Is having a language enough?

The particular comments (around 20:43) were: ”…the success is that people have two languages, whether they choose to use both of them in equal measure is not [interrupted by interviewer]” and ”…and that is the important point; that it [the Welsh language] is there for them to use…”

Does this suggest that the WAG would consider a Wales in which everyone could speak Welsh, but no-one actually does, to be a truly bilingual country? I’d like to think not. But is does raise the critical issue of how we move from speakers who are bilingual (in the sense of being able to use both Welsh and English) to a bilingual society where both languages have vibrant communities of users. Without users, individual competence and confidence diminishes, opportunities for use diminish and the production of new, quality materials in Welsh also diminishes. This distinction between speakers and users is an important one, and whilst producing speakers might be relatively easy, it is not clear how government policy can create users.

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2 Responses to Is having a language enough?

  1. Carl Morris says:

    Cheers for this Daniel, the iPlayer link to the programme is still live at the time of writing.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rl5hk/Week_In_Week_Out_A_broken_heart/

  2. colin williams says:

    Sylwadau treiddgar yn dilyn rhaglen WIWO. Gwelais innau hi. Efallai mai safbwynt LlyC yw mai hyrwyddo’r amgylchiadau mwyaf ffafriol i alluogi ein dinasyddion i gaffael y medrau ieithyddol angenrheidiol hynny yn y ddwy iaith yw ei swyddogaeth fel llywodraeth. Byddai’n gam mawr, a pheryglus efallai, i lywodraeth geisio dylanwadu ar hawl yr unigolyn i ddewis yr iaith y mae am gyfathrebu ynddi. Anogaeth nid gorfodaeth yw’r strategaeth felly greda i.
    Sut mae troi siaradwyr yn ddefnyddwyr? Onid ydyw yn ymwneud ̢ nifer o ffactorau? Рniferoedd hyfyw siaradwyr h.y. critical mass, allanolion cymdeithasol cefnogol a chynhaliol ond yn bennaf, hunan hyder y siaradwyr brodorol sydd yn seiliedig ar statws cymdeithasol ac economaidd.

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