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back to article Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

A publisher has attacked Amazon over its failure to offer books in Welsh on the Kindle e-reading device. More than 1,500 people have also signed a petition demanding the all-conquering badboy of bookselling change its policy after the imprint attacked it in the Welsh press. Y Lolfa, a small publisher based near Aberystwyth, is …

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FAIL

You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

but welsh is an unrecognized language?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Klingon-Language-Version-English-ebook/dp/B003UHVIOC/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366006736&sr=1-4

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Meh

The welsh lobby

The Welsh lobby generally make more noise than their actual size suggests.

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Re: The welsh lobby

I'm ancient enough to remember when the only thing on BBC telly on (I think it was) Saturday mornings was Welsh language programmes form BBC Cymru . As a Londoner I was irritated and puzzled as to why we were being subjected to this -- later I learned about Political Correctness.

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Meh

Re: The welsh lobby

A BBC programme that wasn't London-centric. That must have been a shock, alright.

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Go

Re: The welsh lobby

"The Welsh lobby generally make more noise than their actual size suggests."

A lot of people simply don't realise that in some parts of Wales, the Llŷn Peninsula for example, not only is the first language Welsh but a good proportion of people on Pen Llŷn have difficulties speaking English.

We have many friends on the peninsula and it's often easier for us to try to converse in Welsh than it is to have a conversation in English because after the third sentence it's back to Welsh anyway.

Sadly a lot of people who visit Wales only look at Cardiff, the South East and visit the English speaking sections. Get off the main roads and into the countryside and you will find that most of the locals speak Welsh first and foremost and, as I have said, have difficulty in speaking English.

I am not knocking those who don't understand this because, quite simply, it's never been brought to their attention. As for these figures about fewer and fewer speaking Welsh there's a lot of suspicion about these numbers but anecdotal evidence is that more are actually speaking Welsh than before For example, there are schools in the South of Wales which are now being built for Welsh speakers and ten years ago this would have been unheard of.

The Welsh language is not a tourist attraction, is certainly not dying but is a real and significan part of the way of life here in Wales and despite these 'facts and figures' issued from HMG (the same body which tried to forceable stamp it out within living memory) is strong and, more important, a core component of the Welsh culture.

And, at the and of the day, if we can stuff written in make believe languages such as Esperanto and Klingon (for Goodness' sake) and in languages from other parts of the globe then why not languages from these islands?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

"...later I learned about Political Correctness..."

Pity you didn't brush up on English Imperialism while you were at it.

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Re: The welsh lobby

"later I learned about Political Correctness."

Same thing happens in Ireland and bits of Scotland.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

When I read the headline I thought it was about Wikipedia. That would actually have been interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

Too true. I read a leader in the Guardian about how the birds were still in hiding while the ones in our garden were busy building nests.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

"that most of the locals speak Welsh first and foremost"

Rubbish. I've just come from living in Porthmadog, definitely Welsh language territory, and the only time you could guarantee the locals would speak Welsh is when an English person walked in the room.

You can always tell the English in Wales, they smile sometimes and don't dress like pig-sty's :)

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Re: The welsh lobby

But if the books aren't available on Kindle, how can people buy them? Same argument as Network Rail not opening disused stations 'because nobody uses them'!

There must be a market for Welsh books as Lolfa have been in business for many years, and still publish and sell many, many Welsh books a year, as do the other Welsh-language publishers.

Costs to Amazon of allowing Welsh (and other minority language) would be peanuts, so why not?

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FAIL

Re: The welsh lobby

"As a Londoner I was irritated and puzzled as to why we were being subjected to this"

Why do so called National programmes rejoice about the great weather when it's only great in London, and put a downer on the 'really bad rain' when it's sunny and nice everywhere else.

Why are London related news items given so much more prominence on National television than those from the North, Scotland, South West, Northern Ireland and Wales?

Why are the National programmes so London centric?

As a non-Londoner, I (and I'm sure many others) are irritated and puzzled as to why we are being subjected to this.

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Re: The welsh lobby

" the only time you could guarantee the locals would speak Welsh is when an English person walked in the room."

That old chestnut.

That's right. All native Welsh speakers choose to speak their second (and less natural) language to each other all the time, only defaulting to their first language to spite the English, who they obviously hate so much.

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Headmaster

Re: The welsh lobby

"That old chestnut."

Indeed, as as soon as they suspect that a Saesneg comes into their shop they quickly tear down the posters of Will Carling and quickly affix a picture of Owain Glyndwr to the walls before turning to the in-shop CD player whipping off the "Land of Hope and Glory" that's been playing and then quickly shoving on BrynTerfel's "Calon Lan".

I see it every time, you know, that I go in for a newspaper or a packet of matches.

One will find that the only time that they will speak Welsh is when they wish to converse with someone who's Welsh. It's odd that someone may wish to use their own language to talk to their fellow man.

