would be made easier. I think no pressure of financial penalties should be imposed but give people in these not so Welsh areas a choice. I for one don't believe in letters posted by councils should be in 1 language give the locals the options of English/Welsh not send it in both languages. Good for the environment and less pressure on finances for local councils in these areas.
I think if certain people was not anti-Welsh so much thing would be made easier. I think no pressure of financial penalties should be imposed but give people in these not so Welsh areas a choice. I for one don't believe in letters posted by councils should be in 1 language give the locals the options of English/Welsh not send it in both languages. Good for the environment and less pressure on finances for local councils in these areas. BUDDAH WELSH
  • Score: 3

1:53pm Thu 17 Apr 14

varteg1 says...

Nothing to do with the current economic climate, the simple truth is, almost the whole population of Wales has reached today without Cymraeg on it's tongue..

This came about due to a variety of factors, immigration into the industrial areas from other parts of Britain, indeed the world. especially post WW2, when Italians, and others took up residence in the Valleys of south Wales, then the constant reduction in use by the diaspora as the young, with little prospect of advancement, became emigres seeking to improve their life chances, invariably moving to places where Cymraeg would have been not only an encumbrance, but more top the point, totally useless to them.
The current attempt to FORCE the language back into ordinary life, as is constantly being shown to be the case, doomed to failure in the face of the uptake and use of the far more comprehensive and comprehensible English that has,. more or less become the world language in news and entertainment.

Pouring millions upon millions to the end of making Wales a dual language nation is utter folly. If money has to be spent, it would be far more sensible to throw it at one of the other major languages,French, Mandarin, Russian, than simply wasting such funding, as it slides away as soon as it meets the language, likewise sliding away, despite the pressures.

At least with any other language, one would not be confined to it's usage by the length of Offa's Dyke.
Nothing to do with the current economic climate, the simple truth is, almost the whole population of Wales has reached today without Cymraeg on it's tongue.. This came about due to a variety of factors, immigration into the industrial areas from other parts of Britain, indeed the world. especially post WW2, when Italians, and others took up residence in the Valleys of south Wales, then the constant reduction in use by the diaspora as the young, with little prospect of advancement, became emigres seeking to improve their life chances, invariably moving to places where Cymraeg would have been not only an encumbrance, but more top the point, totally useless to them. The current attempt to FORCE the language back into ordinary life, as is constantly being shown to be the case, doomed to failure in the face of the uptake and use of the far more comprehensive and comprehensible English that has,. more or less become the world language in news and entertainment. Pouring millions upon millions to the end of making Wales a dual language nation is utter folly. If money has to be spent, it would be far more sensible to throw it at one of the other major languages,French, Mandarin, Russian, than simply wasting such funding, as it slides away as soon as it meets the language, likewise sliding away, despite the pressures. At least with any other language, one would not be confined to it's usage by the length of Offa's Dyke. varteg1
  • Score: -15

2:58pm Thu 17 Apr 14

real comment says...

A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY
A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY real comment
  • Score: -10

4:02pm Thu 17 Apr 14

gracief says...

I work in the public sector and we also have to supply Welsh language material and a call centre option which is outsourced. This costs us thousands of pounds a year and it is very rarely if ever used. I had to produce information booklets in 10 different languages. I only had 1 request for a Welsh Version and that was by a library in North Wales. I ended up putting them in recycling bin and that is such a waste. We really have to be snensible about this given that public sector budgets have been slashed. It is not reasonable to have to cut vital services in order o pay for something that is only used by a very small number of people.
I work in the public sector and we also have to supply Welsh language material and a call centre option which is outsourced. This costs us thousands of pounds a year and it is very rarely if ever used. I had to produce information booklets in 10 different languages. I only had 1 request for a Welsh Version and that was by a library in North Wales. I ended up putting them in recycling bin and that is such a waste. We really have to be snensible about this given that public sector budgets have been slashed. It is not reasonable to have to cut vital services in order o pay for something that is only used by a very small number of people. gracief
  • Score: -10

7:26pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Jecymro says...

