Children’s magazine criticised after calling Welsh ‘a waste of money’

The Week Junior. Picture by Rhodri ap Dyfrig

 

A children’s magazine has come under fire after publishing an article that listed reasons why minority languages weren’t needed.

Under a picture of children reading books in Welsh, The Week Junior listed “three reasons why we don’t need minority languages”.

Among the reasons, the magazine said that there “was little use” for the languages, that the classroom should be used to teach “useful” languages instead, and that it was a “waste of money”.

The magazine did, however, say that minority languages “come with their own rich traditions in the form of poems and stories”.

“Learning a second language has proven benefits for developing minds,” it said.

Dr. Rhodri ap Dyfrig, whose doctorate concerned the use of the Welsh language online, said that there were “so much wrong” with the article that he “didn’t know where to begin”.

“Young inquiring minds will have a view of languages which is not balanced but completely skewed. Totally irresponsible,” he said.

The article comes in the wake of numerous controversies in which The Guardian, Times, Newsnight and Sports Direct have been criticised for their handling of issues related to the Welsh language.

The Week Junior is the sister magazine of The Week and both are owned by Dennis Publishing.


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SelFelin
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SelFelin

Had enough of this s h i t….digon yw digon. Cocia wyn

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

The language is a hobby to those of us who were born in Wales, brought up in Wales but regard themselves as British.
Only the extremists make such a fuss about the Welsh Language, not the 90% odd whose first language is British English.
The Scottish Gaelic language features on signs and publicity in Scotland but its promotion is quite different and less intense than the Welsh Language in Wales. Stop using my money and other resources to promote it and let it swim or sink on its own merits.

J Jones
Guest
J Jones

Take a weekend off Jacques

Paul Roberts
Guest
Paul Roberts

This a joke response?

Richard Jenkins
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Richard Jenkins

Well, OK but stop using my money to bolster the defence budget! £4.6B from Cymru for Trident! £1.7B this year for defence from Cymru while a nation like Eire budget is £500M. I’ve got a far better idea, vast majority of People of Cymru support our language if you don’t like it Emigrate!

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

I’m presenting you with this week’s Ian Katz Award, Brian, for your ill-thought-out contribution to the so-called ‘debate’ about the relevance of Welsh to the very country where it’s spoken. I’ll spell it out to you: most Welsh people, whether Welsh-speaking, or Welsh learners (like myself), or monoglot English-speaking, now have good will towards promoting the language. It’s money well spent, and a battle worth the blood.
You should get yourself a girlfriend.

Richard Mole
Guest

Chuck you in a river with your hands tied behind your back and see if you sink of swim on your own merits! You don’t speak for English speaking Wales, you speak (if you can call it that) for yourself. Lucky most English speakers I know in Wales are very supportive of the Welsh language and do more to get it heard. I learnt Welsh not as a hobby but as a way to be able to access and experience the whole of Wales and her culture.

Bele
Guest
Bele

Nice trolling.

Anyway, the vast majority of people who identify as Welsh either speak Welsh or speak English with an accent / dialect influenced by the Welsh language.

The Welsh-English language divide is a false one. Most people in places like Port Talbot, Treherbert or Merthyr would feel more similar to a Welsh speaker from Ammanford, Blaenau Ffestiniog or Caernarfon than they would to an Anglo wannabe from Cowbridge, Tenby or Usk.

The real divide is between the people who want to remain Welsh and the people who want to become English. The 1997 devolution referendum illustrated this quite well.

LLYR
Guest
LLYR

If the language is such a burden and waste of time, please stop insulting us by using it in your name to start with. Secondly, how about all the money that has been spent by the monarchy since Tudor times right up until the British government of more recent times, trying to exterminate the Welsh language, why was my and my ancestors money wasted on this? If you cannot respect the language and value it’s worth in modern Wales you know where the border is, please close the gate after you.

