Panic! Do I need a courtesy flag for Wales?

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So if you decide to set up a business in a country where the first language is not one you speak, it might be an idea to learn it, no?

The first language of this country, the UK , is English. But that really isnt the point. Its a management matter in the case quoted and something management are perfectly entitled to insist on in their workplace.

For example, in an Italian restaurant in the UK they might well insist on speaking Italian only in the kitchen as a practical matter.


What about "because it's their first language" or "because it's how they communicate at other times" or "because it's a Welsh-speaking area"? Mind you, the boss doesn't exactly sound worthy of any respect.

If you can speak a language and choose not to despite one of your number then not being able to join in / understand you, then at best it's bl**dy bad manners and at worst its deliberately being difficult. I suppose its up to you if you decide to do so socially, but its a company policy issue if you try to do it at work.
 

Ubergeekian

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If you can speak a language and choose not to despite one of your number then not being able to join in / understand you, then at best it's bl**dy bad manners and at worst its deliberately being difficult. I suppose its up to you if you decide to do so socially, but its a company policy issue if you try to do it at work.

If the kitchen staff were refusing to speak to the chef in English then I would agree - but it seems that the management want to stop them from using their first language between themselves ("Table Four wants some more bread" "OK, I'll take it") which is at best tactless and at worst grossly insulting - particularly if the kitchen has hitherto been Welsh-speaking. Which raises a secondary question of the sense of employing a monoglot English chef in a Welsh speaking area.

I suspect that there is more to it than meets the newspaper article, and that the kitchen in question is not a very happy place. In view of the political sensitivities around Welsh, though, the proposed "solution" appears very unwise.
 

maxi77

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The first language of this country, the UK , is English. But that really isnt the point. Its a management matter in the case quoted and something management are perfectly entitled to insist on in their workplace.

.

A persons first language is not necesarily the national language for a variety of reasons, you shoukld not confuse the two completely different things. Yes the management may insist on the use of a particular language, though trying to enforce such a requirement may alienate both staff and customers and not be enforcable in employment law.

This does sound like a clash of personaities between chef and staff, with the management for his/her own reasons backing the chef. One suspects it will end in tears
 

pikeyrm

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Being polite never was, or will be, a "requirement". But people do it because they are polite. Perhaps you will never understand . . . :confused:

I do understand and that is why i learnt Welsh for this reason.
I am a firm believer of taking other peoples culture and way of life into consideration if it is reciprocated but it is my opinion that people want to be under the Union Flag when it is in their favour but want other to treat them as individual.
 
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A persons first language is not necesarily the national language for a variety of reasons, you shoukld not confuse the two completely different things. Yes the management may insist on the use of a particular language, though trying to enforce such a requirement may alienate both staff and customers and not be enforcable in employment law.

This does sound like a clash of personaities between chef and staff, with the management for his/her own reasons backing the chef. One suspects it will end in tears

You are probably right Maxi. But can you imagine what you would feel if you were the boss and your staff were chatting away and laughing in a language you didnt speak. All to easy to completely undermine someone in a way he cannot respond to.
 

Kurrawong_Kid

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I have never experienced any animosity from the Welsh and I have no problem with them speaking their own language.
SWMBO has learnt a few useful phrases and it has always been well received when she's used them.
I don't fly a Welsh dragon courtesy flag, but I think I might get one now.
We kept one of our boats in Pwllheli for 10 years (on the trots, before the marina), and found nothing but kindness. I tried to learn a bit of Welsh, but it is difficult. Generally speaking (excuse the pun!) the locals speak Welsh as a matter of course in their everyday life and some of the elders could not at that time read English. A worker at Firmhelm thanked me for translating the instructions on a new brew from International Paints which he had not had to apply before. See no reason at all why they shouldn't try to keep their culture and language.
As a Brummie I get p**ss*d off at the toffee nosed snobs who decry the Brummie and Black Country (not the same incidentally) accents and yet don't realise that the latter accent is purported to be the nearest still surviving to old english, which all would have spoken at one time.
 

Cymrogwyllt

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We kept one of our boats in Pwllheli for 10 years (on the trots, before the marina), and found nothing but kindness. I tried to learn a bit of Welsh, but it is difficult. Generally speaking (excuse the pun!) the locals speak Welsh as a matter of course in their everyday life and some of the elders could not at that time read English. A worker at Firmhelm thanked me for translating the instructions on a new brew from International Paints which he had not had to apply before. See no reason at all why they shouldn't try to keep their culture and language.
As a Brummie I get p**ss*d off at the toffee nosed snobs who decry the Brummie and Black Country (not the same incidentally) accents and yet don't realise that the latter accent is purported to be the nearest still surviving to old english, which all would have spoken at one time.



I'm sure you found that making an effort was welcomed. I got a similar reaction in Paris a few years ago. I had heard about the reputed reaction of Parisiens to foreigners. I'd studied French at 'O' level (not interested so my 'glorious failure' Four languages was one too many) thirty years earlier. I made the effort to use my schoolboy French every time there. In all but one case I found the locals remote until I tried to use French. Following my efforts the reaction was very positive and much help was given. The only exception was a surly looking functionary selling carnet's at Gare du Nord. He seemed to delight in stating the price at triple speed. I just gave him a large note despite having the exact on me.

