They already have the Welsh text
"Sorry, I'm out of the office"
Llanelli MP Nia Griffiths has called for the national identity card to include Welsh text. New technologies provide many ways to make services bilingual, said the Labour MP on 3 February 2009, and using Welsh on identity cards would send a clear message that the language has equal validity with English. A supporter of …
I was going to post a pithy comment about how Welsh doesn't have equal validity with English (and I'm a Welshman and proud!)
Then I saw this:
"The government's plan is for the cards to contain only English and French, however."
If we're having French on the cards, I damn well want Welsh on it. Take the English (or the French, preferably!) off it if needs be. It's not as if we're going to wonder what bits of it say.
My driving licence is bilingual. My ID card (that I'm not going to get, but that's a different rant) should be too. And with British languages, not foreign, thanks.
How many people will suddenly *only* speak Welsh, no matter where in the UK they live?
Seriously, how many people in the UK speak Welsh but not English? I can't imagine the number is that high.
(but it's another obstacle towards the ID Card. That has to be A Good Thing, regardless of the intention....)
If the ID card gets Welsh language on it then we should also include Gaelic. While we're at it, let's make ID cards A4 in size so that we can include wording for every language used by British citizens.
Someone thwack the bint with a large stick until she realises some sense. I'm Scottish and proud of it - I love my language just as she appears to love hers. Regardless of national pride, including just one addiitional language on ID cards is asking for trouble.
"...using Welsh on identity cards would send a clear message that the language has equal validity with English. "
Rather funny that..surely that's not the case!? What a waste of extra ink! I suppose we should stick Gaelic as well, as well as all of the other UK national languages (if there are any others, that is) ?
Before long we'll need to have a Gaelic version as well- and one in Cornish. By the time they've finished it'll be the size of a small paperback book. I'd also suggest Huttese or a similar language as Jedi is one of the larger religions in this country.
Sod the Frogs, just go for an English-only version. Welsh has an equal validity to English, fair enough. And I understand some welsh speakers don't speak english. But surely both of them could learn? I mean it IS the official language of the UK and the widest-spoken language in the world.
Saying that, I would - if they had the facility to do this- accept a choice of langauges being available when you get the card. English as a set one, French as another set one as its also pretty widely spoken.
Choice of third- maybe Spanish or something similar if you've got family there- or portugal/brazil/mexico/etc. Or Welsh if you're Welsh. Huttese if you're Jedi.
Wales isn't even a country (it's a Principality before anyone queries it), so why should it get any special treatment? I've lived there and it's mainly a depressing place. I hope they don't want the ID cards to be the size of credit cards, as there's only so much readable text you can fit in a small area (lets wait for the disability PC bunch to say that all text must be at least size 16 font for the visually impared). Also, if the wording it's going to truely represent the Welsh language, the card should be covered in phlegm!
Currently sitting back and waiting for my house to be fire bombed!
Do the Welsh even want ID cards? We certainly don't. Even if they do, how big would they like these cards to be? They will already contain English and French. Add Welsh and suddenly the scots insist on Gaelic, the large chinese population insist on Chinese to be added, with the large asian population why not Urdu and Punjabi, why not any of the hundreds of African languages?
Pretty soon the 'card' is as large as a broadsheet newspaper with the same info repeated over and over again. If it was stored digitally instead of being printed on it then you could have every language in the world, but any official who wanted to see your card would have to ensure they had the correct reading equipment on them or else it is rendered useless at ID'ing anyone.
As if the IT aspects of the ID card plan weren't already a lot of badly thought out shite. They haven't thought any of it through at all, have they?
French is a language on the card? How strange. Maybe we're going to hire a lot of French police to help run the scheme.
I'd like to be the first to welcome our new garlic fixated overlords.
Just a couple of points :
Wales is no more a country that Yorkshire.
Wales can no more afford to apply its regional accent on the rest of the country than can Norfolk.
The Welsh assembly is just a county council and shoud not be getting ideas above its station.
Three pretty sounds reaspons for telling them to %$"%£"$%^! off.
