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Eddie legge

Welsh Language

What dose Forum members think about A truly bilingual Wales
Under discussion now at Eisteddfod
To use the Welsh language in all aspects of everyday life
Bilingual doctors nurses Teachers social workers Fire and  police

Eddie Legge
cymrocymraeg123

Hi Eddie,

Were you at the Eisteddfod? Awful weather at the start of week but cleared up towards the end. The Welsh language commissioner is launching a consultation soon into healthcare and the Welsh language, it is well needed. When it comes to providing a service as personal and important to the individual as healthcare it is important that the message and the care itself is delivered in the language that the patient not only understands best but also feels at home and comfortable in. It isn't a matter of language choice and respect alone, it is important to realise that a language is not just a group of words strung together to convey a message, but it is infact central to a persons being.
When it comes to other public services, if a Welsh person wants to use Welsh in Wales then that should be that persons choice. In order to respect that choice, things currently have to change in front line services. It will be difficult for some people to cope with, people who have lived their life in Wales through English without ever hearing or needing Welsh often find it hard to fathom that another equally Welsh person lived the same life in Welsh without needing or hearing English in their family or community. Do you speak Welsh yourself? Post in Welsh if you can/ want  Smile
Eddie legge

Can we afford to have it

Thursday, May 17 2012
“The Welsh language could soon be costing every one of us a fortune.

"Welsh speakers would be able to access fully bilingual public services if new plans outlined for the language are given the go-ahead.
The Welsh language commissioner has launched a consultation into standards which public sector bodies and some companies would have to follow.
It means a Welsh speaker could expect to receive correspondence and phone calls in Welsh, along with accessing Welsh-speaking doctors and carers."

It's all very nice having a Welsh speaking doctor, nurse or carer, but forcing the NHS to employ them is going suck all the money out of the system.”
cymrocymraeg123

Well Eddie whether or not what I just explained above made any sense, there are stories of elderly people being screamed at or being told they have serious diseases in a second language they have now lost due their language skills getting worse with age.

It won't cost anything more than it does already, I as a Welsh speaker pay my taxes as do all others, and when you employ a doctor who speaks Welsh he or she will also be able to do the same job in English.

All very nice? Well it is not about it being a nice little novelity, it is essenstial for some patients. The cost issure is used to scare people, and it is a sad state of affairs when our language is denied people and detested due to a lie about it costing more. No one is being forced to employ anyone, Wales produces enough Welsh speaking medical staff every year, no one extra would be taken on.

As I said, it is not about me demanding it because I fancy it, it is my right as a Welshman.
Eddie legge

Welsh Llafur

Ben I will agree that if a patient has requested the medium of Welsh it should be provided where reasonably practicable  
Without going off the main topic regarding bilingualism in Welsh NHS please take note of the following
The majority of us born and reared in the industrialised English speaking heartlands of South Wales (The valleys of Gwlad y Glo) are not so religiously committed to the Welsh Language
The reason being an abundance of raw materials and the industrial revolution
In the early 19th century a very large influx of mainly English – speaking workers and their families came to the valleys of South Wales seeking work and a place to live it is their language and culture that we have adopted today as our own
Our heritage might differ vastly from those born and reared in the agricultural north and western parts of Wales. The fact that we don’t speak Welsh still doesn’t make us any less proud of our Welsh nationality

Eddie Legge
cymrocymraeg123

Yes I totally agree with you about the fact that we have our heritage here in the valleys. Of course we are proud of it, so we should. From your message I'm picking out two things but if I've misunderstood then I do apologise;

You seem to be suggesting that the Welsh language isn't native to where we live in in Abertillery or indeed to the industrial valleys in general, and as a result we shouldn't have to pay for the language? Well first of all, we need only look at place names to see that it is, the two names for Six Bells were Cwm nant-y-groes and Cwm Llwydrew, with Abertyleri and Cwmtyleri also being Welsh. Abertillery was once part of the parish of Aberystruth as I'm sure you know. From this administrative region we have loads of records, from 1891 about the language especially but before that we have qualitive evidence (evidence in historical records such as diaries,record books) and quantative evidence ( church census records, faith census records and the census its self) which all prove that the area was part of a Welsh Wales. This area however was very underpopulated even when the iron works, the first wave of industrialisation, were here. The local area managed to supply enough labour to keep the area Welsh speaking as no outside labour was needed. In fact, records show that some Irish and English incomers in the period 1800-1850, actually learnt Welsh. After 1850 however incomers came wave after wave and you said they changed the linguistic landscape. Abertillery is quite new town, and as a result was built by the native Welsh people of the area as well as the new comers who vast in number. A lot of them were from Somerset, hence Somerset St for example. This means that the town has always had an English language presence, but the language would have had speakers here from the native area which records show, just very small in number. The surrounding villages which were much older and not industrial centres were Welsh until industrialisation also caught up with them too, examples include y Blaenau ( Blaina) , Llanhiddel ( Llanhilleth) . If you look at Blaina and Llanhiddel, they look incorrect in spelling. This is actuall how the the Gwentian variety of Welsh pronounced these place names, they are still pronounced as such today, especially Blain'a'.

