Wednesday, 12 December 2012

We need a new Welsh language strategy.

The Census Figures for the use of the Welsh Language look gloomy
Figures

All usual residents aged 3 and over
No skills in Welsh
Can underst-and spoken
Welsh only
Can speak Welsh
Can speak
but cannot read or
write
Welsh
Can speak
 and read
but cannot write
Welsh
Can speak, read and write
Welsh
Other combin-ation of skills in Welsh

Persons
Persons
Persons
Persons
Persons
Persons
Persons
Persons
Wales Total
2,955,841
73.3
5.3
19.0
2.7
1.5
14.6
2.5
Isle of Anglesey
67,403
30.4
10.7
57.2
7.0
4.3
45.6
1.9
Gwynedd
117,789
26.5
6.9
65.4
5.8
3.4
56.0
1.5
Conwy
111,724
60.6
9.5
27.4
4.1
2.4
20.6
2.7
Denbighshire
90,527
64.6
8.5
24.6
3.6
2.2
18.6
2.6
Flintshire
146,940
79.4
5.1
13.2
2.4
1.2
9.3
2.5
Wrexham
129,425
78.7
5.9
12.9
2.3
1.2
9.2
2.7
Powys
129,083
72.0
6.7
18.6
3.0
1.6
13.7
3.0
Ceredigion
73,847
42.4
8.1
47.3
4.9
3.4
38.8
2.4
Pembrokeshire
118,392
72.5
6.1
19.2
3.2
1.9
13.9
2.3
Carmarthenshire
177,642
41.9
11.7
43.9
6.7
4.2
32.8
2.8
Swansea
231,155
80.7
5.5
11.4
2.0
1.2
8.1
2.6
Neath Port Talbot
135,278
75.2
6.4
15.3
2.7
1.6
10.8
3.3
Bridgend
134,545
82.7
4.1
9.7
1.5
0.9
7.3
3.6
The Vale of Glamorgan
122,018
83.7
3.3
10.8
1.6
0.9
8.2
2.2
Cardiff
332,273
83.8
3.1
11.1
1.4
0.8
8.7
2.1
Rhondda Cynon Taf
225,555
80.4
4.2
12.3
1.6
0.9
9.7
3.3
Merthyr Tydfil
56,623
84.9
3.5
8.9
1.5
0.7
6.5
2.8
Caerphilly
171,972
83.9
3.0
11.2
1.7
0.9
8.4
2.1
Blaenau Gwent
67,348
88.5
2.2
7.8
1.5
0.6
5.5
1.7
Torfaen
87,844
86.5
2.3
9.8
1.8
0.7
7.1
1.7
Monmouthshire
88,609
86.0
2.5
9.9
1.8
0.7
7.2
1.9
Newport
139,849
86.9
2.2
9.3
1.7
0.7
6.5
1.8



I am not convinced that the UK census is the best and most efficient way of measuring peoples ability to speak Welsh or to measure competence and we need much more breakdown particularly regarding to age differences and origins

And " No skills in Welsh which has a Welsh average of 73.3 "  seems to be high as most of the people I know in this area have some knowledge of Welsh and certainly more than they would have than any other second Language. 

And it would be Interesting to see the questions asked in 2001 compared with 2011 (Were they exactly the same).

But it does appear that there has been a fairly large drop in areas like Gwynedd  (-3.6) Carmarthen (-6.4) and  Ceredigion(-4.7) which have not been made up  (see the Table provide by Syniadau here

Nor has there been a increase in Welsh Speakers out side Y Fro Gymraeg areas as expected

Clearly In-migration has had a major effect in Y Fro but emigration has to be a major problem.we need to address the dispersion of our people

Its all very well having a Welsh Speaking Scientist working in Silicon Valley in California but it would be much better if they were able to work in Aberystwyth.or Bangor 

And work must be found for those who are not so well qualified.

We need to look at a Mondragon stule cooprative movement for  Y Fro Gymraeg  based on Gwynedd Carmarthen and Cerdigion with cooperatives linked to the Universities of Bangor, Aberystwyth and Trinity St Davidas as well as other  educational institutions to create new an innovative jobs which will be linked to the use of the Welsh Language.

The answer to the fall in Welsh Language speakers will always be work for those who speak it where they live and quality work at that.

But it also means that we must also aim to provide a working environment where the Welsh Language is used regularly..To the extent that Non-welsh speakers are encouraged to learn Welsh as part of their employment 

Our Political Parties must work through our Assembly to ensure that this becomes a reality.

Even if the Census figures had shown a slight growth we would still need a new initiative from the Welsh Assembly Government the response from Leighton Andrews seems complacent Leighton Andrews said: 

The Welsh language and Welsh language communities face challenges and the issue now is not to blame people but decide how to work together to ensure a sustainable future for the language."

He said he would be open to new ideas and had a strategy, launched in March, which included encouraging the use of Welsh in social media.

A Welsh government spokesman added that the strategy recognised the "fragile state of the language" and looked to promote its use across all walks of life.

We need something more than people having  a Facebook page in Welsh.








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