Gemma Treharne-Foose Gemma Treharne-Foose Share

Ble mae’r Cymraeg?

14 Feb, 2018

We’ve been clear and upfront from the start of the GlobalWelsh journey, about our commitment to highlighting the cultural and linguistic features of Wales and honouring the role our language plays in social and cultural life - even after people leave Wales to live and work in other countries.

The Welsh language has played such an important part of who we are as a nation and with the power of social and digital media and Welsh Government’s ambitious aim of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050, the language continues to thrive and find new audiences. A core part of our work is to identify not only people who have left Wales and who may be ‘Wesh born’ in a geographical sense, but those with some sort of connection to Wales.

Our GlobalWelsh community is made up of people who have an emotional connection to Wales. They may have lived, worked or studied in Wales. Others may have a Welsh partner or spouse, a distant Welsh ancestor, a friend, a relative or even someone they met on their travels.

Our GlobalWelsh community represents a rich patchwork of people with all kinds of connections to Wales - and they do not have to be born in Wales or have Welsh parents.

The second largest geographical group among our community members are those located in America. Some community members in the States tell us they grew up with their parents or grandparents speaking Welsh to them, but their language ability declined over time after their parents/grandparents passed away. One community member in Texas recalls discovering her grandfather’s Welsh language books and study materials after his death, prompting her to start learning Welsh.

Others have been in touch to tell us they use online websites to learn Welsh, even using Twitter and Instagram to pick up new words. Some feel an affinity or fondness for the language - a kind of familiarity or comfort, even if they currently don’t possess a desire to learn it. Our in-Wales and UK audience have a mix of backgrounds and political persuasions.

But in the context of all this how can we - a CIC representing Wales’ global community continue to reach out to our audience only though the medium of English?

What’s the GlobalWelsh policy on Welsh language?

We’re upfront about our status as a volunteer-led start-up and when we (officially) launched GlobalWelsh back in 2017, we faced many challenges. Should we wait until all our ducks were in a row, until we had all of our core funding established, and a full complement of staff before we started work on GlobalWelsh?

We knew there’d never be a perfect or ideal time and that community building doesn’t happen overnight so we’d rather get to work and start reaching out to our overseas diaspora to build relationships. But in launching GlobalWelsh, we’ve opened ourselves up to scrutiny and the weight of others’ assumptions and criticisms, which is understandable given the work going on in Wales to improve bilingual services.

We’re clearly not there yet and have a long way to go to get this right. Work continues to raise funds so we can do more. Until then, here’s what we can tell you about where we are with our Welsh language output:

  • We do not currently have a budget for Welsh language translation and to date, our Welsh language content has been provided free of charge from volunteers. We work with a range of providers and partners who very kindly work with us and provide some of their services free of charge.
  • Our entire operation is funded by donations from our community members and businesses in the private sector - we do not receive Government funding of any kind. We obtained a small grant four years ago from Welsh Government to fund a research paper.
  • Until last summer, none of our founding partners or team has received any remuneration or payment for their involvement in GlobalWelsh and the board continue to offer their time and energy in between running multiple businesses of their own.
  • We’re continuing to recruit Pioneers, who make a donation and allow us to build the next phase of GlobalWelsh. This will increase our core team and range of services.
  • We are responsive to Welsh language communications via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter - but we are limited in resource to translate all of our editorial materials. Members are entirely welcome to e-mail / Tweet / FB us in Welsh and we will respond in Welsh whenever possible.
  • At the moment, our core website content (but not news and articles) is available in Welsh. From the home page, click the ‘Cymraeg’ button.

We have a tiny team and a small board - but we’re always looking for interns and volunteers. We’d love to work with volunteers who’d like to help us with our translation needs. If you’d like to help, fill in our contact form submission and let us know how you’d like to help.

Diolch am ddarllen!

Cysylltwch am fwy o wybodaeth / cwestiynau: hi@globalwelsh.com

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