Secondly Eddie you say the industrial valleys. The whole of the south Wales coalfield cannot be included, as our area was affected greatly and our linguistic shift wiped the language out until quite recently, and even now it's frail. The coalfield stretching from Pont y Berem, the most westernly pit to the easterly Glynneath kept its Welsh better than we did due to different economic and demographic factors. For example, they had a stready flow of incomers from the west and managed to provide their labour from within the community fairly well. Welsh is still spoken in the western coalfield quite alot, I know people for example from Brynaman and Amanford who were brought to speak Welsh.

Thirdly, as I said I whole heartedly agree with you about our upbringing, my grandfather was a miner and they brought up my mam and two uncles to speak English as does everyone in the town. I'm just saying we do have a rich Welsh language heritage of our own, which we did share with the rest of Wales. We are similar to Flintshire/ Wrexham in that respect, both areas we severley anglicised.

Today however, Welsh is not the majority language but Welsh speakers are active in the town and there is newly built Welsh school in Blaina, Ysgol Bro Helyg.

I understand we have moulded our own culture without the Welsh language, Welsh people are good at reinventing themselves, but we didn't borrow anyones culture from outside, we adapted our own to fit the new language. Everyone in Wales should be proud of the language, 95% of the country could speak it on the eve of the Ind. Revolution, with over a million in 1891.

When it comes to bilingualism, it was always going to happen that eventually Welsh speakers were given civil rights, the days of being belittled, scowled at or even given the birch rod for speaking it are over.You said it should be provided where reasonably possible, I and most people agree with you. That is what is happening. The Royal Gwent is not going to be asked to favour bilngual doctors because it is very unlikely one would be needed. However in Cardiff and other hospitals which serve an area with a large density of speakers then if the hospital can't provide a Welsh speaker, sensible steps will be taken over a period of time to make one available.
Saeson

Re: Welsh Llafur

Eddie legge wrote:
Ben I will agree that if a patient has requested the medium of Welsh it should be provided where reasonably practicable  
Without going off the main topic regarding bilingualism in Welsh NHS please take note of the following
The majority of us born and reared in the industrialised English speaking heartlands of South Wales (The valleys of Gwlad y Glo) are not so religiously committed to the Welsh Language
The reason being an abundance of raw materials and the industrial revolution
In the early 19th century a very large influx of mainly English – speaking workers and their families came to the valleys of South Wales seeking work and a place to live it is their language and culture that we have adopted today as our own
Our heritage might differ vastly from those born and reared in the agricultural north and western parts of Wales. The fact that we don’t speak Welsh still doesn’t make us any less proud of our Welsh nationality

Eddie Legge


I think it`s safe to assume that you didn`t go the the Eisteddfod  Rolling Eyes

Welsh isn`t a language that people decided they couldn`t be bothered to use any more. The Welsh may have `adopted` the language and culture of the English incomers, but not willingly. Thanks to the enthusiastic use of the Welsh Knot and the disdain shown by the Establishment for all things Cymraeg we are where we are today. It may be history, Eddie, just like the coal mines and the wars that you hold so dear, but it`s still relevant. Pride in the  Welsh language shouldn`t depend on one`s ability to speak it. I`m sure many people jumping up and down in front of the TV on Grand Slam day wouldn`t know one end of a rugby ball from the other, but that doesn`t diminish their pride in Wales.

