Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Kimra Kunvena Registaro kaj la Lingvo

…de la Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru:

“The Welsh language, spoken by over half a million people in Wales, is alive and well and moving into a new technological era. The internet is 'y we'; a website is 'gwefan'; a homepage is 'hafan'; and the Chair of the Welsh-language television channel S4C holds conversations about the Channel’s service in a live online chat room.

Microsoft has joined the Welsh technological revolution and Welsh speakers can now download software that allows users to choose Welsh or English as an interface language for Windows XP and Office 2003. A Welsh Google bar allowing users to browse Welsh-language websites has been developed by Mozilla.

Microsoft also offers a Welsh spelling and grammar checker as does the commercial specialist language software developer Omega First. Welsh company Testico has recently made available a free downloadable program to allow Welsh speakers to use 'predictive texting' in Welsh on their mobile phones. A Welsh-language version of Wikipedia is now available and April saw the launch of a new internet television channel, Siaradog.com, hosted by Welsh rapper Aneirin Karadog.

And if you don’t speak Welsh, language lessons are now also offered online on BBC Wales’s website and programs can be downloaded onto the learner’s MP3 for learning on the go.

The Welsh technological revolution is part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision to make Wales wholly bilingual. Almost 40% of young people in Wales are now totally fluent in both Welsh and English and it is they in particular who are driving the changes forward. Professor David Crystal of Bangor University, Wales, one of the world’s leading linguists, has recently claimed that the internet is a savior of the Welsh language. He said, ‘It doesn't matter how much activism you engage in on behalf of a language if you don't attract the teenagers, the parents of the next generation of children. And what turns teenagers on more than the internet these days? If you can get a language out there, the youngsters are much more likely to think it's cool.’"

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