The Welsh Government has begun a consultation today on the future of the ‘linguistic infrastructure’ of Welsh.
The consultation will focus on resources that help people use Welsh from day-to-day, such as dictionaries, terminology resources and the research into language standardisation which supports the growth of the language.
The Welsh Government aims to develop a policy to better coordinate Welsh linguistic infrastructure. The Cymraeg 2050 strategy states that “ensuring the continued development of Welsh language infrastructure…is integral to the delivery of this strategy”.
The consultation seeks views on developing a national policy on linguistic resources, and includes questions on usage of commonly-used resources such as online dictionaries.
Eluned Morgan, the Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language, said:
To increase the number of Welsh speakers and ensure the continued development and growth of the language, a robust and modern ‘linguistic infrastructure’ is essential. The ‘infrastructure’ is the tools Welsh speakers of all kinds use day-to-day – the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the language.
We’re fortunate to have so many excellent language resources available in Welsh, but this can sometimes lead to difficult choices for Welsh speakers, like which definition or translation to use. With different resources on different websites, finding words or terms in Welsh could also be more streamlined. There’s also no formal mechanism to address gaps in provision or prioritising future work.
A number of our proposals also tie in with the our 'Welsh Language Technology Action Plan', aims to support the language so that it’s used in as many situations as possible. Our proposals on infrastructure will help enrich the experience of those using technology in Welsh, and our aim is to provide, free of charge, digital versions of authoritative resources for everyone who uses Welsh in any way.
I want to begin a conversation with everyone who uses Welsh on how our Welsh linguistic infrastructure could be better co-ordinated, and consider the best way that can be put into practice.
We’d really like to hear from the people who use these resources most – from new speakers, school pupils or parents of children in Welsh-medium education, to teachers, academics or full-time translators.
So if you use linguistic tools to help you with your Welsh, please tell us what you think!