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The Welsh Language a help or hindrance for Wales?

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Mr Blue Sky

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 3:03 pm

Maxfli wrote:
Mathew5 wrote:I switch to English most of the time too, but in my place of work I will speak Welsh to Welsh speakers and English to English speakers. If the conversation involves 1 Welsh speaker and 2 English speakers then of course I would switch. With learners, I speak Welsh slowly and clearly.


Mathew please don't get me wrong, what you explain here and advocate is fine, why shouldn't you speak your own language to others that use it, especially if it is your first language, it must bring you a lot of pleasure and allow you to express yourself. Like I said my wife and daughter speak Welsh and my daughter is taught in the medium of Welsh, I have tried to learn but don't have a head for languages so I'm never going to be fluent. My intentions are not to attack or moan about the Welsh language, simply to illustrate that the way some people approach the promotion of the language is extremely counter productive. Like I said earlier it is such a shame.

What I am saying, I suppose, is the good manners that you show by switching to English when there is a non-welsh speaker around is generally not my experience. For example I have spent nights out in the pub with welsh speakers and have sat there sometimes for over an hour without a word of English being spoken, even though all parties are well aware I can't speak it, on occasions I have just left the pub to eyes being rolled. I also know from speaking to others that they experience similar situations and of course some in this thread have also confirmed experiencing it, so it must exist.

Also any debate about the Welsh language does generally end in hysteria (proof of this in this thread?) if is there is any deviation from the argument that the way it is promoted is correct and welsh speakers attitudes are correct. It's just very unhealthy and never moves the debate on and I can't understand it.

Do you agree there is a a lot of resentment surrounding this subject? If so how would you suggest we solve this. I do not say this flippantly and am genuinely interested to hear your views on this.


After decades in Plaid and also attending many Cymdeithas events, with only a basic understanding of Welsh, I have to agree with you. Some 1st language Welsh speakers are happy to switch to English if there is a monoglot In their company but many are not. I have learnt some Welsh formally but was put off when, many years ago, I attended a Plaid meeting only to have my greeting of "sut wyt ti?" criticised, then argued over by someone who was very senior in Plaid. I was pronouncing it wrong, according to her, but she was from Bangor and it turns out that in Cardiff I was pronouncing it correctly, according to another member who chipped in on my behalf. There then followed an argument - in English - about what should be the standard form of Welsh.

As someone who took three o-levels in foreign languages (I passed two, getting an "N" in ancient Greek) I'd always thought that I was language-proficient (I went to high school in England so never had the chance to learn Welsh formally as a child). As a result of this public humiliation I gave up learning Welsh formally nearly twenty years ago and now just try to pick up words and phrases where I can.

There is a great deal of centuries-old, completely justified resentment felt by Welsh speakers towards the English and their language. Unfortunately this resentment is often extended to English speaking Welsh people, even nationalists such as myself. I've spent hundred of days and nights at Ty Gwynfor, the Plaid HQ, doing telephone canvassing and have received a great deal of abuse from Welsh speakers simply for having the temerity to be unable to speak Welsh while working for Plaid. To be honest it has upset me greatly but I persevere with my support for the Welsh speakers even though many are very ungrateful and even hostile.
Last edited by Mr Blue Sky on Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Alvear24

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 3:43 pm

Personally, I couldn’t care less if the Welsh language talked itself out of existence. Some of the anecdotal tales I read here absolutely make my dislike of the people who militantly speak the language even more concrete. That is to say I have nothing against the language itself, how could you, just the people who speak it and some attitudes expressed by them.

Even though I live in Cardiff, I am fortunate to go months without ever hearing the language spoken, so it never really affects me tangibly. It is very true to say that you can live your entire live in Cardiff without ever using, hearing or needing a word of Welsh. Admittedly, I have no Welsh speaking friends, work in the private sector, and don’t engage with the language other than the odd sign. It is not my world. However, I resent the money which others on here describe accurately as being allocated to it by people in power in the Welsh government who believe they know what is best for the principality. The arrogance of Alun Davies in claiming that he feels he understands the people’s will on increased Welsh provision is glaring…..you do not. You are surrounding yourself by people who think similarly, and like all bubbles, it’s hard to see outside, especially when the outside doesn’t think like you.

What annoys me the most is that the English speaking demographic of Wales, by far the largest, is knocked every time these people force Welsh down our throats yet again. This Anglo Welsh culture is a bonefide legit culture of its own, which has existed for nearly 1,000 years in parts of Wales. How dare they try an erode it insidiously. Luckily, strength in numbers is on my side, and the best weapon against militant Welsh invasion into areas that do not want it is affected by simply not speaking it.
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Mathew5

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 3:57 pm

When has anyone actually forced Welsh down your throat? You've clearly said you don't belong in that world, have no Welsh-speaking friends and claim never to hear Welsh in our city? I hear Welsh every day in Cardiff and that's just from commuting and walking around the city centre and spot loads of people wearing those orange lanyards to indicate they can provide a bilingual service.

Wales has two official languages. To deny people access to learning both would be wrong, but nobody is forcing anything on anyone. Kindly go back to living in your tragic ignorance.
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daearegwr

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 3:58 pm

Alvear24 wrote:Personally, I couldn’t care less if the Welsh language talked itself out of existence. Some of the anecdotal tales I read here absolutely make my dislike of the people who militantly speak the language even more concrete. That is to say I have nothing against the language itself, how could you, just the people who speak it and some attitudes expressed by them.

