Welsh: the Final Frontier?

Welsh – the Final Frontier?

In a recent episode of Star Trek Discovery, a glitch in the ship’s systems meant that the universal translator failed, and a myriad different languages were heard on the bridge. For one blissful moment, one of those languages was Welsh.

It was a week when a commentator on social media loudly proclaimed the pointlessness of the Welsh language. The poll they used to prove their point backfired spectacularly, however.

Whoops.

It was therefore an amazing moment to hear one of the characters exclaim in Welsh: “Captain Pike; the sphere answered our hail. And then this happened!”.

Local connections

Interestingly Herb Solow, who commissioned the original Star Trek, once lived in Lampeter, and his wife lectured at the town’s university. Wales is in the DNA of the sci-fi classic.

How does this translate to your business? Using Welsh can help to create a better relationship between your company and your customers, and help to attract new clients from within Welsh-speaking communities. It enhances appreciation from your client base.

In a Business Wales blog, it is stated that over 80% of Welsh speakers more likely to choose a business that uses the language, and over 80% of non-Welsh speakers proud of the language, it is fast becoming an important tool for businesses in Wales.

The quality of that language provision is also important; substandard communication will just frustrate and annoy your customers.

Klingons on the starboard bow

Of course, it goes both ways. Wales also has to be prepared to communicate in other languages. In 2015, a request for information about UFO sightings above Cardiff International Airport since it’s takeover by the Welsh Government received the reply: “Jang vIDa je due luq. ‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH-devolved qaS.” It’s Klingon, of course, and it’s understood to mean: “The minister will reply in due course. However, this is a non-devolved matter.”

So the point of all this? Welsh is very far away from being a dead or dying language; it’s a language of the 23rd century, a language of the future; and businesses would do well to engage in that future now, and boldly go where even now, only a few businesses have gone before.

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