Dyfodol i’r Iaith have criticised S4C’s five-day experiment to set default English subtitles on some of its most popular programmes, and the organisation has called for an emergency meeting of the channel’s Authority to cancel this flawed campaign.
While accepting the importance of Welsh and English subtitles for some viewers, the organisation is very worried that the English language is being imposed upon one of the Welsh language’s key domains. It has also become clear that automatic English subtitles significantly undermine the viewing experience for Welsh speakers and learners.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“It has become clear that this experiment has been a failure from the start. The many comments on social websites, particularly by young people, the audience of the future, is ample proof of this. Another pressing concern is that some announcements following the programmes have been in English, thus changing the channel’s language and undermining its very raison d’être. Those who enjoy and expect the Welsh language are being disappointed, and learners are denied the experience of being immersed in the language.
We would call upon S4C to reconsider this flawed experiment and reinstate and encourage the viewer’s choice in relation to subtitles.”