A Million Welsh-speakers
Plaid Cymru wants a genuinely bilingual Wales in which citizens feel free to use their preferred language in their daily lives. To achieve this, we need to substantially increase the number of active speakers of Welsh across the country, ensuring that they have every opportunity to use the language as they choose.
We would ensure that the Welsh language is fully mainstreamed into all Welsh Government policies, guidance, and strategies.
For the language to thrive sustainably we need to concentrate on its everyday use in our communities, workplaces and public services.
Therefore, we support Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s ‘More than a million’ vision which extends the language agenda beyond mere numbers, including setting a target to create 1,000 new Welsh language spaces by the end of the next Senedd term and raising investment to the level in the Basque country over time.
We would ask the Welsh Language Commissioner to review and revise the education targets in the current government’s Welsh language strategy in order to ensure they will meet the one million speakers target. We endorse the recommendations of the Welsh Language Commissioner in his Manifesto for the 2021 Senedd Election.
We endorse the current target of a million Welsh-speakers by 2050 and the enhanced ‘more than a million’ agenda. We would:
- Elevate the status of Prosiect 2050 (the current Welsh Language Unit within Welsh Government) as part of a fully-fledged Welsh language department responsible for leading the language-restoration strategy.
- Establish a new unit within government, bringing in outside expertise to take advantage of behavioural science innovation to make effective use of regulatory, policy and other incentives to increase the use of the language.
- Examine the case for an arms-length Welsh Language Agency in the future.
- Extend the Language Commissioner’s remit, along with regulatory powers and duties, into additional fields including the private sector and town and country planning.
- Implement a timetable for the preparation and approval of regulations to expand Welsh language Standards to all the remaining bodies and sectors covered in the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 to inject new momentum and impetus into this important work.
- Expand Welsh-medium education and build a bilingual workforce by increasing major new funding for Welsh for Adults, releasing teachers and carers from work to learn or improve their Welsh; supporting parents who want to establish Welsh as the language of the home; and enabling people who move to Wales to learn the language.
- Create 1,000 new Welsh-medium workplaces, including three Welsh Government departments.
- Integrate the work of the Mentrau Iaith and Welsh-language Centres, setting them a new ‘more than a million’ mandate to network the Welsh-speaking community, promote the use of Welsh at the local level, working with Welsh-medium schools, the Urdd, Young Farmers Clubs, and other organisations.
- Establish a ‘Menter Ddigidol Gymraeg’ (Welsh language Digital Initiative) as part of a new digital strategy for the language in collaboration with others.
- Ensure that the additional expenditure for realising Project 2050 will be clearly identified in the first budget of a Plaid Cymru Government, with the aim of raising investment in promotion of the language to levels similar to the Basque Country over the Senedd term.