A new report published by the British Council Wales has found that Wales should better use the appeal of its ‘soft power’, its culture, education and sport sectors, to gain more recognition and influence on the world stage. We also take it that the Welsh language forms a large part of this soft power appeal.
The ‘Wales Soft Power Barometer 2018’ report compares Wales to nine countries and regions across the world and was ranked sixth in the Index overall, behind Quebec, Scotland, Flanders, Catalonia and Hokkaido in Japan but ahead of Corsica, Northern Ireland, Jeju in South Korea and Puerto Rico.
It combines analysis of existing data on each area’s government – the use of digital technology, culture, enterprise, engagement and education with the results of a newly commissioned survey of 5000 people in ten countries asking opinion on the cuisine, friendliness to tourists, luxury brands, political values, liveability, culture and sport.
Digital Technology Performs Best
In the data analysis Wales scored best for its digital technology taking third place behind Scotland and Jeju and for its enterprise sector, and this is no surprise considering the surge of digital and creative technology hubs emerging across Wales including the creative industry centre at the Egin in Carmarthen, the medical digital ecosystem in Swansea and Cardiff along with Cardiff Start, Innovation Point and BeTheSpark. This field of digital technology will be a key tenet of the Welsh language’s future flourishment and Welsh language technology being showcased at the ‘Pioneering Wales: Cymraeg 2050 Technology’ event at Tramshed Tech in Cardiff this week was an indication of the future.
Ap Cwtsh and Duolingo
For example, “Ap Cwtsh” is the title for a mediation and mindfulness app entirely through the medium of Welsh and was one of a number of innovative, short-term projects, funded by the Welsh Government, which aim to increase people’s daily use of the language and with more people taking Welsh lessons on Duolingo than can actually speak Welsh, the opportunity presented by digital platforms to project the Welsh language on a global stage is crystal clear.
A list of Welsh Language Apps can be found here