Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ble Mae'r Gymraeg, Somerfield?

In general I don’t like supermarkets for a variety of reasons. But yesterday I decided to shop at the new Somerfield store in Prestatyn. I was disappointed. Not once did I see a single word of Cymraeg anywhere in the store. It’s a real shame because in most respects it’s an improvement on Kwikies (which Somerfield recently sold-off); the layout is massively improved, the prices are reasonable, and there’s a better selection of produce. So why the lack of Cymraeg?

Contrast this with the new Tesco store in Rhuthun. It’s still not open but according to Alun Pugh the store is “keeping its promises in relation to stocking Welsh produce and using the Welsh language... Tesco will clearly identify tills operated by bilingual staff, and all staff who speak both languages will carry a badge to this effect.”

Kwikies had Cymraeg signage. So too does Sainsbury’s in Rhuddlan, and Tesco in Abergele. So what’s the problem with Somerfield then?

Thankfully, supermarkets aren’t the be-all and end-all of Cymraeg; it can survive and thrive with or without them. But that’s not the point. Cymraeg should be a natural part of their everyday business. There’s no getting away from the fact that even the ‘borderlands’ are bilingual, not monolingual.

No matter where you are in Cymru, Cymraeg is the national language and it’s being spoken by an increasing number of people. Somerfield and other large stores should recognise this!


At 11:55 AM, Blogger Independence4Celts said...

Damn right. A New Welsh Language Act is what we need. All large businesses in Wales should be bilingual, it's a shame they're in english in the first place. Plaid, the Tories and Libs have agreed on a new Act, but unfortunately Labour hasn't.
I was dissapointed though went I went to my tesco Extra in Caerdydd and saw that their Health and Beauty section is only in english now, where as it was bilingual; and that the smaller Tescos are not really bilingual. It's time for a change.


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