Lack of Welsh in Private Sector?

Hi there, Im a Welsh learner who moved to Cymru/Wales 23 years ago and have been slowly learning since.

As a Welsh learner , I love seeing Welsh labelling and signs in public as it helps me to learn. I also think its a symbolic sign of “Wales growing up to be a normal nation in Europe”. I have worked in France and Germany before and their language was everywhere so I learnt quicker than I have here.

My question is…why are some private businesses so utterly incapable of creating Welsh signage especially very wealthy companies like KFC and Subway among others which refuse to use any. When you pro-actively ask for more signage they just shirk their shoulders.

While I agree that having staff who speak basic Welsh is more useful in general than a few signs, it still strikes me that even those companies pushed to use bilingual signs (and crow about it)…do it in a terribly tokenistic way.

Think supermarkets, a few signs in Welsh but 90% of their sub headings are untranslated…for products I dônt know in Welsh!

Are their any positive steps being taken? It would really help this learner and maybe speakers see bilingual products (I keep meeting Welsh speakers here in Mid Wales who only know English names for basic goods - which seems due to lack of Welsh in public life)

Diolch x


Existing legislation doesn’t cover the private sector, even multinationals which would obviously be used to multilingualism, unfortunately… :frowning:

On this topic, does anyone know anything about this company (which came to my attention recently)?

The aim seems to be to promote the use of Welsh in everyday life (including private service companies), from the angle that it will benefit the business to do so.

Seems like a good idea that needs a bit more publicity - but perhaps others know a bit more about it?

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While the Senedd has so little power and many politicians there would see legislating over the private sector as a possible vote loser, I suspect nothing will happen unless there is a real push from below! We got S4C and road signs etc. because enough of us cared enough to protest and march, and some did naughty things like using green paint (not me, honest!).
Join Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gyrmraeg, start a movement to get multinationals to use yr hen iaith and, while they’re at it, pay their taxes! Petition the Senedd! Contact your AM and MP! It has worked in the past!


¨not me, honest¨

As if … :wink:

Actually while we are on the topic, I went into W H Smith in BRECON during the eisteddfod week (which was held about 8 miles away) and there wasn’t one single Welsh language book in the shop for adults. Not one. A couple for children aged about 2 but NOTHING for anyone older. I asked where they were and got the shrug of the shoulders. In fact, the only books they had about anything Welsh was a book of jokes by Roy Noble, a Nigel Owens biography and a book of pictures of BRECON in the 1900s and they were located in the Learning to Drive section… Went into the eisteddfod and complained to different bodies and no-one seemed to think that much could be done. I was livid - still am.

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So, do those legal things I suggested above! But, businesses are in it to make money. So few people in Brecon speak Welsh that they see no point in stocking unsaleable books. Is there an Ysgol Gymraeg? It is so long since I was there, that I can’t say there isn’t, but ‘there is no call for one’ would have been the mantra then! And even if there is, the needs of the kids would be met by the school library and school books. Back in the mists of time when I met the proud Dad whose son could read a book in Welsh, I definitely got the idea they were in that shop in Cardiff while there for the Rugby because nobody expected to be able to buy llyfrau Gymraeg locally!

Ysgol y Bannau. Brecon also serves a large hinterland that contains the Welsh-speaking area to the West (Pontsenni, Trecastell, Crai).
However, Brecon itself has a long, long history of being an English-speaking garrison town. C19 maps of the extent of the welsh language clearly show that, even though English had barely advanced past Hay even by late in the century, Brecon town was in, aside I assume from on market days, an English bubble.

Yes, but I can see WHS should have a market for folk from around Brecon who want to buy books for their kids - or does everyone just use Amazon now?

I won’t use Amazon (for anything). I do sometimes buy books online with GWales, and they give a cut to a nominated bookshop (so I have nominated my local, Caban in Pontcanna).

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Oh, that’s a rather good idea…


It still doesn’t excuse shops in Wales from selling barely any media or culture created in Wales through the English language mind you…Lack of Welsh language in Aberhonddu/Brecon is fairly understandable nowadays…but one book on Roy noble? Its a telltale sign of things really…hopefully its improving :slight_smile:

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Someone told me of a site that does the same thing but with English-language books, but now of course I’ve forgotten what it is…