Around 10% in south wales do speak welsh. This is after significant decline over the last 2 centuries due to immigration, and a lack of welsh in education or public services and institutions. Even the welsh is provided today in s.e. Wales is often full of mistakes if not completely nonsensical.. This causes welsh speakers not to.bother using welsh services, because they are treated like a nuisance and a drain on resources. If we.want to protect the remaining welsh speakers in this area we need to treat the language with respect. Its not hard.. Just employ SOMEONE bilingual to answer the phones!!
Around 10% in south wales do speak welsh. This is after significant decline over the last 2 centuries due to immigration, and a lack of welsh in education or public services and institutions. Even the welsh is provided today in s.e. Wales is often full of mistakes if not completely nonsensical.. This causes welsh speakers not to.bother using welsh services, because they are treated like a nuisance and a drain on resources. If we.want to protect the remaining welsh speakers in this area we need to treat the language with respect. Its not hard.. Just employ SOMEONE bilingual to answer the phones!! Jecymro
  • Score: 16

9:18pm Thu 17 Apr 14

scraptheWAG says...

waste of money get rid
waste of money get rid scraptheWAG
  • Score: -18

9:31am Fri 18 Apr 14

Glasnost UK says...

It took me a while to realise that people outside of North Wales do not have a clue what's happening to people in this part of Wales if they do not speak the minority language - Total and absolute exclusion from public jobs and English medium education for children no longer exists.

Gwynedd and and Anglesey public services are 100% 'bilingual in Welsh language context, Conwy and Ceredigion 95%. Conwy is interesting as it has substantial English speaking majority but the Council has a policy of only recruiting 'bilinguals'.

Freedom of choice to live and work in North Wales as far as public services are concerned no longer exist for non Welsh speakers and the new Welsh language measures are aimed that these privileges extend throughout Wales!?
It took me a while to realise that people outside of North Wales do not have a clue what's happening to people in this part of Wales if they do not speak the minority language - Total and absolute exclusion from public jobs and English medium education for children no longer exists. Gwynedd and and Anglesey public services are 100% 'bilingual in Welsh language context, Conwy and Ceredigion 95%. Conwy is interesting as it has substantial English speaking majority but the Council has a policy of only recruiting 'bilinguals'. Freedom of choice to live and work in North Wales as far as public services are concerned no longer exist for non Welsh speakers and the new Welsh language measures are aimed that these privileges extend throughout Wales!? Glasnost UK
  • Score: -16

11:05am Fri 18 Apr 14

real comment says...

Glasnost UK wrote:
It took me a while to realise that people outside of North Wales do not have a clue what's happening to people in this part of Wales if they do not speak the minority language - Total and absolute exclusion from public jobs and English medium education for children no longer exists.

Gwynedd and and Anglesey public services are 100% 'bilingual in Welsh language context, Conwy and Ceredigion 95%. Conwy is interesting as it has substantial English speaking majority but the Council has a policy of only recruiting 'bilinguals'.

Freedom of choice to live and work in North Wales as far as public services are concerned no longer exist for non Welsh speakers and the new Welsh language measures are aimed that these privileges extend throughout Wales!?
THIS IS DISRIMINATION ON EMPLOYMENT WHICH IS ILLEGAL UNDER THE E.U. HUMAN RIGHTS ACT ARICLE 14 "DISCRIMINATION"
[quote][p][bold]Glasnost UK[/bold] wrote: It took me a while to realise that people outside of North Wales do not have a clue what's happening to people in this part of Wales if they do not speak the minority language - Total and absolute exclusion from public jobs and English medium education for children no longer exists. Gwynedd and and Anglesey public services are 100% 'bilingual in Welsh language context, Conwy and Ceredigion 95%. Conwy is interesting as it has substantial English speaking majority but the Council has a policy of only recruiting 'bilinguals'. Freedom of choice to live and work in North Wales as far as public services are concerned no longer exist for non Welsh speakers and the new Welsh language measures are aimed that these privileges extend throughout Wales!?[/p][/quote]THIS IS DISRIMINATION ON EMPLOYMENT WHICH IS ILLEGAL UNDER THE E.U. HUMAN RIGHTS ACT ARICLE 14 "DISCRIMINATION" real comment
  • Score: -16

12:38pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Glasnost UK says...

My sincere congratulations to SW Argus editorial team for having the guts and the courage to stand up to unprecedented Social Engineering emanating from WA Government (WAG).

No other Welsh media (Papers & TV) has criticised or even raised any questions to generate a debate if the current WAG's policies and steps of creating a bilingual nation are rational, fair and sustainable.