Phil Lewis
Guest

Stop using my noney to support the English language in Wales.. English is big enough and ugly enough to look after itself. Most Welsh people are supportive of Cymraeg .. it’s only a few British-Welsh extremists who are prepared to let Welsh sink or swim.

kim erswell
Guest
kim erswell

If the magazine had made such remarks about the NHS translating material into over 120 languages the left would be up in arms calling for the writer and editor to be sacked.

Royston Jones
Guest

Note to whoever’s in charge: I welcome a good argument as much as anyone but I notice more and more trolls on this site just spouting bigotry and bollocks. These are not legitimate views, so shouldn’t they be blocked?

Nigel Patrick Thomas
Guest

Did you not notice that they were putting forward two sides of a debate? The arguments may be crass, but it’s equally crass of you to say that this was the magazine’s opinion. Very poor.

Leia
Guest

It was the magazine’s choice to title it “Do we need…” Itnstead of e.g “Should we support” or a neutral phrasing. Compare their wording of the previous question “Are museums’s important” NOT “Do we need museums. It was the magazine’s choice to only include arguments from the negatives in the intro. It was the magazine’s choice to put such a woolly weak argument as number 1 on the ‘in favour’ side. It was the magazine’s choice to conflate “most spoken” and “useful” as if they were a single item with the implied “less spoken = useless” I WOULD use this… Read more »

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

Define “bollocks” and tell us what is a legitimate view.

Ieuan Evans
Guest
Ieuan Evans

Brian ap Francisco.

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

And to Phil Lewis, what money is spent promoting the English Language?. Yes it is often used across the world and frequently as a second language but that isn’t promotion. I would object to the English language being promoted just as I do to the promotion of Welsh. In fact it’s a pity that Latin was allowed to die. Nobody invested anything to save Latin did they? But that’s another story.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Latin didn’t ‘die’ as such, but evolved into languages like French, Castillian, Catalan, Portuguese, the languages spoken in Italy, Sardinia and Sicily, plus Romanian and others.

If you don’t like Welsh, that’s fine, but we don’t need to read your contrived arguments that seek to suggest that Welsh isn’t worthy of financial resources.

The amount spent on Welsh by the Welsh government is about one tenth of one percent of its budget. The Basque government spends something like 2% of its budget on the Basque language.

Ifan Morgan Jones
Guest
Ifan Morgan Jones

“Yes it is often used across the world and frequently as a second language but that isn’t promotion” How on earth do you think it got there? Any time a public institution conducts any activity in English it is promoting the English language. You can’t say that Welsh education is promotion of the Welsh language, but that an English education is not, that public service broadcasting in Welsh is promotion of the Welsh language, but that English is not. No language ever got far without state support. The industrial revolution saw the rise of the modern nation state and alongside… Read more »

BigBadNat
Guest
BigBadNat

Hello Jacques! How’s the tinfoil hat?

Rob Mimpriss
Guest

If Brian ap Francis truly believes that it is *his* money which is being spent on Welsh-language causes, then I wonder which of the Welsh charities and movements he supports by his donations? But if he believes that money raised in taxes remains the property of the individuals who paid those taxes, and not of society as a whole, then in effect he does not approve of taxation. Or if he believes that the state should be more accountable to those who pay more in taxes, then he does not approve of democracy. And those beliefs are just as questionable… Read more »

Gwilym Prydderch
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Gwilym Prydderch

Has Brian ap Francis not heard of the English-language promoting British Council?

