New campaign aims to boost Welsh language use in daily life

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"Use the Welsh you've got", the Welsh Language Commissioner's message for the 'Defnyddia dy Gymraeg' campaign. Credit: PA images

A new campaign has been launched by the Welsh Language Commissioner to mark 12 years since the Welsh Language Bill was first introduced.

‘Defnyddia dy Gymraeg’ (Use your Welsh) aims to encourage people to use more Welsh in everyday life.

The Welsh Language measure was introduced in 2011 and gave Welsh equal legal status with English as well as stipulating it "must not be treated less favourably." It replaced the Welsh Language Act of 1993.

Aiming to highlight everyday scenarios where the Welsh language can be used, the campaign has produced a series of films depicting Welsh being used in work, in school and in sports.

The campaign will run from Monday 27 November to Monday 11 December with organisations encouraged to promote their Welsh language services.

Speaking about the 'Defnyddia dy Gymraeg' campaign today in Carmarthenshire, Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, said: "We're launching today a new campaign, 'Defnyddia dy Gymraeg', (Use your Welsh).

"It's because we know there are so many great services now available through the medium of Welsh and we want people to use them.

"Our message really is use the Welsh you've got, give your Welsh a go. I really want people to enjoy using their Welsh. This gives us an opportunity to draw attention to the services available and also for people to use the services."

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, the campaign to encourage people to practice their Welsh in every day life. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

She continued: "The figures did fall slightly [in the recent census], but there were also encouraging signs, for example, in the number of young adults speaking Welsh.

"So I think now is a great opportunity for us to use our Welsh more [...] So this fortnight really is all about making sure that people know about the opportunities so we can enjoy using Welsh in our everyday lives."

Efforts to reach the Welsh Government's target of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 have increased following the latest figures in the 2021 census.

The census showed that between 2011 and 2021 there had been a decrease in the amount of residents aged three and over able to speak Welsh, from 19% to 17.8%. This was the case in all local authorities except Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Carmarthenshire saw the largest decrease in Welsh speakers from 43.9% to 39.9% in 2021. There was, however, a small increase in the percentage of young adults aged 16 to 19 able to speak Welsh, as well as those aged between 20 to 44.

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