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The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

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Zach

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The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 1:38 pm

You are entitled to your opinion but opinions should at least be based on facts. Radio Cymru and S4C audiences are increasing, and many watch it online and through social media.


These are the last articles I can find, if you have other concrete evidence other than your own opinions on social media then please share and I'll gladly withdraw.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-37781547
BBC Radio Cymru audience figures hit 21st Century low

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33595994
S4C TV viewing figures fall in Wales

Ofcom PSB Report 2017

S4C
• In a typical week in 2016, 339,000 viewers in the S4C region watched S4C on
television for at least three consecutive minutes. This continues a steady decline in
weekly reach since 2011. The figure goes up when all viewers across the UK are
taken into account: weekly reach was 545,000 viewers in 2016, a decrease since
2015 when audience figures peaked. As S4C is a niche channel, its viewing hours
often fall outside the industry standard seven-day time-shifted window on TV. When
we include figures for viewing on the TV set between eight and 28 days after
transmission, S4C’s 2016 reach increased to 345,000 in Wales and 602,000 across
the UK.
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Kyle

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 2:06 pm

Half the problem Zach is the programmes are shit. As a Welsh speaker there's very little I find interesting on the channel to watch. Likewise my radio/music listening habits have changed and I don't listen to any BBC radio channels, mainly because of music streaming apps or music stations that just play the music I like

If there's a fall in listeners or viewers to elther than I can't say I'd be shocked.
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Zach

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 2:25 pm

I just watched the Newsnight item and I can't honestly see why its so controversial.
Neither do I understand why the two contributors were so inappropriate, they were both Welsh or lived here??
Doesn't everyone's opinions in Wales count, even those who can't or won't speak Welsh.
The same voices say Neil Hamilton should not be allowed on Welsh TV.
I find him a bit of a clown myself, but he has been elected by the people of Wales and was also born in Wales and has every right to appear.
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Lyndon

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 2:27 pm

Sigh, don't feed the troll.......
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Karl

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 2:41 pm

What have S4C viewing figures got to do with your thread title - Welsh Language - a help or hindrance for Wales? What have tv viewing figures (which are going down for all channels - after all who actually watches tv now in the same way they did 10 or 20 years ago) got to do with anything other than perhaps a debate about publicly funded channels (in any language)? Or are you suggesting that the presence of S4C or Radio Cymru actually puts off private sector investors? Because if it did I can't imagine the business case for setting up in Wales was very sound in the first place.

And what does help or hindrance actually mean? In what context? How do you measure it? How can you quantify whether or not bilingualism helps certain people or hinders others? Has having Council tax bills printed in Welsh been more of a hindrance to Wales than the Severn Bridge tolls for example?

Part of the problem with the Newsnight piece the other day was that it was so pitifully thought out that it could generate nothing more than a set of well worn cliches and give an airing to prejudices whilst being presided over by a presenter who had not a clue about the subject matter. This thread is an echo of that debate and its pointless, provocative and will result in a slagging match, insults and flouncing. You don't need a crystal ball to predict that.

On a wider point I find your unrelenting negativity (on pretty much everything) really tiresome. However I do agree with Jantra's view (possibly a first) that those whingeing about you and your 'jokes' about the Welsh language need to grow a pair. Your viewpoint is shared by a sizeable minority of Welsh people. Many of them can't see the point of Welsh and resent money being spent on it for a number of reasons. I know this because I hear them all the time.

I would say that I belong to the majority in Wales - non-Welsh speaking but with a benevolent attitude to the language without any real intention of speaking it myself. I don't resent the money that is spent on it because there is significantly more money spent in any number of areas that I object to more. I also think that the money is justifiable - it's a tiny % of the block grant after all. I also don't subscribe to the view that all money spent on the Welsh language is money take from the NHS that could have been spent on sick kiddies which is one of the arguments that gets trotted out - as if all expenditure you don't agree with would go to the NHS. Didn't a lot of us fall for the promise of an extra £350m to the NHS each week during the Brexit debate?

