Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cilmeri 2006

I've never been to Cilmeri myself, maybe this year will be the first time. Here's a translated message from maes-e.


10.30 Meet outside the Prince Llywelyn pub and travel by car to Llanynys Church for Memorial Service (11.15)

12.30 Return to the pub for lunch

2.30 Llywelyn March and Rally at the Memorial Stone

5.00 Noson Lawen at the pub with traditional session music and then to the Church Hall.

(£5 each if you want to kip over in Cilmeri Village Hall - bring your sleeping bags)


10.00 Builth Wells Golf Club. Place a wreath in memory of Llywelyn and his army, who were dis-armed and then killed at the exact spot in 1282.

11.00 Aberedw Castle - a guided walk and talk around the castle

1.00 Cwm Hir Abbey. Service at Abbey; lecture and refreshments at Phillips Hall afterwards.

Come with friends, with families, with pride. Wear ivy and don't forget waterproof shoes! If yoiu've not been in the past, now is your chance.

I didn't go again this year, but there's some great photo's here.

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Two Language Technology blogs from Wales

The first, called Datblogu (a play on words of the welsh word for 'Develop', Datblygu). This is the blog of Daniel Cunliffe from the University of Glamorgan, which has been going for a while now and gets comments from people in the web designing world. Here's the blurb:
Daniel Cunliffe muses about minority languages online, IT and language planning, the Welsh language and technology, interaction design, blogging and wikis – among other things.
The second blog is called Murmur, and is by staff of the Language Technology Unit at Canolfan Bedwyr, of the University of Wales Bangor.
We’ll use the blog, hopefully, to tell the world what’s happening in our Unit, and to give sneak previews of some things before they’re officially announced
Both these blogs are important in discussing software that's available in Welsh, and it being discussed in English. The majority of posts on Murmur are in Welsh, but some are bilingual and some are in English - I think they're tweaking with the blog's structure to make it easier to view posts in the language of your choice.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Is there an argument against Scottish Independence?

If there is, Labour can't actually think of one, instead they try and hide the fact by inventing odd scenarios.

Thanks Jeff for linking to the following statements by Tony Blair taken from The Scotsman (check out the telling comments)
"Two and a half million Scots have relatives in England. Hundreds of thousands work there, some, as you know, in quite important positions."

Mr Blair then turned on the SNP's defence policy, deriding Nationalist claims that Scotland would be a "nuclear-free zone". "So, if England's attacked, the fall-out will stop at Carter Bar?" he asked.

"The Union to me is not a constitution. It's a message to the world."
Also Rhys is feeling a bit un-Christian towards the party after reading Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander's comments on the BBC website
"The Nationalists just don't get it. "While children throughout Europe are learning Cantonese, they (the SNP) want to re-enact Culloden."
If you ask me, it's these Labour British Nationalists who are stuck in the 1700's.

As for Scottish people having family in England, I'm not sure what this has to do with anything and how this would change following independence. My girlfriend's brother has moved to New Zealand (who are no longer bart of the the emipre) to live and work and married a Kiwi. He plans go back home to England this christmas with his new wife, and hoped to visit us in Wales as well. I hope they're still talking to me following the Rugby Union's latest PR blunder this weekend.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Christmas Fair, llancaiach Fawr - 25.11.06

I've been busy organising Menter Iaith Caerffili's second Christmas Fair, which will again be held at Llancaiach Fawr, near Nelson on Saturday the 25th of November, 10am - 4pm.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wales v Liechtenstein (at Wrexham 14.11.06)

It was a bad start to my journey up north with the car not starting this morning, but after pushing it to a local garage, it turns out that all that's needed is to replace a few plugs (phew!)

Although it's only a friendly against not very glamorous opppostion, I'm really looking forward to watching Wales and being able to stand on the Kop. The deathly atmospher at the Millstad is enough to put someone off watching football for life.

Tickets have been priced very reasonably, and I belive you can pay on the gate (but check in advance). I'm meeting a few people at the Lager Club beforehand, say helo (to the one with his arms crossed) if you're about .

(Hope I've got the right venue and don't believe everything you read in the Sunday Times - what a cheek, the Racecourse is far from dilapidated!)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Don't you know who I am?

