Costly ab­sur­dity of bilin­gual­ism

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views -

I READ with great in­ter­est the re­port on the com­ments made by Coun­cil­lor Kevin Ma­honey, of the Vale of Glam­or­gan Council, re­gard­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions sent out in Welsh and English.

They con­cluded that of all the calls made to the Con­tact One Vale Call Cen­tre, just 0.81% were in Welsh, yet all lit­er­a­ture is sent out in both lan­guages.

Fur­ther­more, the Cardiff Bay Assem­bly has thrust Welsh down our throats for the last 20 years and what has this achieved? Do any more peo­ple in Wales speak Welsh than did in 1997? I do not think so, so what a to­tal waste of money, many mil­lions of pounds, pos­si­bly bil­lions.

If you call any pub­lic au­thor­ity in Wales they al­ways an­swer in Welsh, but how many of those em­ployed there speak Welsh? Very few, I would think.

I live in Brid­gend, and if you call the lo­cal council you have to sit through a long Welsh mes­sage, then the English comes on and you are told to re­dial an­other num­ber and a again sit through the W Welsh mes­sage.

Why not, say, press 1 f for Welsh and 2 for English? I think more peo­ple speak Pol­ish than W Welsh in Brid­gend.

I re­cently drove back f from the Vendee in western France, ini­tially to St Malo, in tor­ren­tial r rain, and there were many no­tices on the mo­tor­way, in French of course, and it may sur­prise the “Welsh­language fa­nat­ics” that 100% of French peo­ple speak French, not 15% of W Welsh as in Wales.

On driv­ing back from Portsmouth, af­ter cross­ing the Sev­ern B Bridge, we en­coun­tered an elec­tronic road sign, cov­ered in Welsh, and I thought, “Oh no, the Bryn­glas tun­nels are not closed, are they?” It took an­other three signs to note at the bot­tom the English trans­la­tion: “Do not throw litter”. An­other two signs warned of a sail­ing event, but noth­ing to say that the M4 was closed at the Cardiff West exit.

This is pos­i­tively dan­ger­ous, hav­ing to make sense of road in­for­ma­tion, whilst trav­el­ling at up to 70mph. God knows what tourists com­ing into Wales to spend much-needed rev­enue, or com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driv­ers taking pro­duce to and from our fair land, make of this.

I call on the Welsh Gov­ern­ment to pub­lish the to­tal cost over the last 20 years on this point­less dual lan­guage.

I am sure it would have built many hos­pi­tals and fi­nanced a huge in­crease in doc­tors, nurses and teach­ers.

Well done, Coun­cil­lor Ma­honey, some­one who speaks a lot of sense. If the 0.81% of peo­ple in the Vale of Glam­or­gan want their com­mu­ni­ca­tions in Welsh, let them pay for it. John Davies Brid­gend

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