Nov 26, 2009

The Latest From Cymuned - Supporters Email

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( This is not an official press release but rather the personal observations of a Cymuned supporter )

Cardiff, the Assembly and YouGov

Firstly, a word of cheer: Quiet campaigning by individuals works! The story comes from Cardiff, where Coop have been working to freshen the image of their Llandaf shop. This involved, amongst other things, getting rid of the old bilingual signs and replacing them with "easier to read" English-only versions. But, in the words of the shop manager, she received a "strong reaction" from shop customers that convinced her to return to bilingual signage. Yes, it is awful that we still have to "campaign" in the 21st century for something as basic as recognition for the language, but this story shows that it is possible to change some things by quiet words in the right ears!

Which brings me neatly to an appeal for contributions! The Assembly's Heritage Department are starting the process of creating a new language strategy to replace "Iaith pawb" - the current blueprint for a bilingual Wales. They would like to hear the ideas and views of the public and relevant organisations to help them in their work. You may very well have your own ideas about the way forward to securing the Welsh's place as a vibrant community language, so now is the time for you to make them known in a way that can make a real difference.

Perhaps you remember an earlier email telling of a language Board conference where one recommendation was to encourage public bodies in the 'Fro' to use Welsh as their internal language - This shows that the ideas of CyngorNi are already being considered. Its time for us to push our message to the Assembly in the most powerful way available- through the submissions of the electorate and others that love the country. Please contribute, so that we can develop a strategy that will turn the vision in Iaith Pawb of: "a truly bilingual Wales ...a country where people can choose to live their lives through the medium of either or both Welsh or English..." into

The consultation closes on the 29th January. Contributions by post to:

The Welsh Language Unit, Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

Or by e-mail to

It was interesting to see the YouGov opinion poll during the month, giving details of voting intentions in a general election and Assembly referendum. At the tail-end of the poll there was a question regarding the usage of Welsh showing that 42% of the population of Wales have some amount of Welsh (18% were fluent).

This is excellent news until you read the following question. Even in the North, and the "West and Central" regions, less than 30% of the Welsh speakers used their Welsh "all or most of the time" in their own homes. Now, predictions of disaster cannot be made as a result of one poll, especially when the question was just for sorting statistics rather than an important element of the poll, but I think that supporters of the Welsh language are justified in worrying about this statistic. However important a new Welsh Language Act may be, I'm not sure that people who don't use Welsh in their own homes are going to be all that enthusiastic about a right to use Welsh in a bank or with a mobile phone company. Then again, promoting Welsh as the language of work amongst public bodies in the 'Fro Gymraeg' would certainly ease the pressures on people to use English on every occasion.

Until next month!


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Dewi Sant told us to "Do the little things."

To see what he had in mind, have a quick look at:

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Are you a dreamer or a doer?

Cymuned can't survive without YOUR help.

Have a look at:

to hear how to make things change

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