Why Helping People Speak Welsh is £40k Well Spent.
Language needs talking about.
Literally, for a language or dialect to thrive, it must be spoken by many and not the few. Sometimes the sad reality is some languages are overtaken by the use of others, over many, many years of course, and if each generation spends less time learning and speaking it, then it’s bound to decline. One of the latest victims of this is Cymraeg, otherwise known as Welsh.
Statistically speaking, the Welsh language has been in decline for many years, so much so that the Welsh government wants to turn the tide. In an effort to increase Welsh being learnt and spoken, they are hiring a new Welsh Language Officer at £40,000 p.a., with a view to getting 1 million people speaking Welsh by 2050. No easy task, considering at the 2011 census, 19% of the Welsh population spoke Welsh; that’s an approximate figure of 560,000 people.
Raising the Welsh Profile
The problem, of course, is the much more widespread use of English, not surprising seeing as Wales is part of the UK and although in the West by the coast it is more common, it decreases the closer to the English border you get. Like any minority spoken language, its important steps are taken to ensure it does not dwindle completely and the goal of reaching a million speakers, although ambitious, is the right way to approach it.
As campaigners have pointed out, the teaching of Welsh in the school system is key and being able to capture the imagination of the youngest generations early will go a long way to achieving this goal. At Talking Heads, we understand the value of language no matter how widely or rarely used it is. It’s a connection to our past and, in the case of Wales, will continue Welsh heritage into the future. National identity goes hand in hand with language and it would certainly be a loss if by 2050 Welsh speakers have decreased even further, rather than reach its target.
Whoever takes on the role of Welsh Language Officer certainly has their work cut-out and it will be interesting to see what their approach will be to tackle the decline.
At Talking Heads, we provide translation services into Welsh from English and much more. Why not contact us today and see how we assist many clients like you.