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Les Semaines Galloises

  • Irish and welsh

    An Irish language act has become one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the Stormont talks process.

    Speaking to the BBC NI's The View, Alun Davies appealed to opponents of an act.

    "I would say embrace the language, embrace the culture, embrace it as part of your identity," he said.

    "When we have taken the politics out of the language, we have all benefited."

    'Share experiences'

    Mr Davies, who is a Labour assembly member in Cardiff, added: "I am a unionist and speak Welsh. It is a part of my cultural experience and it is a part of my future, my British future.

    "I don't need to choose between being British or Welsh, I can have both."

    In 2011, Welsh became an official language in Wales and it meant for the first time it could not be treated any less favourably than English.

    The measures also introduced a new position of Welsh language commissioner, whose job was to promote the language and penalise those who failed to comply with the changes.

    Image caption Meri Huws said a bilingual society must be based on mutual respect and honesty

    Since 2015, all new road signs in Wales are in English and Welsh.

    The measures introduced in 2011 placed requirements on government bodies to publish documents in both languages.

    The Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, told BBC Northern Ireland that any discussion about creating a bilingual society must be based on mutual respect and honesty.

    She said the parties in Northern Ireland need to be clear about what they want and what they think is achievable.

    "Certainly mythology creates fear and I think one of the most important things is to get rid of any myths," she said.

    "You are trying to create an energetic bilingual community - in order to do that you need to be able to talk to each other, share experiences and pull down the fences."

    Some Irish Language campaigners want a commissioner with powers like Ms Huws.

    Image caption Prof Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost said the idea of a commissioner needs to be thought through

    However, there are words of caution from Northern Ireland-born academic, Prof Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost.

    'Rules and regulations'

    He is a professor of Welsh at Cardiff University and said the idea of a commissioner needs to be thought through.

    "It can have certain benefits, but the office has to be created designed with the particular tasks of the office in mind," he said.

    "Clarity on that is absolutely essential and I am not sure that the different actors that are engaged with the Irish language agenda in Northern Ireland at present have got that clarity as yet," he said.

    Suzy Davies, a Conservative assembly member who speaks English and Welsh, also thinks the role of a commissioner needs to be examined closely.

    "If you are going to have a language commissioner to oversee how policy works then focus on the promotion and the benefits of being bilingual, rather than the insistence that certain rules and regulations have to be followed," she said.

    Image caption Conservative assembly member Suzy Davies says the role of a commissioner needs to be examined closely

    So is enforcement the wrong approach?

    Colin Nosworthy, a Welsh language campaigner with the group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, insists that cultural change must be backed by law.

    He told The View: "You need legislation to guarantee rights for those people. You need basic fundamental rights guaranteed by law."

    The differences between the debate in Wales and the debate in Northern Ireland about languages is stark - in Cardiff there is a political consensus but in Belfast there is a stalemate.

    A potential Irish language act would guarantee Irish was given the same official status as English.

    'Distinct cultures'

    That would lead to measures like Irish being used used in court and the language being used in all assembly debates.

    There could also be widespread use of Irish by all state bodies, including the police, and the appointment of an Irish language commissioner to ensure the language guidelines are adhered to.

    The Democratic Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionist Party have both made it clear they have no issue with people speaking Irish, but they do not support an Irish language act.

    Image caption Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian said a compromise is possible if parties work together

    Both parties say an act would be too expensive and should not be a priority.

    The Alliance Party supports the creation of a comprehensive languages act.

    Sinn Féin and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) say an act would create equality for Irish speakers.

    Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian said a compromise is possible if parties work together.

    "It is different in Northern Ireland because you have got two distinct cultures there anyway," she said. "But I think it is a matter of showing respect. Respect to each other, mutual respect."

    The Welsh experience shows that over time dialogue created a political consensus.

    However, as the talks at Stormont continue there is little sign that when it comes to Irish, politicians are ready to speak the same language.



  • Demande du Conseil du comté du Denbighshire en matière linguistique et culturelle



    The Council has drawn up a Vision for the Welsh Language: 

    • Denbighshire is a predominantly bilingual county with a rich culture and heritage. We are proud of this and want this pride to be reflected in our day to day interaction with communities, residents and with our staff.
    • We are committed to ensuring that the principles of the Welsh Language Standards underpin the way we deliver services to the public; we want people to be able to access services through the language of their choice naturally, at all stages of their lives.
    • We want to enhance the bilingual culture and ethos of the organisation, providing training and social opportunities for our staff to work in Welsh and increase their confidence in using the language in the workplace.
    • We want to work with partners and the wider communities to ensure that Welsh is a thriving language in Denbighshire.
    • We have an ambition to be sector leaders in the development of the Welsh Language in Wales.

    Councillor Huw Jones, Cabinet Lead Member with responsibility for the Welsh Language, said:


  • Intégrer dans la langue 10 millions de mots et expressions d'argot et de mots de tous les jours






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  • Bientôt la Fête de Saint David / Dewi Sant

    Un petit résumé de sa vie (en anglais) à l'occasion de sa fête

    A ce propos, le Comité interceltique de Guérande/Gwenrann organise un repas convivial le 7 mars prochain à 12h pour ses membres et ses amis proches ou lointains... Aliette.


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