Thewelshwhisperer
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Thewelshwhisperer

What utter utter nonsense. Outrage over an article that asks a question of people and one for them to think about actively too, not one that gives any opinion whatsoever. Some of you are so short sighted by your passion to see welsh dominate in such a way that it’s really destructive. What the language and nation needs is discussion and debate and encouragement to discuss these issues, not shooting down every time the opportunity expresses itself. Such outrage at healthy encouragement of thought and debate is such a turn off to support nation cymru, and if anything just encourages… Read more »

Alanna Senior
Guest
Alanna Senior

As a Welsh child in the education system I find some of these comments truly awful! I have been forced to learn Welsh in school since I was about 4 and me nor my fellow classmates can still speak a word. It is a waste of money. I do not consider myself an ‘EXTREMIST’ for feeling deprived of a fair education because I have to take full course Welsh at GCSE whereas English pupils get another option. Welsh is not useful in anyway outside of Gwynedd although another MFL or humanity would be very useful for my life prospects. I… Read more »

Leia
Guest

It’s nice to see young people engages. I’m sorry your Welsh lessons were so badly taught – that is indeed a genuine problem that needs to be addressed. Language classes should neither put people off the language or leave them unable to speak it. Of course the same poor teaching, “putting off” effect and inability to use the skills in the real world also happens in other subjects – maths and PE being prime examples which are well recognised. It’s not the “fault” of the language itself, any more than maths is inherently worthless because it’s badly taught and assessed,… Read more »

Gareth Rogers
Guest
Gareth Rogers

It’s not a young person, it’s another one of Protic’s sock-puppets.

The thing that makes me smile every time I read one of his hate-filled rants is the knowledge that my as-yet-unborn children will be raised as Welsh-speakers – so that alone, regardless of the other parents bringing up Welsh-speaking children, means that the Welsh language will long outlive him and his bile. 🙂

Alanna Senior
Guest
Alanna Senior

I am afraid to see I am indeed a child. I am not some weirdo who disagrees with compulsory Welsh because every other child I know attending school thinks it is unfair and a waste of time. That includes my friends in the Welsh school. They are punished for using English from a young age and only go to the Welsh school because their non-welsh speaking parents decide that their children must be taught in this way. I am not against Welsh schools, if someone wants to be taught through the medium of Welsh and Welsh only, fine. But then… Read more »

Alanna Senior
Guest
Alanna Senior

I am not a 50 year old bloke, I am a 14 year old girl. That means I will outlive you, don’t you worry. I would like to see the Welsh language outlive me but it is people like you who are stopping this. By the time my generation have power, the Welsh language will be thought of badly again because of the forceful way we have come to know it. All I see from people like you is hate. Hate of those who disagree with you. I do not hate those who disagree with me, just their ideas, not… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Hi Alanna, I’m afraid you don’t sound like a 14 year-old girl at all. Or if you are one, you’re strangely old-fashioned in your use of the English language. I’ve taught teenagers and you don’t write like a teenager does. But whether you’re genuinely 14 or not, Leia is right. Welsh is sometimes taught badly, just as other subjects are. That doesn’t make it useless and I’ve met many Welsh people in Welsh for adults classes who deeply regret not having mastered the language at school. However, they always come on in leaps and bounds and overtake those of use… Read more »

Alanna Senior
Guest
Alanna Senior

I will assure you again: I am 14. I have been learning Welsh for far longer than I have French and German yet I can hold a conversation in both the latter but not Welsh. Surely continuing my education in French and German would be more of a benefit as if I have had this much time learning Welsh and still struggle with it I don’t think I will ever be able to. It may be down to poor teaching standards but how come it is the same situation in all of my local and not so local schools? Some… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I am rather puzzled that Welsh was so difficult for you, despite being a “more able” pupil and with opportunities all around to speak, listen and read the language. I can only conclude that it’s down to a negative attitude to the language. Remember that Welsh is a modern foreign language and the grade will count towards university entrance, so perhaps you need to buck your ideas up? As you are aiming so high with regard to university entrance there will be terrific competition and low grades in any of your subjects will count against you, I therefore hope that… Read more »

Alanna Senior
Guest
Alanna Senior

Don’t worry, I am not aiming to work on the local council in Wales. As everyone seems to want anyone like me to leave Wales, I will do. And can I point out that today it has found that there a decrease of Welsh pupils in Russell group universities of 10% recently. Could that be anything to do with compulsory Welsh and its usefulness outside of Gwynedd?

