The Danish have ‘Hygge’ but here in Wales we have something even better - ‘Cwtsh’.
Like ‘hiraeth’, ‘cwtsh’ is something that only the Welsh truly understand. ‘Cwtsh’ evokes feelings of comfort, cosiness and peace. What better title therefore for a mediation and mindfulness app entirely through the medium of Welsh?
“Ap Cwtsh” will be among the latest developments in Welsh language technology that will be showcased today at the 'Pioneering Wales: Cymraeg 2050 Technology' event at Tramshed Tech in Cardiff.
A virtual reality experience which helps users understand how it feels to live with dementia, again through the medium of Welsh, will be a launched at the event with the help of TV presenter Beti George, a prominent dementia campaigner.
The technology has all been funded by the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 grant. The grant, a key element of the Welsh language strategy, Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers, provides funds to innovative, short-term projects which aim to increase people’s daily use of the language and to promote technology which supports the use of Welsh.
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said:
“We want the use of Welsh to be a routine part of everyday life so that speakers at all levels feel confident in using it in formal and informal situations.
“Technology is an increasingly important part of that every day life and it is vital therefore that we continue to develop Welsh language technology so that people are able to use their Welsh online as well as in real life. Recent research has shown that languages like Icelandic are under threat because of the dominance of English in technology, so it is vital that we invest in ensuring Welsh has a strong presence online as well as in our communities.
“It is especially important for something like the Dementia VR project because, when a person develops dementia, they may often lose the ability to communicate in their second language.
“I am thrilled that these projects are now coming to fruition. I’m under no illusion about the challenge of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050 and I’m delighted there are so many organisations and people with the skills and commitment to join us in this task”
Other technology on show includes:
- WordNet - a project to construct a WordNet (lexical database) for the Welsh language.
- Mapio Cymru - Welsh language version of OpenStreetMap that will allow Welsh language mapping of Wales freely under an open licence.
- Bys a Bawd - an interactive song-based resource for families and children.
- Wici Caerdydd - aims to increase the number of Welsh language articles available on Wikipedia, and a project to promote the use of Welsh through Snapchat.