Lest you think I`ve gone off-topic, there are plenty of people who speak Welsh even in the South and who are perfectly qualified to work in the NHS or other public services ("where reasonably practicable " is one of the best get-outs ever  Wink).
Anyway it`s about accessing the Welsh language in public services; that could mean picking up a phone and speaking to somebody in Caernarfon. How hard would that be?
martyn142

I don't get the argument that providing services in Welsh adds to the cost. Providing health services at all costs money and some people benefit from it a lot more than others. We provide medical services to ill people because they are ill. Why not provide health services in Welsh to those who speak Welsh?
Eddie legge

Let truth be told

In reply to Bilingualism Wales NHS
Season first; you are correct to assume that Eddie Legge did not go to Eisteddfod
Mentioned, neither did he go to the one Ebbw Vale 2010, By the way  did you know that Blaenau Gwent benefited very little from it and had it not been for our Welsh Assembly who gave 10,000 free tickets for the Sunday opening at Ebbw Vale the Eisteddfod loss would have been much more than the £47, 000 deficit recorded    
When I said where reasonable practicable it was not as you suggest (one of the best get outs yet)
Ben I did not suggest that the Welsh Language isn’t native to where we live in Blaenau Gwent
Population of Aberystruth the area to the north of Abertillery and South of Brynmawr
1801 totalled 805, 1831 it had reached 5,992 the highest percentage in the British Isles
It can be said that the industrial revolution in Wales saved the Welsh Language the Welsh peasantry did not, unlike the Irish need to emigrate to find work –they just had to change counties rather than their countries
It is a frightening truth Ben but it must be told after decades of protest and civil disobedience by Welsh activists the painting of road signs in the sixties and the cottage burning campaigns of Meibion Glyndwr, the Welsh Language is still struggling to survive
Children forced to speak welsh in the school play yard when they go home the Welsh language is left in school, less than 3% of homes in Wales where the Welsh Language is spoken by the whole family
The viewing figures of S4C do not justify its existence Bilingual facilities now in place for Welsh speakers including Banks Shops Supermarkets and cash points are not being used
Before I go let it be known that Eddie Legge would welcome a Welsh speaking family to live and work in my area even next door
Why then should a proud English speaking Welshman not be made welcome to live and work in certain areas of Wales?  

Eddie Legge
cymrocymraeg123

Well Eddie, as far as language death goes and struggling to survive, David Crystal, one of the country's most respected linguists has said that Welsh is one of the 15% of languages that will actuall survive the next 100 years.
Children are not forced to speak Welsh in the playground, their parents send them to a Welsh school to learn Welsh and get a bilingual Education. The teachers do their job and coherce them to use Welsh, this is not done in a punitive way or nasty way, they are asked. I have been to a Welsh school for work experience and I have friends who have been to one, accusations of being forced should not be thrown around.

Also, the ind.revolution saving the Welsh language was a theory first out forward by Brinley Thomas in the 60s, it has been taken apart several times, maily because of it's one size fits all aproach to Wales, some areas benefited, others didn't

Dare I say it Eddie, you don't strike me as well wisher to Welsh in all honestly but correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe you want it to be true that Welsh is in decline, it isn't numerically or geographically and in fact it has regained some ground in the south, in particular Cardiff. If you speak Welsh you are able to see it from a different point of view.

''Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg'' dubbed out the signs, they did a monumental job in gaining respect for our language for welsh speakers, although today I'm not their biggest fan If I'm honest

We have a welsh medium university, we can live out lives through welsh if we choose, welsh schools are popping up everywhere, Cwm Rhymni and Gwynllyw are over the point of full now. There are also more speakers.

Dare I say it, you twice mentioned your own national identity, maybe you are feeling threatened by this Welsh resurgence, when for so ling you were comfortable in your own welsh identity?

3% of families? Maybe true for south Wales, north-west and West (i.e west of Swanse and all the way over) have a huge number of welsh families, most of them are in the west and north. Maybe if you went to these places, met the people who live or even go to an eisteddfod you would know this? Instead of basing you views of the welsh language on your own community. Blaenau Gwent is not an example of everywhere in Wales
martyn142

Eddie, just a few points since others are doing a much better job than I could at countering your arguments.

- On what basis do you claim that Welsh is struggling to survive? I can say with certainty it is far, far more widely spoken in our area than it was when I was younger.

- I am sure that much of the output of the BBC would struggle to justify itself on economic grounds. To be fair, I'm assuming you aren't as critical of the BBC as you are of Welsh-language broadcasting, so forgive if I've got it wrong and you'd like to see public service broadcasting generally lose its financial support.