I would put serious money on it that there are more British citizens speaking Urdu as their first language than Welsh - should we put that on as well?
As for French - why?
If it needs to be multilingual then it should be in Spanish not French. The French are always just desperate to persuade someone to speak it.
Either way I don't much care what goes on it - I have no intention of carrying one whatever language it's in.
Discard all human readable text. Just stick on a photo, a chip, and a nice large 2D barcode :)
The computers at places the card is needed should be able to translate it into whatever language the operator uses.
Or, if you must have human readable text, name & relevant numbers / dates.
Wherever the dates are placed on the card, most people should be able to work out the earliest of the three is the holder's DOB, the latest date the "Valid to" date, and the one in between the "Valid from" date.
Alternatively, use pictograms for labels - that'll make 'em readable by those with learning difficulties.
And if you want to increase popularity, use some of the space saved to allow the holder to specify an addition graphic from a range, e.g. a flag of the bit of the world they identify with most. After all, if credit card companies think giving the user a choice of 8 different card designs will encourage them to take up the offer of their brand's card, surely the government could use the same principle for ID cards...
Alternatively, make them round, shiny and black/white so they have street cred (like practically anything from Apple...)
Or even make the ID card number part of the cryptographic key for DRM / WGA, so you can't buy any digital music / M$ products without one...
...its one of the "official" EU languages.
EU missives and documents are always produced in both English and French.
French has long been considered the "language of Diplomacy" (No I don't get it either but hey ho) which is why your current passport has French on it.
Anywho.... re welsh on an ID card, they can stick what they like on it as far as I'm concerned cos I ain't having one of the pesky ice scrapers....
"Yes. We should make many, many arcane demands for ID cards and insist we won't accept them unless they are made suitable for the Welsh, the colour-blind and the synaesthetic alike. Maybe they'll eventually scrap them on the basis that they can't afford that much card."
Aha, loathe as I am to nit-pick, your error there is that THEY will be paying for the card. Of course, WE will be paying for it. And axiomatic in Government is that the public's pockets are bottomless and can be picked with impunity. So yes, we'll get A2-sized cards with Welsh, Urdu, Kad'k and probably even Klingon on them.. but will be voluntarily compulsorily charged a privacy-enhancing £500 each for them. It's for your own good, Citizens!
(can we have a "down with the government" icon, please?)
Surely the choice of languages used on the card is nothing to do with what the individual prefers, but decided by the the requirements of those in authority that are going to need to access it? English and French, because the vast majority of European authorities will speak one or the other.
Why on earth would an identity card need to be a source of national pride and personal self-expression?
How thin could they make a functioning, credit-card sized, e-ink-style display?
Since they're already talking about having biometrics on a chip on the card, they could probably code in any number of languages for the small amount of text that they'd need for the "Name:", "DOB:", etc. descriptor fields and make the language displayed user-selectable.
...Plus, since the display manufacturers would clearly have to ramp up production to meet the eager public's insatiable demand (Excuse me while I remove my tongue from my cheek...!) for these truly "smart" cards , it should bring their price down -- making e-book readers, sub-notebook-sized e-notebooks, e-journals, and e-sketchbooks mass-market commodity items!
...Well... unless you don't want national ID cards, of course. Then, you're just screwed.
Instead of this, how about the 20 people in Wales who can only speak Welsh actually get off their arses and learn the fucking national language.
The immediate advantage of this is that those people will suddenly be able to watch something other than S4C of an evening.
The longer-term advantage is that the Welsh National Assembly can save millions of pounds in completely wasted money every year translating every single thing into a language that has no more modern validity than Latin.
The cards could be issued with any language on them. Let people request what they want at the time of issue/application.
But, if you are stopped by the police, customs, immigration, mothers against normal people activists, RSPCA, etc., your interview must be conducted in the language that the card is printed in. If this means that the card holder has to wait hours and hours while an interpreter is found, so be it.
An excellent idea, but I fear it is too elegant for the brainless drones in Wacky's hive. I expect they are hoping to include an inspiring national motto on the card, so there just *has* to be some text there, darling.