I'm not against Welsh language but passionately believe in freedom of choice and as a parent of two kids in Welsh education I see it first hand the immense academic and social damage inflicted on children through Welsh language imposition.

My youngest is in year 10 in a Conwy LEA's school. This school has 15 teachers and all 15 capable of delivering Welsh language curriculum and Welsh is being taught minimum 50% of the available teaching time.

Last Estyn report for this school (March 2014) was GOOD but when one reads the small print it says: Numeracy POOR; English language literacy POOR then Welsh Language teaching EXCELLENT therefore overall result GOOD!!

As most of the kids in this school are from English speaking homes (Again Estyn observation) most of them have no interest in Welsh language, never use it outside of classroom and never achieve Welsh proficiency and go to secondary education damaged with poor grasp of core subjects - So these kids will not qualify for holding a public job in North Wales when they grow up because they failed in Welsh language studies.

Equally these kids will find it difficult to compete for jobs in England (private and public) as their overall educational skills are poor and miles behind their equivalents who were educated in England!!
My sincere congratulations to SW Argus editorial team for having the guts and the courage to stand up to unprecedented Social Engineering emanating from WA Government (WAG). No other Welsh media (Papers & TV) has criticised or even raised any questions to generate a debate if the current WAG's policies and steps of creating a bilingual nation are rational, fair and sustainable. I'm not against Welsh language but passionately believe in freedom of choice and as a parent of two kids in Welsh education I see it first hand the immense academic and social damage inflicted on children through Welsh language imposition. My youngest is in year 10 in a Conwy LEA's school. This school has 15 teachers and all 15 capable of delivering Welsh language curriculum and Welsh is being taught minimum 50% of the available teaching time. Last Estyn report for this school (March 2014) was GOOD but when one reads the small print it says: Numeracy POOR; English language literacy POOR then Welsh Language teaching EXCELLENT therefore overall result GOOD!! As most of the kids in this school are from English speaking homes (Again Estyn observation) most of them have no interest in Welsh language, never use it outside of classroom and never achieve Welsh proficiency and go to secondary education damaged with poor grasp of core subjects - So these kids will not qualify for holding a public job in North Wales when they grow up because they failed in Welsh language studies. Equally these kids will find it difficult to compete for jobs in England (private and public) as their overall educational skills are poor and miles behind their equivalents who were educated in England!! Glasnost UK
  • Score: -14

2:28pm Fri 18 Apr 14

real comment says...

THERE IS NO ONE ALIVE IN WALES WHO CAN ONLY SPEAK WELSH. THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE JUST PLAYING DIFFICULT
THERE IS NO ONE ALIVE IN WALES WHO CAN ONLY SPEAK WELSH. THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE JUST PLAYING DIFFICULT real comment
  • Score: -15

2:34pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Royal42 says...

Look very closely at Gwynedd, most of the bright children leave to go to English universities and don't come back, their English has been taught at home not by teachers. Our hospital, like the other two in North Wales is short of senior staff and beds, there situation is a lot worse than other parts of Wales, we can't recruit senior staff, they won't come here and subject their families to compulsory Welsh. RAF Valley can send their children to private schools because they recognize our sub-standard education. Inward investment - where is it after millions spent on industrial estates infrastructure that is not used. Most of the well paid jobs are public sector and related jobs that have been so called privatized, other jobs are mainly part time and minimum wage which helps the unemployment statistics. What has improved over the last twenty five years? What future does our children have with the route our leaders are taking us? Why has no one ever been accountable for the tens of millions of wasted money on white elephants in Gwynedd alone?
Look very closely at Gwynedd, most of the bright children leave to go to English universities and don't come back, their English has been taught at home not by teachers. Our hospital, like the other two in North Wales is short of senior staff and beds, there situation is a lot worse than other parts of Wales, we can't recruit senior staff, they won't come here and subject their families to compulsory Welsh. RAF Valley can send their children to private schools because they recognize our sub-standard education. Inward investment - where is it after millions spent on industrial estates infrastructure that is not used. Most of the well paid jobs are public sector and related jobs that have been so called privatized, other jobs are mainly part time and minimum wage which helps the unemployment statistics. What has improved over the last twenty five years? What future does our children have with the route our leaders are taking us? Why has no one ever been accountable for the tens of millions of wasted money on white elephants in Gwynedd alone? Royal42
  • Score: -12

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