- I lived and worked in Harlech a while back and was made to feel very welcome. Where was it that you found yourself ostricised Eddie?
Eddie legge

our NHS in crises

1)Martyn Ben and others before you start campaigning for bilingual doctors and nurses in Wales NHS please consider the following
Are there really doctor shortages?
Yes. For a few years now there has been a problem with a shortage of some types of doctors in the UK. The worst problems are in Paediatrics; Emergency Medicine (A&E); Surgery; Anaesthetics; Medicine; Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Psychiatry. Not having enough doctors, particularly those in the middle-grade ranks (senior juniors, so to speak); is making it very difficult maintain safe medical rotas. This is making some services vulnerable because without enough doctors they become unsafe. No-one wants to run services which we know are unsafe, and where patients could come to harm as a result.
The doctor shortage issue sometimes reaches a crisis point and forces urgent changes. Neath Port Talbot Hospital is a case in point. We couldn’t recruit enough doctors to keep a safe acute medicine service, and had to then urgently move the service to other hospitals.
It’s not the first time doctor shortages have caused us problems. The Children’s Ward at Singleton Hospital had to merge with the one in Morriston Hospital in 2009 because of a shortage of paediatricians.
In 2008 the Minor Injury Unit at Singleton Hospital kept closing at very short notice because we just didn’t have enough A&E doctors. In the end GPs stepped in, and we also had to reduce the hours it was open.
So doctor shortages have been with us for a while … but the problem is getting worse. Even though we have a higher doctor head-count than in the past, we still don’t have enough to run modern-day NHS services.
Why?
There was a time when doctors worked or were on call for ridiculously long hours, sometimes several days at a time. The European Working Time Directive, which limits the hours people can be in work, has stopped that – and that’s good news. After all, would you really want to be treated by someone who was almost asleep on their feet?
martyn142

I'm not campaiging for anything Eddie. I've just asked you a few questions which, true to form, you've ignored.
cymrocymraeg123

Thanks for posting that as I never knew that was the situation, but I really don't see what that has to do with the thread topic? Are you saying there is a shortage of doctors and also specialists due to recruitment specifications and language policy? Someone from the BMA has recently came out and unbelievably said that care is more important than language, totally missing the point that you need to speak the persons actual language before you can properly care for them, two examples,

1) An elderly patient suffering with alzheimers who has forgotton her second language needs care in Welsh. Not only so she can understand and her needs understood, but also because it causes stress for the family and her when someone is speaking in what is to her a different language

2) You note a shortage of Paediatric doctors. Welsh children brought in Welsh families who do not learn English fluently until roughly the age of 8-11, need paediatric care in Welsh. There is low number of welsh families nationally, but regionally that is not the case. Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Bronglais, the Heath, will serve areas which have a high concentration of welsh speakers

3) Personally if I was told I have a terminal illness in German, who knows how it would feel. Something as serious as that needs to be told to you in your first language for ethical reasons, as well as linguistic reasons

It is more than just a language, it is central to a persons identity and experience of the world. You seem to be suggesting that providing a service in Welsh costs us doctors? Rubbish Eddie to be honest, there are already plenty who are bilingual. This new consultation is about making it easier to access what is already there and making it the norm and also law that these services are provided.

It is good by the way that yo have at least come up with figures (which I don't dispute by the way) as most people who are against rights and standards for Welsh speakers just spout bigoted rubbish based on prejudice.

Services in Welsh are not in any way responsible for what you have listed above, in any way, shape or form. It would be awful that any one could even think that. Neither will providing services in Welsh create or worsen the problems you listed above, and also Welsh speakers pay their fair share of income tax and NI contributions too so there is no reason why we shouldn't have the same level of service as you.

I'm perfectly comfortable with both languages, maybe we need a few more years before Wales grows up and accepts bilingualism as they have in so many other places e.g Canada, Spain, Ireland etc.
Eddie legge

Iam not anti Welsh Language

Ben poems are not so readily accepted on Forum just a few lines  of poem of mine published by United Press in 2004
It was about being born in a valley and so I was told it had minerals then more precious than gold The people who lived there were only a few,Loved and respected by more than they knew  
Home was the valley with love on their minds to those with a thirst to be friendly and kind no hunger for glory riches or wine in heaven they knew one day they would dine
St Peters was where they all went to pray a church in their valley keeping evil away
All was to change as progress declared this beautiful valley was no longer theirs
Those who would come to make Iron and Steel cared little for them or how they would feel a language and culture would soon fade away when compulsory English in schools ruled the day    

Eddie Legge
cymrocymraeg123

That is a stunning poem Eddie I enjoyed reading that. You are clearly very talented at writing poetry, it was very cleverly composed.
SonOfACynic

Language has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to save a life?

Whilst having had my life saved twice by paramedics and doctors in North Wales I didn't think to ask what their first language was.

As it happens it was Welsh and here I am to tell the tale  Very Happy


It sounded like an episode of Postman Pat on CCU (Mrs Goggins) Laughing suffice to say I can't speak Welsh!
cymrocymraeg123

You've toatally missed the point Sonofacynic, we weren't discussing that situation, we were discussing British citizens having the same class service as you in their chosen language for ethical reasons. Slightly mediaeval to think you can just ignore a persons language choice now
SonOfACynic

Apologies, what point have I missed?

