Following the Westminster Government’s decision to suspend Parliament in order to force a no-deal Brexit, Dyfodol i’r Iaith has declared that such a development would be disastrous for rural Wales. Since these are the very areas which continue to support the Welsh langugage as the natural, default medium, it would also be iniquitous to the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, Cadeirydd Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“There is now a clear consensus that leaving the European Union without a deal would be a disaster for the rural Welsh economy. These areas, of course, contain the very communities which continue to support Welsh as a living language, and if the economy of these areas is decimated, then the language loses its backbone.
It should also be noted that the European Union supports minority languages and promotes economic links for rural areas.
Acknowledging the essential relationship between the economy, language and culture, we would call on the Welsh Government and all who would wish to see the Welsh language flourish to make it plain to the Government in Westminster that we are not willing to accept such unprincipled and destructive conduct.”
Thank you to everyone who made this such a memorable Eisteddfod for us: to those who contributed to our presentations and talks, those who provided entertainment or who simply came over for a chat and to discuss our work with us.
We delivered two presentations from the stage of Pabell y Cymdeithasau, including a timely and positive discussion on the contribution of local government to the strategy of Cymraeg 2050. We believe that it is both practical and necessary for the local authorities in the Welshest areas (Anglesey, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, as well as Gwynedd) to adopt Welsh as its internal administrative medium. Dyfrig Siencyn from Gwynedd and Peter Hughes-Griffiths from Carmarthenshire discussed the challenge and reality of achieving this, with Gwerfyl Pierce Jones chairing the meeting.
Cynog Dafis and Dr Kathryn Jones of Iaith Cyf. outlined the importance of Language Planning and robust, appropriate management structures if we are to formulate a comprehensive strategy which will produce the right circumstances and goodwill to allow growth for the language. This is the cornerstone of our approach, and we hope that this presentation will provide a basis for further discussion. It was good to note that this was being discussed within the context of positive developments, such as the Welsh Minister’s recent statement that language expertise will be called upon as the next steps are being planned for the regeneration of the language.
We welcomed a range of experts to share their thoughts and experiences with visitors to our stall. Gareth Pierce discussed education needs; Owen Evans, Chief Executive of S4C, outlined the future of the channel; and Simon Brooks and Wyn Thomas introduced the problems facing the Welsh language in the context of the planning system.
Following all the discussion, it was pleasant to relax and enjoy the programme of mid-afternoon entertainment which we’d arranged again this year. Thank you to all the fantastic musicians who brought us such joy during the week!
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has given a tentative welcome to the announcement made by Eluned Morgan, the Welsh Language Minister, at the Eisteddfod today (Monday August 5th). The lobbying organisation is pleased to hear that language experts are to appointed to contribute to the strategy of creating a million Welsh speakers, and see this as a first step towards adopting the principles of Language Planning to lead the work of producing a comprehensive response to the challenge of ensuring a flourishing future for the Welsh language.
It was noted however that more committment is needed, in terms of resources and power if we are to reach the target. Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“We are pleased that the Government will be making the most of the available Language Planning expertise; this is a first step towards establishing the kind of comprehensive strategy that we have been pressing for.”
“However, we must bear in mind the the enormity of the challenge we face, and this cannot be surmounted without adequate resources. Dyfodol calculates that £100 million is needed to achieve the objectives of Cymraeg 2050. We also beilieve that the Government Department responsible for the language has to have the necessary status and visibility to have a tangible influence.”
“We will continue to press for adequate funding and a robust infrastructure which are worthy of the task ahead, and we will be calling for a meeting with the First Minister at the earliest opportunity.”