What is Cymdeithas yr Iaith?

We are a group of people who campaign for the Welsh language and communities in Wales, and recognise that the campaign for Wales' unique language is part of a wider world-wide struggle for minority rights and freedoms.

  • Have you ever experienced difficulty when trying to get information or a service in Welsh?
  • Been treated badly for trying to speak Welsh?
  • Had trouble getting Welsh medium education for your children?

Cymdeithas is a group of people who seek equality of access to the Welsh language and campaign positively in a non-violent way for the rights of people in Wales to use the language in every aspect of everyday life.

History

In 1962, a leading academic argued there had to be radical change in order to save the Welsh language; thousands of young people responded to the call. For 50 years Cymdeithas yr Iaith have been leading the way to promote and protect the Welsh language.

  • 1960's - Bilingual Road Signs
  • 1970's - Welsh language TV channel campaign
  • 1982 – S4C established, the world's only Welsh Language TV channel
  • 1980's - Campaign for a Property Act to help sustain Welsh speaking communities
  • 1993 - Welsh Language Act 1993, public bodies required to offer limited Welsh language services
  • 2000's - Campaign for New Welsh Language Act; Campaign to keep local schools
  • 2010 - Official Status for the Language under the Welsh Language Measure
  • 2011 - Welsh-medium higher education college ‘Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol' established

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has progressive policies in four main areas designed to promote the language:

Language Rights

Although the Welsh language is an official language, the 2011 Welsh Language Measure gives more rights to big companies not to conform than it does to the people of Wales to use the language. We will continue to campaign for a strong Welsh language measure that includes rights for people to use Welsh in every aspect of their lives.

Education

We believe that the Welsh language is a necessary skill for every child and that everyone should be entitled to local Welsh medium education, and full Welsh language provision in colleges, universities and beyond. Furthermore the education system should educate young people on political procedures and systems, and how to make a difference.

Sustainable Communities

The housing market is often out of reach for local people. The planning system should reflect and work for the benefit of the community by assessing local housing needs, ensure sufficient affordable homes to buy and rent, and ensure help for first time buyers and local people.

Media

Cymdeithas yr Iaith believes media services in Welsh are essential for a prosperous future for the language. In order to give credibility to the language and confidence to its speakers we campaign for a strong Welsh language presence on local radio and ensuring independence and sufficient funding for our Welsh language TV channel.

But is the Welsh Language safe now?

While the number of people able to speak the language has risen slightly, many factors such globalisation a severe decline in the number of Welsh language communities still threaten the language. For it to be a living language we have to use it in all aspects of life - as the natural language of our communities, on the Internet, in the shop, the medium of our education, radio and television.

But I'm not one for protesting...!

What's the alternative – accept everything without question? How will that ensure the future of our communities, our country and the language?

The essence of Cymdeithas is found in its non-violent direct action; this could mean anything from writing a letter about the lack of a Welsh language service or collecting names on a petition to protesting and even painting slogans. Our emphasis is put on encouraging and supporting our members to contribute and develop their given skills for the benefit of their community. We need people who can write, design, communicate, create things, people with expertise in education, law, entertainment, technology, really, whatever your talents, there's room for you to help.

What can I do?

Join us!

Join a Cell. A Cell is a local branch of Cymdeithas. There are Cells all over Wales and you could start a Cell in your area. You only need a few people and your local officer can help. (What's happening where i live?)

Remember, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg is a community of people, that means you! Together we can lead the way to ensure a future for the Welsh language. (Contact us)

Contact us for more information on our campaigns, and how you can be part of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

Join the revolution!

01970 624501 / swyddfa@cymdeithas.org.