"Or, if you must have human readable text, name & relevant numbers / dates."
Those dates would be in ISO format, of course, and the name would be in whatever script was appropriate. (I'm sure there are thousands of people in the UK who resent having to butcher their name into Latin script.)
How to defeat Wakki Jakki's stupider ideas: she and those around her seem to be keen on every cockamamie bit of PC nonsense they run across. From now on, whenever the Home Office announces some braindead initiative or plan (is there any other sort?), the assembled horde should start picking it apart because it doesn't support minority langues, isn't disabled-friendly ("My auntie has no fingers; ID cards need to have a string she can pull with her teeth. Whassa matter, you have something agin' the disabled, dear Jackie?"), isn't in Braille, is subtly homophobic (the mere accusation without specifics should be good for a Chinese firedrill or two at Whitehall), insults vegans, isn't safe for children, emits evil chemical fumes, has too large a carbon footprint, panders to pedos, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum nauseamque.
Smiley icon will have to substitute for "evil grin".
Actually does anyone know what the OFFICIAL languages of the UK are?
Well... in Scotland, its English and Gaelic
in Wales, its Welsh and English
in England, well, actually its not set in law...
I'm all for regional ID cards, especially as those for about 50,000,000 of the population will be blank...or has Fuhrer Jaqui not realised this...given that she's not realised many things....?
Maybe the ID cards in English could be printed in Normal French and Danish?
And for all those moaning about Welsh and Gaelic etc...the French are bloody good at protecting their own culture and language, SO WHY DON'T WE??!!! Oh year, forgot, culture in the UK is binge drinking, Al Qaeda paedophiles and believing the Daily Mail... :)
Paris...well I'm sure she'd like a cunning linguist...sorry, that was too easy!
Ah, yes. The purity of English.
A concept with which I'm well acquainted.
"The problem with defending the purity of the English Language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." -- James D. Nicoll
We could always adopt Strine, though I'm sure there are those who would prefer all official business to be conducted in Fraffly.
Ar ôl darllen y holl rwtsh gan ein ffrindiau dros Clawdd Offa yma, yr unig peth rydw i am ddweud yw - RHYDDID I GYMRU - a chyn gynted ag sy'n bosib! Wedyn wrth gwrs, mae'r holl cwestiwn o ba iaith i roi ar gardiau hunaniaeth Cymreig yn gwbl academaidd oherwydd ni fydd cardiau hunaniaeth yng Nghymru Rhydd beth bynnag!
There's no need for any text on the ID card - it just needs a set of coloured shapes.
In fact the last attempt to unify europe even created a nice table of them.
Unfortunately green triangle is already used (habitual criminal) - so we need a new one for 'person who put their recycling out on the wrong day'
Everyone has the right to be governed in the language they speak- I think that's been a tenet of English law for about 600 years now...
Saying that a language is dead over and over again doesn't make it so- Welsh is still a living language and for a lot of people it's their first or preferred language. It's growing its spoken base now, after years of forced decline at the hands of the English authorities (cf "Welsh Knot"). Children speak it in school and at home, and you can hear it being openly used by people across the country. 38% of under 15s in Wales can speak and understand Welsh, while at least 20% of the population as a whole can (2001 census results published in 2003).
Being a principality doesn't stop somewhere being a country or a nation- it just means it isn't a kingdom or a republic or some other political designation.
I'm looking forward to my children learning Welsh, English, and hopefully more languages- it should serve to make them better adapted to European life.
And those pound notes and coins? Manufactured within Wales (on crown land, apparently) and then exported to England... But you knew that.
Now, ID Cards- they stink, and I told my MP why they stink, and he said that he had to vote for them anyway. Thanks a lot for that Kim- good to know you still have the backbone that you showed during the miners' strike...
To all those putting the boot in, Welsh is an official (minority) language of the UK. Along with Scots Gaelic, Cornish etc. This should mean that it gets treated in the same way as English in those areas where it's spoken. Accordingly, I think she's got a point...