I know Porthamdog and the shopkeeps here very well, as I do a lot of the establshments hereabouts, and I know that what the poster said a few posts ago about the shopkeepers is certainly not the norm. The only way that this may possibly have happened is if the poster went into the shop and upset the locals in some way. As an immigrant to the area I can assure you that his experience is certainly not normal.

But this is getting off-topic and, oh by the way, to respond to a third poster; Welsh is not only spoken in Wales. Again, not your fault for not knowing this but is symptomatic of the language issue; over in England a lot of falsehoods are presented as facts and when I see the number of downvotes on these threads it's simply because either people have an anti-Welsh agenda or just are plain ignorant of the facts and not realise how an important subject the language issue is.

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Re: The welsh lobby

And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales... the former got very vocal when Bill Clinton used the verb 'to welsh' to describe a group that had reneged on a deal.

I was amused to visit the Regional Museum in Ica, Peru, to see the name Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins writ large across the entrance.

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Re: The welsh lobby

@Jamie Jones: "As a non-Londoner, I (and I'm sure many others) are irritated and puzzled as to why we are being subjected to this."

Simple answer, more people live in the London Metropolitan Area than live in the whole of Wales, N.Ireland and Scotland combined! You may not like it but that is the hard truth. Both Welsh and Scottish programming actually get undue prominence when you consider population sizes. It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK.

(Note: I'm not suggesting there should be less regional programming, just trying to put things in perspective.)

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Re: The welsh lobby

>Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

You may have missed the point: The publishers want to publish in Welsh, all they need from Amazon is to have a Welsh Language category.

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Re: The welsh lobby

"And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales."

Which can only be a good argument for the inclusion of the Welsh language. After all, there's more English speakers in the US than there are in England.

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Re: The welsh lobby

@hplash: "A BBC programme that wasn't London-centric. That must have been a shock, alright."

Indeed. It's always amused me that even shows such as the BBC News show which is about the worldwide perspective on things happening in the UK is called "Dateline London" and not something like "World View" or "Global Correspondents Report" or something; they have to get London in to the title despite it being really nothing to do with London.

And yes, I know that the international dateline runs through London.

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Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

Click - "Language:English"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

They can't realistically expect Amazon to support every third world country that has some weird and virtually unused legacy dialect. Wales isn't really a proper country anyway. They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!

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Re: The welsh lobby

@badvok 'It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK.'

And of no relevance to the remaining 85% of the population - but it's still forced fed to us on National TV and Radio.

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FAIL

Re: The welsh lobby

I'm sorry but it's absolute bollocks to say that there are any significant number of Welsh people who have difficulty with English. Welsh monolingualism has been rare since the 50s, so any that are left will be very old indeed. The best thing that those who love the Welsh language can do is to let it die with dignity instead of bleating and whinging.

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Happy

Re: The welsh lobby

Well thank you for noticing, we do indeed tend to punch well above our weight!

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Re: The welsh lobby

Pen-y-gors, The cost to Amazon is only small if they don't have to create the e-book and do the proof reading.

All the Welsh publishers need to do, if they want their books to be available for the Kindle, is to supply Amazon with the books in mobi format. Until they do that I can't see Amazon setting up to proof read books in what is a niche language.

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Mushroom

Re: The welsh lobby

@Tel Starr: "And of no relevance to the remaining 85% of the population - but it's still forced fed to us on National TV and Radio."

And if they removed any programming that wasn't relevant to more than 15% of the population there wouldn't be a lot on except a few reality TV shows and maybe the odd soap.

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Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

"They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!"

Could you show me the seat at the United Nations which has the name 'England' on it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

I can show you the one that says United Kingdom.

Is anyone from England bleating that Amazon should support Cornish? No I didn't think so...

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Re: The welsh lobby

"Simple answer, more people live in the London Metropolitan Area than live in the whole of Wales, N.Ireland and Scotland combined! You may not like it but that is the hard truth. Both Welsh and Scottish programming actually get undue prominence when you consider population sizes. It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK."

I lived in London for 10 years, and hardly ever saw programmes focusing on the regions. I agree with your population statistics, but that still means that going by your figures, 85% of the National viewing population are not in London.

I could probably agree that when you count regional TV, we get more than (say) Londoners do of local programmes, but my beef was with the *nationally* orientated programmes that have presenters guffing about what an amazing day it is, then they pan to the weather, and most of the North is covered in snow, and in Wales it's raining :)

"This Morning" etc. is a big culprit of this (not that I ever watch it of course *cough*)

P.S. I'd be perfectly happy to agree with you if you said that the London regions should show more regional programmes - it's the nationals I have the beef with!

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Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

"They can't realistically expect Amazon to support every third world country that has some weird and virtually unused legacy dialect. Wales isn't really a proper country anyway. They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!"

Poor troll is poor.

