Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Is it 'cos I is Welsh?

A questionnaire arrives after a visit to the doctor (much better now, thanks). The GP Patient Survey, over 8 pages, invites me to rate my experience during my visit to the doc.

Intriguingly it invites me to complete the survey in Arabic, Bengali, Czech, French, Gujurati, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Slovak, Somali, Turkish and Urdu. Oh, and English.

It is difficult to assess the number of speakers of the non-indigenous languages above who would need surveys in their mother tongue. On some measures, for example, London is one of the largest French towns. Most of the 200,000 Turkish speakers in the UK are said to live in London.

Some estimates suggest there are 100,000 Welsh speakers in London - more than there are in Cardiff. Even on my adopted manor, it is impossible to escape the language of heaven. Aled Jones lives round the corner; a neighbour's house is named Swn Yr Adar. Tomos Livingstone is four stops away on South West Trains.

But are there really more Londoners who speak Portuguese or Somali than Welsh?

So is there someone who can get offended on behalf of Welsh speakers in London? Who will rush to claim a snub to Wales or even a slap in the face?

Perhaps Welsh language legislation needs to be tightened on behalf of Welsh speakers within the UK. Any volunteers for a mass picket of the GPs' surgery?

3 comments:

davidjonesmp said...

Snub to Wales!

Mind you, similar problems arise in such virtually monoglot Welsh places as Llansannan: http://davidjonesblog.com/2008/07/02/speaking-in-tongues/

A Pritchard said...

Isn't strange how other language in the UK has more rights than a true British language like Welsh.

James D said...

It's a pity the government won't let National Statistics ask the Welsh language census question in England. That would produce some very interesting statistics.