Personally, I think the best thing to put on an ID card is a couple of sticks of dynamite...
@Sweep 16:10 GMT "Why are they planning on having French on a UK card? and not, for instance, Spanish, German or American English."
<sigh> and all it would take is a little bit of learning....
I will try to be brief: until recently (historically speaking), the language of Diplomacy was French. The Lingua Franca (lit. French language... but in Italian, go figure) adopted across the world for Diplomats to understand each other regardless of where they were from. From such Halcyon days come words like Passport, Parole, etc... With the advent of WWII (and to a lesser degree WWI), the influence of the USofA rose and English became the language you wanted to speak if you wanted to deal Internationally (which is why Air Traffic communications are always in English, for example).
HOWEVER... Since Passports (a derivative of the French Passeport, lit. an item that allowed you to go through ports) existed well before WWII, they were generally written in French. And this idiosyncrasy has stayed with us - regardless of which country you are from, your Passport will very likely include all headings in both your local language and in French (unless you're from a Francophone country). And this is not limited to passports - just for fun I went and got an International Driver's Licence and it, too, contains French headings.
Frankly, I find this touch of a bygone era to be a nostalgic reminder of nicer days... from before you were required to drop trousers and bend over every time you want to board a plane.
So the inclusion of French on your paperwork has nothing to do with the EU, and everything to do with World History. Which, from the comments on this board, quite a few people should make themselves more familiar with.
As the only Welsh I've come across is 'Araf' (and why do they insist on writing it all over the roads like it's the Tour de France?) I foolishly tried an on-line translationat InterTran. The result was:-
Signs Ã´l read the all rubbish with our friends over Hedge Offa here , he drives only thing I am being I about say is FREEDOM I she persuading I go chyn soon with who ' is heartburn possible! Afterwards of course , he ' is being group all question he ba language I give signs cards identity Welsh wholly academic because we he will be cards identity in would forbear He Gives thing -ever!
I was no wiser than when I read the original. It comes out as the illigitimate love child after the union of aManfromMars and the Rant of the Week.
The only thing that comes to mind after that is that you'd better find a small Welsh child to stick their finger in Offa's Dyke. It's obviously leaking.
Mine's the une avec le Frenglish dictionaire sur la pochet.
Perhaps the Welsh just got volunteered to be the trial area for the roll-out of ID cards? That way they can have them printed only in Welsh. Then once the general uselessness has been demonstrated because no one else can understand what the cards are for, we'll all be better off. As the Welsh population is smaller than the Scottish, it would be cheaper than using HMG's usual proving ground for crap ideas.
Nigel, like many nationalists, seems to think that by using a language the majority of people on this board won't understand, he's outsmarting the English. Oh yeah, he stuck it to them *gooood*....
>"The French are always just desperate to persuade someone to speak it."
>Yes- so they can sneer at your pronunciation.
Indeed. Just like the Welsh, in my experience.
@ ArfinGreebly :
Nice cut'n'paste job there. But what were you actually trying to say? Flaming the Welsh or non-Welsh? Inquiring minds - well, don't care, really. Try just using Llanfair P.G. in future; you'll impress people with your local knowledge.
"by the time all the languages are on there the "ID Card" becomes a huge parchment that takes a half hour to unfold for the filth and needs to be carried in a rucksack."
That's OK - that just means it's easier for Plod to check you're carrying it AT ALL TIMES!
"Wales is no more a country that Yorkshire." - Isn't Yorkshire getting a seat on the UN Security Council soon?
A good point, well-made, I'm sure, but Babelfish doesn't have a Welsh->English option. Personally, I like Wales, because it's the only country that's passed a law that my name must be displayed in places of entertainment and certain road signs.
No need for any text - excellent post. In case anyone wonders what's being talked about ... it's the Concentration Camp and other use of symbols. 'Asocial' is a good catch-all!
