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First Minister to make statement on Welsh language

First Minister Carwyn Jones is to make an oral statement in the Senedd on the Welsh Government's Welsh language policy later today.

It follows a Government consultation over the future of the language, after the latest Census showed the number of Welsh speakers in Wales had fallen over the last 10 years.

The protesters want the Welsh Government to adopt six measures including Welsh language education for all

Members of the Welsh language pressure group Cymdeithas yr Iaith set up camp outside the Senedd yesterday as part of a campaign calling for greater investment in the language.

"More action needed" to nurture Welsh speakers

The Welsh language pressure group Cymdeithas yr iaith have called on the Welsh Government to take more action to nurture Welsh speakers.

Members of the group held an all night sit in outside the Senedd ahead of an announcement later on the government's Welsh language policy.

They say little has been done by the Government since the release of census results 18 months ago, which indicated a drop in the number of Welsh language speakers in the country.


Opinion divided over road sign language row

A row has broken out between the Welsh Language Commissioner and a number of Welsh councils, after the commissioner recommended all road signs should feature the Welsh place name before English.

It already happens in around half of Welsh councils - but as Tom Sheldrick reports, opinion is very much divided on whether or not the recommendations should go ahead.

Road sign language row: your views

You've been sending us your views on calls for Welsh to be first on road signs. Here are a few left on our Facebook page.

I feel I am one of the proudest and patriotic people in Wales. However, what a waste of money. That could be ploughed into social services which would actually have an impact on Wales for years to come.

– Sam Ryan

Welsh should be first on signs in Wales. There will be English on them as well so any non-Welsh speakers just need to read the lower half. It's like anything, people will soon get used to it and maybe pick up a few new Welsh words in the process.

– Meryl Richards

Total waste of time and money. I'm Welsh and can see no benefit to this at all. We are a nation where around 90% of people speak English. Just leave the signs alone and debate really important topics such as health, education and jobs.

– Matt Charles

Send us your comments: email, tweet @ITVWales or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

GCSE Welsh second language short course dropped

The Welsh Government says the current system for teaching Welsh in English-medium schools here "must change", and announced that the GCSE Welsh second language short course will be scrapped.

The short course has previously been criticised, for not allowing pupils to progress towards becoming strong Welsh speakers, leading to calls for it to be removed.

The Welsh Government has acknowledged standards in Welsh secondary language are not good enough. Credit: PA

Ministers are responding to the 'One language for all' report, which they commissioned in 2012 into "poor standards and low attainment" in Welsh at secondary school.

The Welsh Government also said today that it would look to promote Welsh as an important skill for the workplace, work to ensure that revised GCSE, AS and A Level Welsh second language qualifications are appropriate, and monitor the availability and take-up of AS and A level Welsh second language.


Could dot-cymru replace dot-com in Wales?

A mobile that predicts Welsh text messages. Credit: PA

A report published today by the Welsh Government recommends 27 ways that Welsh can boost business.

The report examined how the use of the language and bilingualism could support business growth and economic development and how economic development could raise the use of Welsh.

Among it's recommendations are that businesses be encouraged to use the “.cymru” internet domain suffix if the opportunity arises.

It also says an on-line networks in Welsh could maintain contact with Welsh speakers who leave Wales to study or for work and these networks will encourage experienced Welsh speakers to return to Wales.

Wales should also learn from the experience and good practice in other bilingual communities such as the Basque country, Quebec, and Catalunya says the working group who compiled the report.

Research should be also be undertaken to examine the effect of improving road and rail communications between strong Welsh speaking areas and main employment centres and public sector contracts should require tenderers to demonstrate an ability to provide a bilingual service.

Morrisons issue statement over prescription row

Morrisons have issued a statement following a protest over a toddler's Welsh prescription.

"We stand by the actions of our pharmacist who was dispensing this medicine to a patient in need, and had to be sure he was giving the correct dosage."The customer actually went to a different pharmacy first, and they did not carry this medicine. We were asked by that store during a phone call to help by supplying the medicine instead.

"Our pharmacist was told during this phone conversation that it was half in Welsh and half in English. Without seeing the original prescription, he could not judge whether he could translate it, so he asked for a translation to ensure he could be clear of the exact instructions. It is vital that any drug is dispensed correctly.

"This translation followed within approximately two hours of the customer arriving at the first pharmacy - by fax to us.

"When the customer arrived at our store (for the first time) the medicine was dispensed as prescribed.

"At no stage did we turn the customer away, or refuse to dispense the prescription, and we strongly refute this accusation.

"We fully support the use of the Welsh language, and use dual language signage in our stores. Where medicines are concerned however, we are not prepared to take the chance of making a mistake and we hope all customers will understand that."

– Morrisons

Protesters say 'everyone has the right to live in Welsh'

Protesters angry at Morrisons pharmacy in Bangor say "everyone should have the right to live in Welsh", and has taken steps to see if legal action should be taken against the company.

Everyone should have the right to live in Welsh - from the doctors who want to work in Welsh, to the patients who want to receive treatment in the language.

What Morrisons has done is totally at odds with the official status the Welsh language has, and has caused anguish to the family.

We have written to the company demanding they apologise straight away and confirm they will not allow this type of incident to happen again.

We have also contacted the Welsh Language Commissioner asking her to consider the possibility of legal steps against the company.

This event is a reminder that the new language standards - rules which will place duties on bodies to supply services in Welsh - must prevent awful problems like this.

The standards dealing with the health service need to give people rights to use Welsh. But also, language laws need to cover more of the private sector, like supermarkets, so they respect and promote the language generally.

– Sian Howys, rights spokeswoman for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg
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