Patrick Daley
Guest
Patrick Daley

“I have done some research to find the appalling truth that 1/3 of the education budget goes to Welsh medium schools although only about 10% of pupils attend these schools.”

Have you got a source for those figures? Wikepedia quotes official sources with very different numbers, with 16% attending Welsh medium schools plus another 10% at bilingual or dual stream schools.

Finlay MacLeoid
Guest
Finlay MacLeoid

It really is time to stop spending more money on English medium education in Scotland and start properly funding both Gaelic medium education and its development. For years the Gaelic cultural and heritage products have been putting £10Billion plus into the Scottish and British economy yet the Gaelic language and its culture sees none of it. English language education could easily be funded from money from the mother country that being England or if you wishto call it Britain.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Tri gair…CYMRU AM BYTH. Then end, nos da.

Miri.
Guest
Miri.

Jacques at it again? I do wish he’d leave us alone and go back to Serbia or wherever.

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

The whole Welsh language and culture issue raises my hackles. I publish the below as someone who broadcast every weekday for a decade on BBC Radio Wales until I departed for Australia 1989, For those old enough I was Mike Flynn on BBC Radio Wales. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Radio_Wales On a personal level I grew up in Ruabon speaking English and went to school in Wrexham. I attended what was called the Catholic school,St Joseph’s and was only ever aware of one other special school in the town in the early 1960’s. Ysgol Morgan Clywd was what we called the ‘Welsh School. In… Read more »

T W Rees
Guest
T W Rees

In a bi-lingual country we should be able to look to our education system to ensure our children have competence in both languages. It is sad and divisive that this did not happen in the past, and we need to resolve to rectify this as soon as possible.

Ieuan Evans
Guest
Ieuan Evans

Mike Flynn things the people of North East Wales align themselves with Chester and Merseyside!!!!
What utter nonsense. I’m afraid you’ve been in Australia for too long.

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

In reply to Ieuan Evans 28th August 2017 at 5:19 pm · Reply “Mike Flynn things the people of North East Wales align themselves with Chester and Merseyside!!!! What utter nonsense. I’m afraid you’ve been in Australia for too long.”. Ieuan….I take it you never grew up in Wrexham? Perhaps Rhos? We are talking the old border here and with the new roads built since I left school in the town back in 1967 the demographics have changed big time. Chester and Shrewsbury are just half an hour a way. That was fifty years ago. The world has moved on… Read more »

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

Well said Brian. We live in a global community where English is the mass medium of communication. So much of the so called Welsh culture was pure fiction and religious brainwashing. Edward Williams, better known by his bardic name Iolo Morganwg is a case in point. He was widely considered a leading collector and expert on medieval Welsh literature in his day, but after his death it was revealed that he had forged a number of his manuscripts, especially parts of the Third Series of Welsh Triads. However he had a lasting impact on Welsh culture, seen most notably in… Read more »

Y Cymro
Guest
Y Cymro

Taxi for Brian ap Francis. PLEASE!

Y Cymro
Guest
Y Cymro

Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad, Tra môr yn fur i’r bur Hoff bau
” O BYDDED I’R HEN IAITH BARHAU”

Bendigedig
Guest
Bendigedig

What money is spent on promoting English? First, look at the work of the British Council, then any money used to promote English language culture.

Stefano Keller
Guest

The position of the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) on Linguistic Rights: http://www.linguistic-rights.org/en/about.html – International Mother Language Day: http://www.linguistic-rights.org/21-02-2017/ – Message of Rita IZSÁK, UN Independent Expert (later: Special Rapporteur) on minority issues: http://www.linguistic-rights.org/esperanto-125/Rita-Izsak-UN-independent-expert-on-minority-issues.html

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

We must get more organised.

