I’ve heard the term ‘Western Fail’ attached to the Welsh newspaper of a similar-sounding name many times, but the following article is the most prominent sign that the Western Mail really needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror…. or at least spend a few extra seconds at the proof-reading stage of publication:
Image borrowed from @WelshNotBritish
Now I’m fully aware that the writers down in the Western Mail meant that Jamie Roberts’ Welsh education did not hinder him in any way in gaining a doctorate in medicine through the medium of his second language, but surely the newspaper must now admit that their wording in this particular article was highly detrimental to the Welsh language!?!
It’s been no longer than a fortnight since I posted this blog regarding the type of language employed by journalists etc when discussing the Welsh language. I don’t believe there are too many who would outwardly and meaningfully set out to cause detriment to our ancient linguistic inheritance, but it is sublties like these that ensure our language remains on the sidelines of being taken seriously.
It may well have even become a cliché by now, but I am of firm belief that the powers of multilingualism far outweigh its hindrances (of which there are surely none).
I mean, these guys (and many, many more) did alright for themselves:
And look, #DespiteBeingTaughtInWelsh, I can still write a blog.
The Western Mail has since changed the article’s content to now say:
She goes to see Wales rugby star Jamie Roberts, who was taught in Welsh until he was 18 and is now a qualified doctor who is currently studying for his Master in Science at Queens’ College, Cambridge.
Their official apology reads:
We sincerely apologise, of course, for unintended offence caused by the use of the word ‘despite’ in the Western Mail version of this article and in an earlier online version. The context of the piece is about the merits of Welsh medium education, which we love and admire.
The reporter’s intention was to make the point that having to or choosing to study later in English at university did not create a disadvantage for a pupil taught in the Welsh language. Far from it, in fact. We are mortified that a different view has come across.