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Aled Roberts start as new Welsh Language Commissioner

 
On Monday 1 April, Aled Roberts started in his job as Welsh Language Commissioner; and for the next three months he will travel the length and breadth of Wales to meet people and to understand their experiences of using the language.
 
Aled Roberts is the second person to hold the post of Welsh Language Commissioner, following Meri Huws’s seven years in the role. He is a former Assembly Member (2011-16) and has worked as a consultant for the Welsh Government on developing Welsh-medium education.
 
Drawing from his personal experience with the language, he is keen to understand what motivates people who are able to speak Welsh to use the language, or not to do so, in their everyday lives.
 
He said: "I was brought up in a Welsh speaking household in Rhos; but received my education in English. Even though my group of friends were all able to speak Welsh when we were growing up, we always spoke English with each other. It was not until I came home for Christmas after spending my first term at Aberystwyth University that I noticed we were missing out on so much by not speaking Welsh with each other; and so, one night, we decided to switch to speaking Welsh with each other. It wasn't easy to change, and it took a few months for us to get used to it; but it was possible, and we’ve spoken with each other in Welsh ever since.
 
"I know that my friends and I were not the only ones who did not see Welsh as a language to use when talking to each other; and that choosing to speak English is even more common these days. We all want to see a bilingual Wales and realise the vision of a million Welsh speakers. As Commissioner, I want to understand what are the barriers that prevent people - and young people in particular - from choosing to use Welsh, and see how we can all work together to overcome these barriers. I also want to hear what are people's experiences of using Welsh in the workplace and when accessing services."
 
Over the coming months, Aled Roberts will travel around Wales to meet people in their communities to understand the reality of the situation. He will use people's real life experiences to guide his work in strengthening the position of the language.
 
He said: “I will try to visit as many communities as possible during the next three months. But if someone is a member of a local club, group or society and want to invite me along for a chat, then I’d encourage them to get in touch, and I’d be very happy to meet with them.”
 
You may contact the Commissioner by email: post@welshlanguagecommissioner.wales.

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