Are you going to refuse treatment if said treatment is not in your native tongue?

At no point did I suggest anyone's language choice was ignored, I wasn't personally given a choice but then.........I was dead!!!

Personally speaking I wholeheartedly support bilingualism, after all I chose to make Wales my home.

Out of curiosity though, what happens when/if there aren't enough Welsh speaking doctors to serve all the Welsh speakers?
cymrocymraeg123

First of all, the situation you were in was one particular emergency situation which is just one example of the care given by the NHS. In your situation, yes you are right. I agree with your example.

That, however, is just one example. The thread topic is on Welsh language care in paediatric, palliative, mental health, specialists, GP appointments for example and may also include administration in Welsh, the patient receives correspondence in Welsh. Basically, where a patient is receiving regular care over a period of time then that chosen language is important.

Emergency situations are not really included the ongoing consultation for the reasons you listed above.

When it comes to recruitment people seem to think of the medicine as so complicated and academic that it would be impossible to find a Welsh speaking surgeon, wouldn't it? No, Cardiff actually has a Welsh medium medical degree scheme as does Swansea, we have plenty of Welsh speaking medical staff. As a speech group of half a million, (and that's being cynical) we deserve to be treated as well as the next Welsh person.
SonOfACynic

People should be given the choice, i'm not going to argue that point.

When it comes to recruiting bilingual medical staff though, I personally think there would be a struggle.

Neath Port Talbot can't even recruit doctors let alone bilingual ones!!!
cymrocymraeg123

As I have just explained, it is not a problem to recruit bilingual doctors. Welsh medium university medical education courses exist and churn out doctors and nurses every year, in fact I think you may be surprised at how many do speak Welsh

Part of the process will be creating a register of staff with bilingual skills, where this is not already known. Recruiting them or using what we already have is not a problem.
Saeson

Re: Let truth be told

Eddie legge wrote:
In reply to Bilingualism Wales NHS
Season first; you are correct to assume that Eddie Legge did not go to Eisteddfod
Mentioned, neither did he go to the one Ebbw Vale 2010, By the way  did you know that Blaenau Gwent benefited very little from it and had it not been for our Welsh Assembly who gave 10,000 free tickets for the Sunday opening at Ebbw Vale the Eisteddfod loss would have been much more than the £47, 000 deficit recorded    
When I said where reasonable practicable it was not as you suggest (one of the best get outs yet)
Ben I did not suggest that the Welsh Language isn’t native to where we live in Blaenau Gwent
Population of Aberystruth the area to the north of Abertillery and South of Brynmawr
1801 totalled 805, 1831 it had reached 5,992 the highest percentage in the British Isles
It can be said that the industrial revolution in Wales saved the Welsh Language the Welsh peasantry did not, unlike the Irish need to emigrate to find work –they just had to change counties rather than their countries
It is a frightening truth Ben but it must be told after decades of protest and civil disobedience by Welsh activists the painting of road signs in the sixties and the cottage burning campaigns of Meibion Glyndwr, the Welsh Language is still struggling to survive
Children forced to speak welsh in the school play yard when they go home the Welsh language is left in school, less than 3% of homes in Wales where the Welsh Language is spoken by the whole family
The viewing figures of S4C do not justify its existence Bilingual facilities now in place for Welsh speakers including Banks Shops Supermarkets and cash points are not being used
Before I go let it be known that Eddie Legge would welcome a Welsh speaking family to live and work in my area even next door
Why then should a proud English speaking Welshman not be made welcome to live and work in certain areas of Wales?  

Eddie Legge


Eddie, I`d forgotten the futility of attempting to engage in reasoned debate with you. I remember now, so I won`t bother  Wink

I will say however that you did make me laugh with "......would welcome a Welsh speaking family to live and work in my area even next door". Speaks volumes. For your homework try and replace "Welsh" with another word to make a well-known phrase often used as justification in similar arguments.
SonOfACynic

Quote:
As I have just explained, it is not a problem to recruit bilingual doctors. Welsh medium university medical education courses exist and churn out doctors and nurses every year, in fact I think you may be surprised at how many do speak Welsh


Tell that to Neath Port Talbot then!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps with your knowledge they wouldn't have had to close a 30 bed ward after failing to recruit GLOBALY.


I'm agreeing that the choice should be offered but stand by my statement that in practice it may not be possible.

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