The Telegraph recently published an article critiquing British taxpayer money being spent on publishing books in the Welsh language. According to the Telegraph

In the past five years the Welsh Books Council and Literature Wales have received more than £42m from the Welsh Assembly and Arts Council Wales, which in turn receive their funding from Westminster.

Last year the Welsh Books Council received £7.6m of taxpayers’ money out of which £1,853,500 went towards the publishing of Welsh language books. The journalist is aghast at this sum of money being spent because of dismal sales when the books are published. Unfortunately the amount of people that can speak Welsh is declining. According to the latest census only 562,016 people in Wales can speak the native language, roughly 19% of the population. It is hardly surprising given this information that Welsh language book sales are so dismal, as the market is small and diminishing. Where does this leave Welsh? Should we allow it’s decline and eventual extinction or should we treat it like we treat the panda and throw money at it to ensure its survival?

I attended school in Wales and I was required to learn Welsh until the age of 16. The general consensus amongst my peers was that Welsh was a dead language and therefore it was pointless to learn. Much better to spend time on German and French which could help us in the future. I now regret this way of thinking and I regret after countless hours of Welsh lessons being able to say only a handful of phrases in Welsh. Welsh predates English in Britain and has a long and complicated history. I’m of the opinion that if a species like the panda is in need of assistance because its numbers are depleting we need to spend more not less. Is this not the same for languages? The Telegraph appears to believe not, but if schemes like these fall victim to austerity cuts it’s quite likely Welsh will go the way of the dodo.

via: The Telegraph