Tweet Today's story that the 'Culture' Secreatary has suggested that S4C could be run on the basis of a red button service providing a Welsh voiceover to English programmes is truly staggering.
I often come across people who argue thast language is 'merely' a means of communication, and it's not therefore terribly important whch language we use. They're almost invariably monoglots though, unable to express themselves in more than one language. From that perspective, it's easy to see how such a suggestion could be made.
However, Jeremy Hunt is, apparently, fluent in Japanese, and I would therefore have expected him to have a better grasp of the fact that switching between languages is more than simply using different words to say the same thing, to say nothing of the different social and cultural contexts which apply.
There's nothing wrong in principle with some dubbing of programmes from one language to another - and the source programmes don't have to be restricted to those originally produced in English - but the idea that a Welsh service can be just an English service with a voiceover shows an amazing lack of understanding.
After all the work that the Conservatives in Wales have done to try and present themselves as more 'Welsh' than they've traditionally been seen, this must be a huge setback to them, and will seriously damage their credibility on language issues.
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