Even though I live in Cardiff, I am fortunate to go months without ever hearing the language spoken, so it never really affects me tangibly. It is very true to say that you can live your entire live in Cardiff without ever using, hearing or needing a word of Welsh. Admittedly, I have no Welsh speaking friends, work in the private sector, and don’t engage with the language other than the odd sign. It is not my world. However, I resent the money which others on here describe accurately as being allocated to it by people in power in the Welsh government who believe they know what is best for the principality. The arrogance of Alun Davies in claiming that he feels he understands the people’s will on increased Welsh provision is glaring…..you do not. You are surrounding yourself by people who think similarly, and like all bubbles, it’s hard to see outside, especially when the outside doesn’t think like you.

What annoys me the most is that the English speaking demographic of Wales, by far the largest, is knocked every time these people force Welsh down our throats yet again. This Anglo Welsh culture is a bonefide legit culture of its own, which has existed for nearly 1,000 years in parts of Wales. How dare they try an erode it insidiously. Luckily, strength in numbers is on my side, and the best weapon against militant Welsh invasion into areas that do not want it is affected by simply not speaking it.


If you've got nothing against the language, why are you 'fortunate' to go months without hearing it. What harm does it make to your life if people wish to use the language?

There are vocal minorities on both sides of this argument. I fully accept there are people in Wales who are militant about speaking the language in whatever situation, but there are also those on the other side (see Julian Ruck and some of the posts on here) who are wholly opposed to the language. Thankfully the fact is the majority of people in Wales are supportive of the language.

Anyhow as expressed in the previous thread what has any of this got to do with development in Cardiff? :roll:
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Mathew5

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 4:00 pm

daearegwr wrote:
Alvear24 wrote:Personally, I couldn’t care less if the Welsh language talked itself out of existence. Some of the anecdotal tales I read here absolutely make my dislike of the people who militantly speak the language even more concrete. That is to say I have nothing against the language itself, how could you, just the people who speak it and some attitudes expressed by them.

Even though I live in Cardiff, I am fortunate to go months without ever hearing the language spoken, so it never really affects me tangibly. It is very true to say that you can live your entire live in Cardiff without ever using, hearing or needing a word of Welsh. Admittedly, I have no Welsh speaking friends, work in the private sector, and don’t engage with the language other than the odd sign. It is not my world. However, I resent the money which others on here describe accurately as being allocated to it by people in power in the Welsh government who believe they know what is best for the principality. The arrogance of Alun Davies in claiming that he feels he understands the people’s will on increased Welsh provision is glaring…..you do not. You are surrounding yourself by people who think similarly, and like all bubbles, it’s hard to see outside, especially when the outside doesn’t think like you.

What annoys me the most is that the English speaking demographic of Wales, by far the largest, is knocked every time these people force Welsh down our throats yet again. This Anglo Welsh culture is a bonefide legit culture of its own, which has existed for nearly 1,000 years in parts of Wales. How dare they try an erode it insidiously. Luckily, strength in numbers is on my side, and the best weapon against militant Welsh invasion into areas that do not want it is affected by simply not speaking it.


If you've got nothing against the language, why are you 'fortunate' to go months without hearing it. What harm does it make to your life if people wish to use the language?

There are vocal minorities on both sides of this argument. I fully accept there are people in Wales who are militant about speaking the language in whatever situation, but there are also those on the other side (see Julian Ruck and some of the posts on here) who are wholly opposed to the language. Thankfully the fact is the majority of people in Wales are supportive of the language.

Anyhow as expressed in the previous thread what has any of this got to do with development in Cardiff? :roll:


Exactly - but I do think we need to have this out on here separately to stop it from interfering in other threads.

I just feel that monoglots don't understand what speaking other languages means, and a lot of the time there's no point in debating with them.
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Alvear24

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

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 10:55 pm

I shall emerge from my tragic ignorance one more time to clarify a small point. Brought up billingually, speak four fluently. Fully embrace language learning in schools. Masters degree in language. My issue is with Welsh (speakers and policy) and nothing else.
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Sam

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

PostThu Aug 17, 2017 5:05 pm

Some Welsh speakers, or all of them?
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george

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

PostThu Aug 17, 2017 8:50 pm

Mathew5 wrote: but nobody is forcing anything on anyone.


Except the politicians forcing kids to learn Welsh until 16...
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Mathew5

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

PostThu Aug 17, 2017 10:38 pm

So equal access to the curriculum is a bad thing?

If you remove it, they will only complain that Welsh speakers get all the good jobs.

This game is rigged.
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Cadno

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

PostThu Aug 17, 2017 11:38 pm

Hi all

This is my first post even though I've been reading this forum for months. I'm a Welsh speaker and so feel compeled to comment on this thread.

The vast majority of Welsh speakers are just normal people who happen to prefer to speak a language diferent from that of the majority. We have an ethical and legal right to use our own language in our own country, just as English speakers do. To hear people suggest that my family's language is a hinderance, or to say that money is wasted on it, is so bloody depressing.

I've no dobut some people have had bad experiences, but that's not due to the Welsh language. It's due to other people behaving unreasonably, and that's just human nature, the world over.

Thankfully most people in Wales support bilingualism, in fact the latest research (I think) on this shows a slim majority in favour of doing MORE to support Welsh: http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinw ... anguage-i/
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