Thewelshwhisperer
Guest
Thewelshwhisperer

why are you being selective in the comments you publish? it’s not like my comment wasn’t off topic or used offensive language. it raised a fair point. this is exactly the problem right here, you’re not allowing a presentation the full picture and censor those that don’t share their opinions it seems. nation cymru indeed! more like nation cymru for the select few in the middle classes that have their own agenda regardless of what the majority of people in wales actually want

Tudor Williams Rees
Guest

Dyma’r sylw anfonais i cwmni Dennis UK The BBC, and the usually more balanced part of the English Press, such as The Guardian and Times, and now the Dennis UK organisation, seem to have a blind spot about the significance of the Welsh Language, in relation to the heritage of the British Isles as a whole. It is important to note that the fore-runner of Welsh, namely Brythonic, was spoken from Glasgow to Kent before the regime change that occurred with the coming of germanic speaking groups in the 5th Century. Central England was at the heart of the Brythonic… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Tudor,
Does dim pwynt yn ceisio darbwyllo i’r sefydliad Prydeinig a Phrydeinwyr fod ni’n bodoli. Dydyn nhw ddim deall bod ni Cymry’n genedl gyfan.

Yr unig bethau gallwn ni eu gwneud ydy ymdrefnu gwrthsafiad yn fwy effeithiol, datblygu grymoedd ein Senedd (fel darlledu), dal ati am addysg Gymraeg, sefydlu Bro Gymraeg go iawn ag arwyddion uniaith Gymrae) a’i atgyfnerthu cyn ehangu.

They simply do not understand anything else than ‘go and f**k yourself’; we’ve tried explaining ourselves politely and to gain acceptance by them for centuries.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Mike Flynn, is he a character out of Phoenix NIghts / sounds very much like it

Rhys Griffiths
Guest
Rhys Griffiths

I am not an academic, just an ordinary ‘man in the street’, but through Welsh I have been able to assimilate some basic language skill in the Romance languages. I can use conversational French and am able to converse also in basic Italian. I perceive that it is mostly monoglots who make the most criticisms, not only of Welsh but many other languages. In answer to an English friend who said that so many foreign people spoke English (mostly to converse with English people!), I replied that like me, return to their own language when with others who also spoke… Read more »

Bryn-daf
Guest
Bryn-daf

Welsh is the original British language… ironic isnt it…….English imperialists telling us to become more “british” in identity……twp iawn

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

That was then, but now is now, and for better or worse, English is the language of this country so get over it.

Mike Flynn
Guest
Mike Flynn

How I agree Brian however the Welsh Tafia actually make money using English.

Why else would Vaughen Roderick,who started his BBC Wales career working as a researcher on my programme in 1979, justify his big remunaration?

If he really wanted to forward the Welsh language he would be on Radio Cymru on a Sunday instead of broadcasting in English on Radio Wales.

My other point is so many of the Tafia media crew would never make it outside Wales.

John Jones
Guest
John Jones

Just to clarify some figures given earlier. 22% of pupils go to Welsh medium schools but that “Welsh medium” definition include Dual stream schools at primary level and different grades of “Bilingual schools” at secondary and middle school level. Having said that, Welsh medium schools make up nearly a third of all schools because the WM schools have smaller pupil numbers (nearly a half are dispersed rural schools in the Fro Cymraeg). Pupils numbers in WM schools are increasing quickly in the South east and other areas with low Welsh speaking populations but are decreasing or static in the North… Read more »

Claire
Guest
Claire

I am an English first language speaker who moved to Wales to live with her Welsh first language husband. I also happen to be a linguist by profession and speak 4 languages, so get sick and tired hearing about how the English are monoglots whereas Welsh speakers are outward looking, cosmopolitan types who pick up other languages by osmosis. Sorry but it’s rubbish. Apart from my own experiences, which are admittedly subjective and anecdotal, of the west Welsh being the most insular people I’ve ever lived among (and I’ve lived in various parts of the UK as well as abroad),… Read more »

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

Truly wonderfully balanced and sensible thing to say.