I think that if those in favour of the Welsh language get upset about hearing a contrary view then they have a real problem and so does the language. However I just wish that this type of debate was conducted properly. If you genuinely consider that the Welsh language is a hindrance to Wales and this is something that is grinding your gears rather than a chance for you to be mischievous then give examples and support your argument with facts. Don't quote S4C viewing figures which give an indication of nothing other than a general decline in the watching of tv.
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Mathew5

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 3:00 pm

Some fair points Karl, but I do think you fail to see the difference between criticising Welsh language policy and someone's language. They are completely different things.

Having a Loose Women style debate on the Jewish population of London or any other minority would not be deemed acceptable nor in good taste.

As a Welsh speaker, I thoroughly agree that Welsh language policy needs to be debated but it seems to me that people who just speak one language will never ever be able to grasp WHY admonishing comments like this hurt.

I am also a homosexual man and I've had more stick and abuse in my life for my language than I have for my sexuality. We are just absolutely fed up of having to fight for our existence and justify ourselves every single day.

Jantra

Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 8:10 am

With all due respect Matthew, Karl's argument are usually well thought out and logically constructed. Your opening gambit dismisses his post and is rather quite arrogant. It's almost as if you don't want to understand the problem and see that some people do take umbrage with how Welsh is supported in a way that English is not.

They have a point from a strict legal perspective. However English isn't under threat any time soon as everyone is well aware so it's a little disingenuous to suggest equal status really means equal both ways.
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Cardiff

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 4:45 pm

Mathew5 wrote:Having a Loose Women style debate on the Jewish population of London or any other minority would not be deemed acceptable nor in good taste.

As a Welsh speaker, I thoroughly agree that Welsh language policy needs to be debated but it seems to me that people who just speak one language will never ever be able to grasp WHY admonishing comments like this hurt.


I think you are mixing up language and nationality, do you think you are Welsh because you speak Welsh? In which case what makes non Welsh speakers who are born and live in Wales? No antagonism meant just pure curiosity how you distinguish speaking Welsh from being Welsh.

I personally like to use Welsh phrases and welcomes but don't speak the language fluently, in my line of business i do meet the odd fluent speaker from the north west who go out of their way to make me feel like i should either be forced to know it, or make me feel like i am a second class citizen even though i am part of the majority.

Are there 2 types of Welsh, speakers and non speakers, Welsh born and Welsh proper? Can you be welsh without speaking the language and accepted by speakers and non speakers?
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penarth bloke

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 7:59 pm

I'll attempt to answer the question as best as I can as an Englishman. Help or hindrance? I believe on balance, bilingualism is helpful as research shows an ability to speak/ read in another language helps in other areas. Another observation from personal experience, is that a lot of the hostility to the Welsh language comes from the Welsh themselves and I also know this from countless comments on social media. In other parts of the world using one or more languages seamlessly is normal and doesn't seem to hinder development.
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Maxfli

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Re: The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

PostSun Aug 13, 2017 10:53 am

Surely the problem is that a certain element of people who promote the welsh language are so, so, precious about it. I don't speak welsh but my wife and daughter do so I am fully supportive of the language but the amount of people I meet that are so aggressive in their protection of it baffles me and makes me and others I know less inclined to get more involved.

I too encounter lots of people - through work and socially - that intentionally speak welsh in front of others that cannot speak it, with an attitude that non-speakers should know it, and yes they are usually from the north west of the country. When this happens I am immediately cut of of the conversation and I do find it incredibly rude. I frequently have to deal with German natives in my job, I can speak a small amount of German and do my best to greet and use the language as much as I can (as I do with welsh) when in Germany, but when I am around German speakers that know I cannot speak the language fluently they would never dare speak German to each other and isolate me from the conversation. Why should it be any different in Wales.

I just think the welsh language would find so much more favour if it wasn't for the aggressive militant protection of it some people feel they need to take. Such a shame.

I've nothing to back this up, just my own experience of what I see day to day.
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