The Welsh Government’s Welsh language policy needs to change direction. That is the claim of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, the Welsh Language national movement in launching its manifesto in the National Assembly on Wednesday, September 30.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith said, “We are calling for a change of emphasis from law-making and regulating to language promotion. Laws can ensure language rights, but we need to facilitate the use of Welsh in the home, in education, on the street and at work. A new vision and determination is needed to do this.”
“We want to see Wales adopting policies that have borne fruit in other countries across Europe.”
“Over the last twenty years the numbers of Welsh speakers in Wales has not increased. In the same period the number of Basque speakers has risen from 529,000 to 714,000. There is no reason why we cannot have the same success in Wales.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith wants to see all political parties accepting a common policy to promote the language. According to Dyfodol i’r Iaith, the policy should give priority to the growth of Welsh medium education, to strengthen Welsh for Adults to fulfil its role in developing a Welsh-speaking workforce and in promoting Welsh in the home, and to establish a network of Canolfannau Cymraeg – Welsh language centres – across Wales.
“One basic change we want to see is the establishment of an arm’s length Agency that will be responsible for promoting Welsh at grass roots level, and for implementing creative and experimental promotion campaigns, which can be difficult for civil servants.”
“We also want to see the Welsh Language Commissioner concentrating on promoting Welsh in workplaces, by making Welsh the language of work and of oral communication.”
“We have already met representatives of all parties, and are looking forward to continuing our discussions with them.”
The launch event in the assembly is sponsored by Keith Davies AM, Suzy Davies AM, Alun Ffred Jones AM and Aled Roberts AM.