Friday, 31 August 2007

Recognition of Welsh as the Language of Wales

Welsh is a medium of education in some purely Welsh schools, but the majority of schools teach it as a subject and it is not the medium of general instruction. Independence Cymru believes that this is not the best way forward and that a bilingual policy should be introduced so that children become truly bilingual in both languages. This would mean a change in Assembly policy and we eagerly await their review. Welsh schools appear to have a good reputation in terms of results and behaviour and are popular.
We are awaiting, indeed demanding, a new Welsh Language Act to provide equal status for the language in all aspects of Welsh life. Unless readers are wondering why this blog is not written in Welsh, or is not published as a bilingual blog, I would like to disarm them by saying that my native language, English, in no way matches my knowledge of Welsh, as well as the fact that the blog is being read worldwide and caters for the interests of many who have no knowledge of Welsh. Therefore it is written in the international language, English, and not in the national language, Cymraeg.


Anonymous said...

You might as well type in Welsh as your English reads like nonsense.

alanindyfed said...

You are another 'anonymous' who has nothing positive to contribute. No thanks for that.

alanindyfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valleys Mam said...

My first language is English, that makes me no less Welsh and proud. I am a Welsh learner though.
I want the Welsh Language to thrive, but recognise that it isn't and in my view won't ever be the lead language in Wales.
But I certainly don't want to see it as being considered second class. Equal status is a must. But you cannot force people to take on a language that's not democratic.
You can encourage and hope it grows and becomes sustainable in its own right

Glyn Davies said...

You always have to be careful that you don't lose the support of the majority of Welsh peaple, who do not speak Welsh. You are right in that we should maximise Welsh medium teaching - but if it were to be enforced everywhere, there would be a lot of hostility - and long term damage to the current success that the language is enjoying. In addition, there would not be enough teaching capacity to cope. There is a much stronger case for increasing Welsh medium education at primary level. Not only would that create more Welsh speakers but would have a higher level of parent acceptance. Always best to take one step at a time.

alanindyfed said...

Yes, I'm in the same position as Valleys Mam and agree with her comment.l

alanindyfed said...

Wise and cautious as ever Glyn

johnny foreigner said...

valleys mam said....

"But you cannot force people to take on a language that's not democratic.
You can encourage and hope it grows and becomes sustainable in its own right".

alanindyfed says....

"We are awaiting, indeed demanding, a new Welsh Language Act..."

johnny says....

...and that's where it all comes apart.

As soon as these "demands" are made, this just gets people's backs up.

Unfortunately, Alan and his nationalist mates have tried encouragement and persuasion, with little success. They now seek to force, by legislation, the unnecessary and unwanted everyday use of the Welsh Language as their efforts of benign persuasion have clearly failed.

A desperate measure indeed.

I am sure that the vast majority of Welsh people would agree with me that the Welsh language should be preserved for posterity, possibly by academics and those with a particular interest, but that this attempt at compulsion is no more than an artifice to impose their minority view on the unwilling majority.

The nationalist proposal that businesses must provide their full range of services via the medium of the Welsh language or suffer Civil Action, for "hurt to their feelings", from any Welsh speaker, borders on the fascist and certainly does not endear many people to their cause.

Why not just accept the fact that the everyday use of Welsh is declining? Your continued insistence and imposition, of what is essentially an ancient language that has not adapted to modern day usage, on the majority of us is doomed to failure.

To illustrate my point, I would respectfully suggest to readers that they just listen to the Wenglish spoken by the allegedly bi-lingual 'seed corn' youth of Wales.

The demise of Welsh is assured by your own youth and not by monoglots such as myself.

Your patriotic yet probitic pal.


alanindyfed said...

You seem to forget that Welsh is a living language. I suppose you would allow the other "whales" to become extinct, along with tigers and elephants. Your arguments belong with the Dodo (see last posting!!)

johnny foreigner said...

