Welsh Language Commissioner’s Report
Tranceltic has this article on the Welsh Languages Commissioner Meri Huws most recent report a link to which can be found at the foot of the article.
As usual the Commissioner does not pull her punches:
“State Services Provided in Welsh Fall Short – Welsh Language Commissioner Condemns: “Unfortunate and Unacceptable”
Submitted by Emmett McIntyre on January 14, 2017
News From the Welsh Langauge Commissioner Meri Huws:
Today, the Welsh Language Commissioner published a report which provides a snapshot of people’s experiences when using the Welsh language with public organisations.
Between December 2015 and March 2016 the Commissioner conducted a series of surveys to ascertain the reality of experience when using Welsh with public organisations. The services included those provided in reception areas, on the telephone, online, by e-mail and in correspondence. The results of these surveys are the basis of the ‘Time to set the standards’ report.
Here are some of the main findings:
Welsh language services were actively offered in 58% of calls made to a sample of public organisations; however, 42% of callers continued to have to request a Welsh language service.
Only 19% of the websites surveyed enabled using the Welsh language by providing a language selector on every page.
No response at all was received to 26% of the correspondence sent in Welsh to public organisations; an unfortunate and unacceptable situation.
The Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said:
“I placed myself in the shoes of service users to understand what it was like to access services in Welsh in Wales today.
“The report finds that individuals who prefer to use Welsh often have to persist with a request for services. I do not believe that it is reasonable or fair to expect people seeking a Welsh language service to persevere more than someone who wishes to receive a service in English.
“The findings show that public organisations need to step up and deliver good quality public services that will enable the people of Wales to increase their use of the Welsh language in their everyday lives.
“One significant change that has taken place since I conducted these surveys, is that public organisations have started to operate Welsh language standards. Standards are statutory duties setting out what organisations must do and deliver in Welsh. Standards are more robust than the previous system of language schemes, and early indications suggest that organisations operating standards are proactively increasing the bilingual skills of the workforce to be able to offer quality services in Welsh.
“I hope that the report will motivate organisations to channel their efforts effectively to improve the experience of the public and to build on what they are already doing in Welsh. To this end, I have organised a series of workshops with public organisations across Wales, to facilitate discussion and enable organisations to share good practice.”
Language Commissioners web pages:
Image: Meri Huws
pp Celtic League.