A Free Welsh translation service for small businesses is an important step in ‘normalising’ the Welsh language, Llanelli AM Lee Waters has said.

The plans to establish a ‘Contact Point’ to help people access relevant information in Welsh, including short translations for small businesses, has been announced by the Welsh Government.

The scheme comes as part of a £7 million total investment in Welsh language promotion this year in line with the Welsh Labour Government’s commitment to achieve 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Lee Waters is a member of the Assembly’s Culture Welsh Language committee and is preparing a report on how the Government can best achieve its commitment to create a Million Welsh speakers. He said: “Increasing the visibility of the language is a really important part of encouraging its use as a ‘normal’ everyday language. We know lots of people have some level of Welsh but too few are using it. Part of growing the language is overcoming the social barriers we have created which are discouraging the use of Welsh”.

“All too often, the Welsh language is viewed as the preserve of the public sector. If we are to create one million Welsh speakers by 2050, that has to fundamentally change. Providing a simple free translation facility to small businesses is a positive step towards achieving this”, Lee added.

Other initiatives in 2017-18 include creating and expanding national promotion campaigns, increasing cooperation between staff who work in the language planning field and offering tailored practical support to businesses who use the Welsh language.

Alun Davies AM, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language, said: “Promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language are key elements towards creating one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

“This investment is an opportunity for us to enhance the work which is already ongoing, and to enable us to experiment and innovate with new methods.

“The work of drafting our overall, long term strategy to realise our vision is ongoing and our intention is to publish it in the summer”, the Minister added.

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