Wales isn't a country. No one here has said it is. What has that got to do with anything?

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Re: The welsh lobby

Posted Monday 15th April 2013 10:04 GMT BongoJoe

You'll find that Americans believe they speak American

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Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

Of course you can get the bible in Klingon. There is a whole empire of Klingons in this quadrant. Who ever heard of the Mighty Welsh Empire?

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Headmaster

Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

WEeeellll,

Wales *is* a country, but relevant to this conversation RE: the U.N., it is *not* an independent sovereign nation.

</pedant>

:-D

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Holmes

Re: The welsh lobby

my beef was with the *nationally* orientated programmes that have presenters guffing about what an amazing day it is, then they pan to the weather, and most of the North is covered in snow, and in Wales it's raining :)

No shit? Raining? In Wales? Remarkable.

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Trollface

Re: The welsh lobby

"A lot of people simply don't realise that in some parts of ... not only is the first language ... but a good proportion of people ... have difficulties speaking English." ... I can think of many places in England where the same is true today (including anyone under the age of 17!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

When I lived there, it rained more in Essex than in North Wales, by a very large margin.

When Essex was knee deep in snow I was eating fish n chips on blackrock sands enjoying a bit of (cool admittedly) sunshine.

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Re: The welsh lobby

"For example, there are schools in the South of Wales which are now being built for Welsh speakers and ten years ago this would have been unheard of."

And that is a good thing? When you have English speaking parents sending their kids to these new schools, lured in by "new and shiny" facilities only to sit back and watch their children regress to cromagnon beasts who cannot converse in either language effectively. It is a stupid and puerile political agenda to push the Welsh language down our throats which ultimately will handicap the kids going to school.

There should be an entry requirement that these schools are built in areas where there is a large population where Welsh is the first language of at least one member of the household. And furthermore, entry denied to those who do not have at least one parent speaking fluent Welsh.

If this was the case, you would notice a distinct reduction in the numbers of Welsh Schools being built on the M4 corridor. I am not saying they should not be built, but built in appropriate places according to legitimate business cases on their efficacy.

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WTF?

Re: The welsh lobby

> And that is a good thing? When you have English speaking parents sending their kids to these new schools, lured in by "new and shiny" facilities only to sit back and watch their children regress to cromagnon beasts who cannot converse in either language effectively.

So are you suggesting that English students learning other languages like French, German or Spanish in school will end up backwards because they should stick with the one "true" language of English? What kind of bollocks argument is that? The Welsh-speaking schools are there for parents that want their children to experience the Welsh language as well as English. It's their choice.

> It is a stupid and puerile political agenda to push the Welsh language down our throats which ultimately will handicap the kids going to school.

Who's pushing it down your throat? Is there something innately backwards about the Welsh language that regressing children somehow?

Seriously, there is an incredible amount of bizarre ire about a subject that effects practically no-one commenting in the forum. The news is some people want to learn their native language. It's really not that weird or strange.

BTW, to put right some of the bizarre facts here:

1) There are (and always have been) primarily Welsh speakers in Wales. This is not new. The language is seeing a resurgence after years of attempts to systematically eradicate the language by the English parliament.

2) The fact that you can drive there and there's no border to speak of, Wales is an entirely different country. They have different customs, language and history. You might just as well tell the French that they should speak English, love the Queen and not eat those snails for all the sense it makes.

Oh and Amazon: add the language to that drop-down selection box FFS.

In Jobs' words: Not that big a deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

Yes, I wasn't clear. If the sales of print books in Welsh were sufficient, surely Amazon would want to flog E-books? I agree with the people who think Amazon is being annoying and I hope the EU has a word with them, but Welsh speakers do need to show the market exists.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

I am surprised that Cameron hasn't suggested that, far from Argentina getting the Falklands, Wales should get Patagonia back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The welsh lobby

Remember when the Public schools taught Latin? 'Cro-Magnon beasts ' is a bit harsh, the people who produced Lascaux and Altamira shouldn't be compared to the Government Front Bench. But learning Latin did no harm.

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Megaphone

Re: The welsh lobby

@skelband

Sounds like the same hogwash bandied about in the US by opponents of any sort of bilingual/spanish-oriented instruction in public schools. In the end, it's a culture war.

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Re: The welsh lobby

By the same token, and based on percentages of speakers, the best thing the English could do is drop that impeding language called English, and all go and learn American, Simply isn't global any more, to be forced to learn a backward language when a new superset of it (American) exists.

Get used to it, other countries exist apart from England, and the dream of English imperialism is dead. Monoglot or bilingual, why should we let our language die because it might offend the English? Many English people can speak French, but do we suggest that they stop speaking English because they can speak something else? No. Let people speak what language they are comfortable speaking (or in this case reading!)

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Re: I know that the international dateline runs through London

The Greenwich Meridian passes through London, the International Date Line runs down the middle of the Pacific.

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