Protest is Passe (article for IWA website)

By Heini Gruffudd, Chair Dyfodol

The recently published 2011 Census figures for the Welsh language are but one of many indicators of the language’s health. Some people have responded in a chorus of wailing.  While this reaction may not be entirely misplaced, a superficial analysis should immediately dispute some of the findings.

There is a very unlikely percentage of 40.3% for Welsh speakers among the  5 – 15 age group. We know from other sources that around 21% of primary school children attend Welsh medium primary schools, and that these schools are the only ones which genuinely present pupils with a full range of bilingual skills.  Parents’ view of what is an ability to speak Welsh is very subjective, so in spite of the general desire for this to be the case for a child, we must erase around 85,000 from the total number of Welsh speakers. Nevertheless, the demand for Welsh medium education in less Welsh speaking parts of Wales is around 40%, and the unlikely percentage of 40.3% can be construed as part fact, part aspiration.

Continue reading

Reaction to the Census


The 2011 Census results prove the need for positive action in favour of the Welsh language. That is the message from Dyfodol i’r Iaith on the day the results are published.

Positive action according to the linguistic needs of various areas is now essential says Bethan Jones Parry, President of Dyfodol i’r Iaith. The organisation says that the Welsh Government must prioritise methods of promoting the language in the next ten years.
Continue reading