Welsh Language Rights Under Threat?

Speaking of the challenges facing linguistic minorities, what do readers make of this news from Wales, as reported by the BBC?

The job of Welsh language commissioner is to be scrapped as ministers try to hit an ambitious target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Ministers are to takeover decisions on what language rules, or “standards”, apply to which organisations.

Welsh language minister Alun Davies said he wanted to make the system as efficient as possible.

Instead of a single figurehead, the Welsh Government wants to create a Welsh Language Commission to promote the language.

Like the current commissioner, the body would also be responsible for policing the system.

Several organisations campaigning for Welsh language rights have protested the suggested changes, arguing that they will roll back the limited progress already made on linguistic equality in the country. Equality which alleviates or seeks redress for discriminatory practices such as this, featured in the Metro:

Welsh staff in Welsh town ordered not to speak Welsh for ‘health and safety’

There has been a furious backlash in North Wales after a sign at a Sports Direct store ordered staff to stop speaking Welsh.

Instead, workers at the store in Bangor were told they must speak English despite Welsh being widely used in the Welsh town. They said that it posed ‘risks’ and ‘health and safety’ issues.

The office of the Welsh Language Commissioner has promised to look into the issue, though its powers are severely limited in the case of non-public bodies, including private businesses and corporations. An anomaly that proposed new legislation was supposed to address but which has now been postponed by the devolved government in Cardiff. Perhaps indefinitely.

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4 comments

  1. Sorry to go on, but for my sins I’ve been reading some of the comments on the various reports of the Newsnight item, and TBH I was shocked by the sheer volume of anti-Welsh posts. Anyway, here’s a game you can play whilst reading / watching any of this :

    Also I loved this clever twist on the old “as soon as I entered the pub/shop …” trope :

    Enjoy! But perhaps more to the point, how much of this do you get with regard to Gaeilge over on your side of the water?

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