Current Affairs Politics

Language Wars – Coming To A Sign Near You Soon

Sign of Albain or Scotland
Alba – Albain – Scotland

More new from the Pax Anglia, via the Dunfermline Press:

“… councillor Dave Dempsey is proposing that road signs in Fife be in English-only.

His motion, “Council agrees that there is no need, point or advantage in road signs in Fife being in any other language or languages than English” went before fellow councillors yesterday (Thursday).

It was prompted by press reports last month of a £350,000 plan to promote Gaelic in Perth and Kinross and Councillor Dempsey now hopes to “lay down a policy marker”.

[Dempsey said] “Gaelic was never really spoken in Fife – it’s spoken in other parts of Scotland but not really when you get this far south and east.

“I understand the need to keep the language in existence but language is used to communicate and everybody can speak English.”

Yes, well colonisation does tend to end up with the natives foregoing their own language and adopting that of the overlord – just so they and their children, and their children’s children, can survive to see another day. Not to mention that there is little point in keeping a language in “existence” if no one is allowed to use it – because they are told that they must use English instead as Councillor Dempsey suggests.

Meanwhile some good news from Wales for at least one of the indigenous Celtic languages of the island of Britain. From a report in the Daily Post: 

“WELSH children are twice as likely to speak the language than pensioners or those of working age figures from the 2011 census reveal.

The figures show that across Wales, 37.6% of under 16s are now able to speak Welsh, compared to 15.5% of 16-64s and 16.2% of over 65s.

The discrepancy between different areas of the nation are evident, with 89.1% of Gwynedd children speaking Welsh –  compared with  22.7% in Merthyr Tydfil.

Interestingly, it’s also revealed that women are more likely to speak the language than men.

It’s also proven that national identity plays a large role on one’s ability to speak the language or not.

A quarter of people who identify themselves as Welsh, also classed themselves as Welsh speakers, and two-fifths of those who identify as Welsh and British can speak the language.

Unsurprisingly, the popularity of Welsh medium education has seen a huge rise in parts of the South Wales valleys, with children in Blaenau Gwent being 23 times more likely to speak the language than a pensioner in the same area.”

Wales Online has more analysis.


Finally from Québec an open letter published today in the English language Montréal Gazette written by the province’s Language Minister Diane de Courcy and the liaison with the Anglophone community Jean-Francois Lisée, both from the ruling PQ party. It deals with the wide range of opinions expressed in recent months around Bill 14 which will expand legislation protecting the rights of the province’s francophone majority and encouraging French language use amongst the English-speaking minority and new immigrant communities. Sensibly the new series of regulations will accommodate the concerns expressed by the anglophone and bilingual communities of some towns and municipalities.

6 comments on “Language Wars – Coming To A Sign Near You Soon

  1. quebeckers aren’t natives you know…………….


  2. Neither are British Canadians


  3. Friseal

    There are movements to bring back Gaidhlig, in areas such as Sutherland, Perthshire and Dumfries and Galloway, Unfortunately Fife isn’t so keen so far, despite the region being awash with Gaidhlig place names.. but in time, who knows.


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