I think that if they do introduce ID Cards (and my vote will be determined by that issue) they should be in Welsh only. That will slow down the use of the data which will be stolen from the database or retrieved from the 'left-on-the-train' laptops. Thieves will have to employ Welsh Language translators so, a handy list of translations needs to be published. We could start with the Welsh for Jew, Homosexual, Gypsy, Jehovah's Witness and ... why not ... Englishman!
Grand hisory lesson.....but not a word as to why French on a UK ID card.
French may well be the language of diplomats....but it is an UK ID card
French may well be included on a passport....but it is a UK ID card
French may well be an official EU language.....but it is a UK ID card
The UK ID card is not a passport.
The UK ID card is not an EU ID card.
It is a UK ID card, for UK citizens, for use in the UK........so why French?
<Tinfoil Hat on>
Unless of course that it is intended to be a EU ID card, and we will be forced to carry it whenever we travel through Europe. Why cannot we just use our passport as we do now? Well you don't need to use a passport when traveling within your own country do you........also known as the United Stated of Europe.
<Tinfoil Hat off>
If we get every language (and comedy made-up language, like Welsh) spoken in the UK on there, then the card will be the bigger than most people.
No doubt Wacky Jacqui will rave that this is yet another advantage of these wonderful devices and that people are beating down her door with sticks to get them.
Overcoming the issue of space for Welsh, the Minister today announced the Government intends ID cards to carry text in only two languages. However, to assuage those who wish to see other languages than French and English, the latter will be replaced on random cards by other languages spoken in the United Kingdom, proportionally to the number of residents who speak those languages. "It is up to those examining an ID card to make sense of it," she said, "and if you don't fancy Welsh, or Urdu, or Arabic or Old Scots... you can jolly well sod off."
Klingon speakers are expected to petition for inclusion on the list.
English and French are the official working languages of the UN. There, that's a reason (it doesn't need to be logical - this is government we're talking about).
"The Organization uses six official languages in its intergovernmental meetings and documents, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish; the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French. "
Of course, if you want to delay the project, you should include both Welsh and Gaelic but get the respective Welsh and Scottish governments to pay for the incremental change. Or be inclusive and really blow the overall budget, support all languages which government offer to translate for immigrants while they are learning English (in order to become citizens).
Sorry folks, but the UK's ID card *will be* a de-facto passport. A simple reflection on the last decade or so will show you why. No longer living in Europe, I can look upon what is happening there with a mostly unbiased (and slightly jaundiced) eye and note the following:
1) You used to need a passport to go between countries in Europe. Most of the time, you didn't go through the whole visa-application bullshit; you just rocked up to the border, they checked your passport and then stamped the visa on it there and then.
2) With the advent of the European Union, there is now a "reciprocal" arrangement between most countries in the EU - you no longer need a visa to go between these countries. And since passports were mostly for holding visas (i.e., the official approval of your being allowed in the country), passports aren't technically required any more.
3) BUT (here we go) a lot of countries in the EU require you to have some sort of identification. I remember the jokes back in the 80s about the number of documents a French citizen *had* to carry at all time (the blue card, the red card, the green card;, the yellow card and the multi-coloured one where the details of all the other cards are duplicated ^_^)
4) Ergo, any UK card being introduced will become, in effect, a mini-passport; ID but without the visa component. And hence, since it will be used outside of the UK to show you are a UK citizen, there is French on the card.
Frankly, based on historical precedence, you folks in the UK are about to have a Salmon Day.
(Not that It's not just as bad here in Oz - the driver's licence has become a de-facto ID card, with a "special" 18+ card for those who do not want a driver's licence but still want to get into pubs and clubs. De-facto IDs all 'round!)
This isn't a bottle of shower gel.
Neoc, #4 makes no sense. There are many countries and languages outside of Britain so why just France? It may be just across the water but no-one goes there. In that case they should put Spanish or Portuguese since that's where 80% of British people seem to go on Holiday.
Welsh isn't the only official language in the UK. If they INSIST on special treatment depite the fact they probably all speak English too then they need to add the Scots, Irish etc. But why bother? Oh, that reminds me, braille?? That is legit. If they dare put Urdu on it ...
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