Luistxo think's I've become a local celebrity following my translation of Tagzania into Welsh (even if i did manage to completly miss-type his name), but little does he know that I'm already a celeb (of sorts).

According to my English girfriend's aunty, her Canadian daughter's Irish husband saw me on TV in Ireland recently, taking part in a pub quiz. Around two years ago Acen invited me to take part in a Welsh pub quiz, as a camera crew from Globe Trekker wanted to see something 'unique'. It was a good opportunity for me to promote Dysgwyr De Ddwyrain which I'd only just started.
I don't remember much about the quiz, only that Geraint was on my team, that we had free drinks and that the quiz-mistress Jenny Ogwen was rather pissed.

Also a few weeks ago, there was an answerphone message on my mobile from a researcher for Eye on Wales, wanting to talk to me about this blog. I phoned her back, thinking that this was going to be my big break..only to find that all she wanted was another blogger's phone number - I feel used! :-)

(according to Chris, the programme about blogging is on Radio Wales tonight)

A well, who want's to be on Radio Wales on a show about 'What is a blog?', I much prefer being mentioned (I think) on a serious techie programme on Gaeilge radio.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Guardian uncover more evidence that Welsh speakers are bastards

You don't speak Welsh? Well, that'll be double the price
A car-park attendant at the town's Royal Victoria Hotel, known only as Pete, was reportedly caught offering a 50% discount to Welsh speakers: if you asked how much it was to park in the local tongue ("Faint mae'n gostio i barcio yma?"), it was £2, whereas those who inquired in English paid double.
As the spokesperson for Cymuned points out, this has been happening for years. And not just in Wales but all over the world, where locals are given a discount. It's the author's tough luck that he lives in London where everyone's out to cash in on everyone else, regardless if they're locals or not!

The story also appears in The Daily Mail. It's enlightened readers are also given the opportunity to comment. Enjoy

This has to be my favourite:
We went to Wales ONCE on holiday. We`will never go back.

People were speaking English in one shop we went into. BUT, as soon as they heard us speaking English, they resorted to speaking Welsh, and wouldn't help us with our purchases. I put the goods down, and said, 'Manners maketh man'. I will do my shopping elsewhere.

We cut our holiday in Wales short and went over to France, had a superb time, so good in fact, we bought a`home there. 16 years later, still very happy with our choice.

- Val, London, UK
Another lucky escape there!

Review of Wales' political parties' websites in the Western Mail

To coincide with the launch of Plaid Cymru's new website, the Western Mail have asked Jon Ingram, manager of University of Wales Newport's website to review the website of Wales' four main parties. Here are the results in table format (I like tables) :




















Special Features





Finding education policy





Finding local AM





Cool factor






(out of 70)





Although it's a light hearted survey, I disagree with some of the scores and scoring method.

Welsk Language (what, you thought I'd miss that?)
There's no mention of the Welsh langugae, appart from Plaid Cymru's website which is 100% bilingual, the other parties would have had very low scores - the Lib Dem site is the second best with almost everything translated, appart from the news, but the 'Cymraeg' link is hidden right at the bottom. Labout have some Welsh pages on their site, but there's no link to them from the home page*. There are some random Welsh pages on the Conservative's site (which isn't really a site, but a sub-site from the British one).
*When Dewi Snelson from Cymdeithas yr Iaith phoned Labout to ask where the Welsh was on their website, the man just said "Look, it's there, alright!" and just hung up! You gotta love 'em.
I doubt if the Conservatives deserve 9/10 for the appearance of their site.

Special features
The Conservatives get high marks for using blogs and podcasts (even if they are by members outside Wales) . The Lib Dems get 2 marks for having RSS (for British news) but PC don't get any points even though they have RSS for theri news. The Conservatives also have RSS, but it's very difficult to find. I think it's only fair to point out that UoW Newport's website doesn't have RSS feed.

I was surprised that UKIP (unlike the Tories) have a seperate site for Wales. I wasn't surprised however to find that it was shit and had no Welsh on it.

I knew that the Green Party have a seperate site for Wales, which looks quite nice, but has very little information concerning Wales only and i was dissapointed that there was no Welsh on it.