According to Dyfodol i’r Iaith, cafes, shops, pubs and centres need to demonstrate clearly that people are welcome to use the Welsh language over the counter. This would give Welsh speakers confidence to use their language.
The organisation wants the Welsh Government to introduce attractive window signage for businesses who welcome the use of Welsh.
If the Welsh Government is to create a million Welsh speakers by the middle of the century, more people must be encouraged to speak it, and in as many different informal situations as possible. This lies at the Centre of Dyfodol i’r Iaith’s vision, and the organisation is convinced that private businesses and services have a key role to play in this.
This is the principle behind Dyfodol’s call for a voluntary system which would outline businesses’ ability and willingness to provide a Welsh language service for its customers. Such a system could be based upon arrangements that are already widely familiar to all; food hygiene standard scores, for example, or CAMRA’s good beer guide. Ceredigion has already introduced certificates to organisations who promote the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“Cafes, shops, pubs and a host of other private sector services provide excellent opportunities to use the Welsh language in a community setting. Such a scoring system would provide businesses with an opportunity to display the fact that the Welsh language is part of their customer service ethos. It would also provide an incentive to raise the profile of the Welsh language within the workplace, and to appreciate and encourage staff language skills.
Over time, and backed up by a far-reaching campaign by the Welsh Government to raise language awareness, we would foresee that this system would provide an easily recognisable quality mark, and one that would be attractive to the businesses themselves, as well as their customers.