Sunday, 5 September 2010

We should all celebrate the Welsh language.

I would like to congratulate all those who took part in the Pethau Bychain event last Friday It wall all about. celebrating the Welsh language online and to encourage more people to put blog posts, videos, audio and other things in Welsh online.

This is something we should all support and those who took part should be encouraged to increase their output.
To my shame, my Welsh was not up to taking part, but my commitment to supporting the language through events like Pethau Bychain is as total as any fluent Welsh speaker and perhaps even more than some.

We must remind ourselves that there are many supporters of the language who don’t speak Welsh and if they fail to learn it then seek to ensure that all of the next generation will have every opportunity to do so.

I believe that the Welsh Assembly should set a target that every Welsh School should be fully bilingual by 2030.

Some may think that is to far away. But I would rather see a longer prepared process than a rushed job where the infrastructure (including personnel ) is not there.

But perhaps the greatest challenge is to take the language out of politics.  As I've posted before on Party Websites , all parties in Wales should seek to be fully bilingual and by now over 11 years since the establishment of the Assembly they should have made greater progress

Sadly there are still elements in the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats who have an Anti-Welsh agenda. Partly because they associate the language with Plaid, but also they are simply prejudiced and can't see beyond this.

However through Google translate I was able to read the Blogs in Welsh as I read those such as Blog Menai (a worthy winner of the Welsh political blogs 2010) on a regular basis.

Perhaps I missed the point in doing this but.Google translate is a useful  tool and will get even better, It means that bloggers like Blog Menai can reach a wider audience without having to resort to bloging in English.

But I am aware that we might be heading for future where no one learns a language because they can easily access translations. However I encourage people to use Google Translate, because it can only broaden our mind when it comes to Welsh and show that it is a living language.

I was reminded of my own position last night whilst sharing a pint with a friend who is Scottish but speaks Welsh fluently (but he still can’t roll his “Rs”) and I was reminded of the story of Police inspector talking to a farmer in  Amanford.

Police Inspector: I’m afraid I can’t speak Welsh Mr Jones. But I can understand a fair bit.

Farmer: Yes,Well so can my dog Gelert..

There are to many of us like that Police Inspector but at least I recognise it.

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