I have a niece whe speaks Greek with her mother, Welsh with her father and english when she has to. Mother does not speak Welsh much, bro speaks no greek. Mix and match. No prob.

Poor girl was confused as a five year old when friends from Germany called and the conversation was in German. Wife and bro are fluent in German:D Even at five three is ok but a fourth is a bit much;)


We have a joke here. Rough translation:

What do you call someone who speaaks namy languages? Polyglot

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual


What do you call someone who will only speak one language? english
 

maxi77

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You are probably right Maxi. But can you imagine what you would feel if you were the boss and your staff were chatting away and laughing in a language you didnt speak. All to easy to completely undermine someone in a way he cannot respond to.

On the other hand I have worked in a community where I was the incomer, and I made my choice to respect them. I also saw just how easy it was for incomers to rub the locals up the wrong way, simply by not thinkng. It can be quite surprising to see just how many 'white settlers' there are in rural UK.
 
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We have a joke here. Rough translation:

What do you call someone who speaaks namy languages? Polyglot

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual


What do you call someone who will only speak one language? english

That must be Welsh humour. Bet that had them falling in the (chapel) aisles.:)


P.S. I don't come across much of this spikey welsh nationalism down here in south wales. Is it just a gog problem?

PPS Here's something to cheer you up.
 
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Ru88ell

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As per the OP, I took my Cape Cutter to Porthmadog from Good Friday until the Royal Wedding Friday. The weather was superb, and the scenery to beat any anywhere. We sailed to Pwllheli, Shell Island and Criccieth.

I'll do a proper video when I have time, but here is a sample of the sailing there...

http://youtu.be/Rz0AL2OELa8
 

Heckler

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That must be Welsh humour. Bet that had them falling in the (chapel) aisles.:)


P.S. I don't come across much of this spikey welsh nationalism down here in south wales. Is it just a gog problem?

PPS Here's something to cheer you up.
As a county councillor, I was told by a Welsh language supporting officer that 20% of the population of Wales was first language Welsh speakers and that in Denbighshire the figure was 22%. I set up a call centre as first point of contact for residents. The first answer message was "Push one for Welsh, two for English" (In Welsh as the first part)
We found out that just 8% of callers elected to speak Welsh. A very unscientific stat gatherer but I suspect a true one. Also my suspicions are that that figure is true across all of Wales as an average.
Stu
 

Searush

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As a county councillor, I was told by a Welsh language supporting officer that 20% of the population of Wales was first language Welsh speakers and that in Denbighshire the figure was 22%. I set up a call centre as first point of contact for residents. The first answer message was "Push one for Welsh, two for English" (In Welsh as the first part)
We found out that just 8% of callers elected to speak Welsh. A very unscientific stat gatherer but I suspect a true one. Also my suspicions are that that figure is true across all of Wales as an average.
Stu

Maybe the Welsh ones don't want to communicate with their invaders? :D
 

WoodyP

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Many years ago ( 39 to be precise) I worked for auctioneers in the cattle market at Market Harborough. The Welland Valley was excellent grazing and the Welsh Hill farmers came to take grazing land to fatten their Welsh Black cattle for the summer.

All the Welsh farmers I met changed from Welsh to speaking English when we joined them, rather than the image given of the other way round. Gentlemen to a man.

As part of the UK, I wouldn't expect to have to wear a courtesy flag, but would be happy to do so out of friendship.

Long live the Union.
 

Searush

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Im Welsh, the vast majority of councillors were Welsh, the vast majority of the officers were local Welsh!
Stu

Ahh, yes, but the Council/ Government concept is an ENGLISH one designed to keep the local population under control . . . You are just a turncoat lackey local aren't you? :D

In Ireland, even after 70 odd years of home rule, many still do not see it as being in their own interest to follow government laws/ rules. It's a throw back to being ruled by foreigners.
 

Alfie168

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In days long gone I spent some time round Pwllheli as my then girlfriends parents lived in a village about four miles away. They were incomers though her dad was/is from S.Wales. I have to say that I never experienced any nastiness at all and never have in nearly 35 years. We sometimes were invited round for drinks at houses where Welsh was very much first language, and at one party there was indeed a rabid Welsh nationalist who was quite anti English present. His name was Idris and our hosts just said to us "Ignore Idris he refuses to speak any English as he has a bee in his bonnet. He's not a bad bloke really so just ignore him. We've told him to behave"

I support the use of the Welsh language as its a very rich poetic language that sheds light on a culture in dnager of being lost. I only know about ten words of Welsh offhand so perhaps I should buy a little Welsh handbook and learn a few more.

I find Welsh people courteous and try and repay that courtesy. I am sure there are a few yahoos out there, but everywhere has them up to a point. I suppose the point of a courtesy flag is just that, to show a small courtesy.

Tim
 
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