A Welsh translation for Welcome
It was interesting to read Peter Law’s article in The South Wales Echo back in August, about how taxi drivers and other front staff in the hospitality industry would receive basic training in Welsh language and culture, in preparation for the 2010 Ryder Cup. This year, the prestigious international golf tournament was held at the Celtic Manor in Newport at the beginning of October.
The aim was to give “[taxi] passengers a uniquely Welsh welcome”, to create a positive first impression of Wales for golf enthusiasts travelling to Newport and to encourage them to come back to Wales for a longer stay in the near future. Taxi drivers, staff from several hotels, the Severn Bridge and the local train company Arriva would benefit from the language training scheme organised by Capital Region Tourism.
Although the content of the training programme was limited to greetings and facts on the tourism attractions of Wales, I can only commend this initiative. Two reasons underpin my appreciation: firstly, I think it is an excellent idea to keep the Welsh language and culture alive. Secondly, as a teacher myself, I always start my language programmes with greetings – politeness goes a long way in my opinion; it breaks down many communication barriers and improves relationships between speakers of different languages. Even if it is just limited to being able to say hello, thank you or please, it shows good will, interest in the country and respect for the local population.
Communication is at the heart of what we do here at BLS and this is why we are so keen on quality and respect for the target language conventions, whether this be through our translation, interpreting or training services. To deliver quality work in the language industry, a good insight into a country’s culture is as important as knowledge of the language itself.