Unfortunately, the Dodo failed to observe the one Rule of Nature that applies to ALL things:

Adapt or Die.

Yes, Welsh is a living language, in terminal decline. Many languages have come and gone throughout time.

Those that have adapted to the modern usage remain. Those that didn't died. English has adapted over time and has kept up to date and, consequently, has become the International Language of choice.

Welsh, on the other hand, asks me to park my car in a field i.e. 'maes parcio', as opposed to a 'parc ceir'.

Do you get my point?

Your parcio pal.


alanindyfed said...

No, to be honest.

johnny foreigner said...

alanindyfed said...

No, to be honest.

johnny says.....

OK then, try this one.

Flicking through the TV channels, I stumbled across S4C. They were showing clips from what is known worldwide as the Brecon Jazz Festival, of course, S4C called it Jazz Aberhonddu and provided Welsh sub-titles when English was being spoken, for whom, I just don't know.

I happened to catch the Catrin Finch set. Now, having seen her before on an Eisteddfod broadcast playing some dreary old tunes to the regular attenders and looking a bit fed up, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.

This time, she was laying down some funky grooves on TWO harps and was clearly enjoying herself and the appreciative audience of jazz afficionados. They were grooving along with her.

She was a typical example of what I am referring to regarding adaptation. She plays an instrument generally associated with Wales and olde tyme tunes but has now adapted her style of play to accomodate a world audience. She's certainly got a new fan in me.

She has shown that by adaptation she can appeal to many without any reference to 'Welshness', although she is as Welsh as a Penclawdd cockle.

On the other hand, your continued insistence that Welshness only involves what you euphemistically call 'Welsh Culture' such as flags, eisteddfodau and the use of the Welsh language, is nothing more than inward-looking tribalism and has little appeal to the majority.

Your pizzicatic pal.


Anonymous said...

There's an idea abroad that Welsh speakers are some privileged group in society .... yet this is very far from the truth. Take Powys County Council for example ... the only grade in that council where Welsh speakers match the % of Welsh speakers in the community is the dustmen. In every other grade the figure falls far short.

If you work for the civil service in Wales then people assume you must be able to speak Welsh .... again very far from the truth but widely perceived as being true.

alanindyfed said...

Welsh is the language of the people,
not a privileged section of it, or of a nationalist group. It is the right of everyone to speak it and ideally should be a requirement for the civil service. Therefore it should be given prominence in education for all sections of the community.

johnny foreigner said...

alanindyfed said....

"It is the right of everyone to speak it and ideally should be a requirement for the civil service."

johnny says....

It is also the right of everyone not to speak Welsh, if they so wish.

The vast majority of we true Welsh people have absolutely no use for Welsh as a lingua franca and resent Nationalists continually trying to enforce or otherwise compel its usage.

Face up to it, the language is dying, despite the constant attempts at forcing it down unwilling throats.

Presumably, it follows, in Nationalist Utopia, that entry to the Civil Service will require Welsh as a primary 'qualification' irrespective of the candidate's skills experience or qualification in the actual field required.

Absolute folly.

How many able candidates will be rejected as a result of this stupid requirement? Presumably then, the Welsh Civil Service is to be staffed by Welsh speakers who may be absolutely useless at their jobs but nevertheless speak a language that is dying on its feet?

Its prominence in education has already been tried and still, as soon as the children are out of school, English takes over.

Can you, in all honesty, see the day when monoglots will learn Welsh and use it in preference to English?

Look to the young people, they can't engage in Welsh conversation without resorting to English for full expression.

Quite simply put, Welsh is a comparatively simplistic language that has no place in this modern era. Live with it.

Your proctitic pal.


Anonymous said...

Alan will be pleased to discover that most of the senior civil servants in Wales are not Welsh.

In addition to this about 80% of the Management Board of the WAG are not Welsh. Come to think of it, there are quite a few non-Welsh AMs too.

alanindyfed said...

This further bolsters the argument about British domination of Welsh affairs.