Readers may recall that we asked Eluned Morgan for help in making this website fully bilingual. She has funding to support the development of Welsh language technology. So we asked her to support a project that would enable community councils (and other, small organisations) to publish bilingual websites.
The project would produce a system similar to ConveyThis, which enables readers to 'toggle' between Welsh and English pages - and, importantly, provides a super-convenient and efficient way to edit translations generated by Google Translate, or by Microsoft's Bing translate. But ConveyThis comes at a cost.
Without such a system, we have to rely on Bing translate. This, however, takes the reader to a seperate browser page - and to the site's home page (away from the page that the reader wanted to read). In addition, Bing translates the entire site every time a reader uses it - so we have no control over the accuracy of the translation (which is far from satisfactory).
The Welsh Government would not rely on a system that produced inaccurate translations!
We calculated that this project could save Wales' community councils a total of £1.4m per annum (compared to the cost of ConveyThis) - and enable all of them (and other, small organisations) to have bilingual websites.
Even so - Eluned Morgan has refused to fund such a project.
Her initial response referred us to her aim of delivering the priorities set out in her Welsh Language Technology Action Plan. When we pointed out that those priorities included 'improving computer assisted translation' and 'facilitating the proactive offer of Welsh language choice in services and interfaces' her second response simply repeated her aim of delivering the priorities set out in her plan. Nothing more.
She offered no comment about the merits, or otherwise, of developing a project that would enable community councils (and other, small organisations) to publish bilingual websites - whilst saving community councils £1.4m per annum. Nor did she indicate that she may consider funding such a project in future.
There can be no doubt that many people, including the 15% of people in Radyr and Morganstown who can speak Welsh, would argue that this was an unsatisfactory response from Eluned Morgan, Wales' Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language.
So we continue to use Bing translate, which is not entirely satisfactory.
You can read the exchange of correspondence below:
Our first letter.