Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Welsh language ignored by punters!

As a driving instructor I was surprised (nay shocked) to learn how many people chose the Welsh language option when taking their theory test.

An article in the Daily Express showed how way down the list the Welsh language is in relation to Urdu or Polish in this country.

See the full article here.

For your convenience I have uploaded the full report which was produced on the Driving Standards Agency website, following a Freedom of Information request made by someone (Not this website I may add)

As you can see on the file, Voice overs are available in many different languages and perhaps this is not surprising as the UK is multi national, but what is alarming is the fact that the Welsh language is bottom of this list compared to Urdu or Polish. Take a quick look here.

People requesting voice overs during the period from April 209 to March 2010 were as follows:

Polish 12,434
Urdu 18,816
English 104,581
Cantonese 2,441
Kurdish 10,026
Punjabi 5,541
Turkish 9,491

So? I hear you ask. So, how many requested the Welsh version?

Wait for it...........


That's not 13,000! That's 13 people!!!! throughout the whole of 2009 -2010!!!!!

Of all the language options only Kashmiri came lower with 5 requests!!!!

This is a big kick in the teeth for the Welsh Language and not one which bodes well for us here in Wales.

This is the website the report came from

Makes you think if the money spent on the facility was worth it doesn't it?


deiniolenman said...

The Welsh language used to be respected as a rather charming anomaly, tucked away in a couple of corners of the UK. Now it has been tuned into a multi-million political weapon which is making Wales and the Welsh look silly.
Keep the Welsh language as it was but remember we are part of a wider world where English is the lingua franca. The time for building towers of Babel is long past.

Anonymous said...

Surely some of the responsibility is yours as well though, by being a driving instructor in a Welsh-speaking area? How many of your pupils did you advise of the option?

Caernarfon Online Editor said...

Don't be so childish will you?

I teach through the medium of Welsh, unless of course they are English speaking. It is their perogative if they choose to do the test in English.

I chose to include your comment just to prove how idiotic some people can be. Shame you didnt leave your true name,

daff said...

Yes, how dare you anonymous one criticise the thoughts of a town (or at least one person in it).

Editor, of course it's their choice, but if people don't know about it, then they can't make informed choices. Glad you seem to be putting the message out there.

Caernarfon Online Editor said...

To Daff.
I'm not sure if you are supporting me or against me... but I'll take it you are in support (LOL)

The fact of the matter is that the Driving Standards Agency (the people behind the test) have made great strides to be totally bilingual and I take my hat off to what they have achieved over the years.

When a learner phones to book his or her test, they receive a pre recorded message informing them they can book in English or Welsh (or any other language I listed on the blog)

The DSA cannot be blamed for 'not' informing people of this option and neither can individual instructors.
It's there for everyone clear as day!

The bottom line is that despite the pre recorded information, people still choose, of their own free will, to ingore the Welsh option.
I suppose no one can force them into choosing Welsh?

It's such a shame that when we have an issue like the welsh language, then people like "Anonymous" get on their high horse and attack people. Perhaps annoyed that it has been highlighted? Attitude like this does little to support the Welsh and in fact may turn people againt us.

(by the way, this Blog never claimed to be the voice of Caernarfon. A quick check on the title is a dead give away.
It says "Editors View")