Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Reading that is only going to make you angry"

Those were the words of my wife as she look over my shoulder at what I was reading on the web. Sarah was right...
It was the comments section of a Comment is Free article by Hywel Griffiths, chairman of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society). He'd been asked to write about
Cymdeithas' proposals for an improved Welsh Language Act. It's a sensitive issue in Wales, and one that needs to be debated seriously, something that hasn't happened so far.
There's only so many remarks about "Klingon" and "more languages mean more barriers to communiation".
....so I stopped reading.

But where was Sarah this morning when I needed her?
As I turned on the car radio I caught the tail end of the Today Programme, where they were reading out e-mails commenting on the mornings subjects. They'd been discussing the Welsh language. The BBC have had a bit of a thing about the Welsh language since panelists pulled out of a show called Hecklers (the title gives it way). The reason people pulled out was because the BBC wanted to give a stage for a washed up 'playboy' and former UKIP Assembly candidate Dai Llewellyn, to spread his insults.
I've just used the 'listen again' facility to listen to the bit where the debate the Welsh language being promoted too much. Apparently, as speaking out against the Welsh language is so dangerous, they had to interview someone anonymously, in a remote layby and distort the person's voice. The guy (possibly quite delusional?), was making all sorts of claims about discrimination, and so did another person. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM was questioned and he said it was nonsense and that the demand for Welsh medium education far outstripped demand. The presenter of the programme then starting having a go at him saying that it's only because parents didn't want there children being discriminated against in the work place in the future!
People go on about all the jobs in Wales requiring the Welsh language. Rh G T pointed out that, on any given Thursday, out of a 100+ jobs in the Western Mail only 5-6 might state that Welsh is essential or even just essential.
Some people can't get their heads round the fact that people want to speak Welsh for a variety of reasons. I teach a class of 17 adults in Ponypool (19 after half term as there's too many in the other class). We've only just started learning what people do as work. In my class there is a builder, greenkeeper, factory worker, landscaper, Quantity Surveyor, cook, a few grandparents, none of these people need Welsh for their jobs, they just want to experience Welsh life to the full.

I should be used to this sort of attitude by now, but I used to rate Radio 4, until I heard this sensationalist reporting and interviewing. What a shower of cachu.

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Monday, October 15, 2007


After Luistxo was greeting in Irish on Flickr, he asks "And Basque? ". Robert has been greeted in Welsh.

If you happen to log into your Flickr account and are greeted with "Ongi etorri [your name]", then take a screen capture, I'm sure it will make Luistxo's day!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tyrfe Tawe: FREE music festival in Swansea (9-13.10.07)



I've not been to this before, although it's been going since 2004 I think. I hope to catch Derwyddon Dr Gonzo on the Friday.

Full line up here.

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